In the latest example of a publisher blurring the line between advertising and editorial, Details is tapping its Details Network, a collective of 150 men’s style bloggers who share their work with the magazine’s website, to create content for advertisers.
In what Details is calling its version of native advertising, where ads are designed to look and feel like editorial content, the magazine tapped nine bloggers from the network to style outfits featuring fall 2013 apparel from advertisers like Gucci, Prada and Versace. For this Style.Feed campaign, stories written by the bloggers that feature their outfits are appearing as posts on the Details Network site (like this entry from blogger Scout Sixteen) and the stylists’ blogs, and on the fashion brands' own promotional and social channels. Photographs and excerpts from the bloggers' stories were also aggregated into a digital magazine that readers can find on Details’ Facebook page or on Details Insider, Details' promotional site.
A Details rep said the Style.Feed content won't be labeled as sponsored because it's produced by the bloggers, not by the brands. The brands didn't pay directly to have their apparel included in the campaign, although their inclusion was predicated on buying advertising from Details.
Another blogger-driven native ad campaign will launch Friday with A/X Armani Exchange. In this case, A/X-sponsored content will be labeled as such, and it will be styled by and starring Details Network bloggers. The content will appear as promoted stories on the Style Advice page of the Details site through mid-November as well as on the bloggers' own websites. All of the A/X-branded content—the ads will rotate throughout the camapign—will be included in an A/X- and Details-branded magazine on Flipboard.
Other publishers from Wired to The Huffington Post have set up in-house departments and agencies to serve advertisers who want branded content but don't necessarily have the expertise to do it themselves. For Details, this approach lets advertisers benefit from the magazine's fashion savvy without involving its own editorial staffers.
According to Details vp, publisher Kevin Martinez, the brands wanted the unique point of view that the bloggers could provide as real men styling looks for their everyday lives, and it gives the brands a chance to reach the bloggers' audiences.
“It’s a way for the bloggers to get their voices out there, a way for Details to get the brand out there and a way for our advertisers and the fashion brands to go in a bit of a different direction,” Martinez said. Martinez added the bloggers in the A/X program are also being compensated for their participation, while those who styled looks for the Style.Feed also receive a small styling fee.
Details plans to roll out more native advertising initiatives involving the Details Network later this year. (The magazine is in “serious talks” with another potential sponsor for the fourth quarter.) Eventually, the goal is to create a larger native ad network, on which Martinez has been working with Condé Nast corporate sales.