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Advertise, accordingly to Oxford learners dictionary is

“to tell the public about a product or a service in order to encourage people to buy or to use it”. 

But long are the days magazines, catalogs and TV were the main source of advertise. Digital age changed it all and it´s up to the brands to constantly update their marketing strategy in order to sell. Engagement seems to be the key word (at least the priority, for both brands and content creators) when it comes to advertise in social media and it´s getting quite expensive as time goes by. 

The trouble seems to be the effectiveness of this new form of advertise – a few years have passed since paid ads were launched both on facebook and instagram and it´s time to face the facts. On one hand they’re proven to be very much effective (for instances, when a paid add pops in middle of your regular instagram stories, you’re more likely to buy. Why? Those adds take into consideration your preferences and artificial intelligence can work too well). But on the other hand, with so many people trying to advertise (either their new paid collaboration post or a brand’s new Fall collection) it is becoming quite difficult to access “normal” content without getting annoyed.

Having too much information circulating, the difficulty seems to be how to process it in order to maximize sales without making people getting tired of the product. Brands use a lot influencer marketing but sometimes their strategy simply doesn’t work – imagine having several influencers practically at the same time posting different photos with the same products. I’ve seen this happen before and reactions were terrible. My point being – aren’t we advertising in a wrong and deceitful way?

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After laying my eyes on a BOF article about advertise in the digital age my mind instantly thought about the role bloggers and influencers have in this process and an additional problem – how they contributed to the lack of transparency in the entire advertising process. If the regular customer is capable of understanding what an add is in the typical adverting channels, things may not be that clear when it comes to social media. 

If you’re a content creator chances are you know how this works. But i´ll try to clarify for everyone who isn’t. Whenever I receive a collaboration proposal I know in advance the terms and conditions, which I’ve agreed with, meaning I know what my obligations are and what do I need to comply with. So before I even received the product(s) I already know the timeline to publish photos, instagram stories, videos, etc; I know there will be a discount code that I´m going to share with my followers; etc. 

And since I’ve mentioned discount codes, you should know that either I receive a commission from the sales generated from that code or I don’t receive anything. This means when someone is an ambassador for a certain brand, they’ll be receiving commissions each time someone uses their code. Tracking links are also a thing – each ambassador has one, so that the brand knows how the costumers got there. 

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I could write a long post regarding the difference between #ad and #gifted or even #sponsored. Because that’s how you would normally find out what sort of collaboration it was and if there actually is a collab. But you’ll find several content creators using the hashtags without really understanding their meaning and many of them not even using anything to identity the collaboration when there’s clearly one. And even thought Instagram gave a major step towards transparency and gave content creators the possibility to identify their business partners, the only option available is the paid collaboration. What about barter collabs (when the brand sends the product and doesn’t pay you, to simplify, which is what happens most of the times)?

There are certain signs that you should be aware of to understand if you’re in the presence of a collaboration, even thought you might not fully understand if it was a paid one, an ambassadors program, a barter collab, … Or simply a pitch to the brand without any commercial background that looks very much like a collaboration yet it isn’t.

The caption states clearly something very connected to the brand. Almost like it wasn’t even written by the person who posted it. Often, brands like to suggest you what to write in the caption or certain key words that need to be there. 

Hasthags. Whenever you see not-so-typical- influencer hashtags and they’re completely related with the brand – maybe 3 or 4 tops directed to the product/campaign, right after the caption (and most certainly not in the comment section), you have a pretty strong hint that it was a collaboration. 

Tagged people. I´d say this is the most fallible criteria, since many people don’t tag the brand only but chances are, if you see only one brand tagged, it was a collaboration. 

Comment section. Too much compliments on the product? There’s no obligation to talk wonders, of course. Specially if it´s a review of something that can affect your health truth must be told, plain and simple. But when it comes to collaborations, it may be harder for some people to speak out the truth and say the product isn’t as good as it promises to be. Why? You don’t want to look bad. You accepted to collaborate and try the product, most of the times without experimenting or testing it. You can check for reviews before accepting it but they’ll all be identical. Despite doing a full research on the brand before accepting it, I can only have a verdict after testing for a while (long term results can be quite deceiving, so I make sure I test everything for as long as I can). Sometimes it´s easier to avoid collaborating with the brand whose product wasn’t that good instead of “doing bad publicity”. So if you see someone adverting different products at different timings from the same brand, chances are the collaboration went well and the products are indeed what they promised. Again, this may not be entirely true. It is also a matter of values and self-conscience.

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This sort of behavior from content creators usually leads to a rather negative reaction. After all, you’re being mislead into buying something without even noticing it was previously advertised. It almost feels like you got trapped into buying something that, afterwards, wasn’t even that good. The lack of effective regulation on the matter doesn’t help, it is all very new and constantly changing. Everything evolves so quickly that it is hard to keep track of how everything is processed. 

So in the meantime, and because in the end of the day we all influence someone, here’s a little tip  – don’t search for the obvious signs. Be aware of the little details. Uncover the layers. Ask, if necessary. The important thing is that you can make a clear choice. If it´s something related with your health such as food, skincare products, for starters see if you can ask/get samples. Advertising in digital age should come with more privileges regarding information, since you can ask directly and without any constraints to the person who’s advertising anything you find relevant. After all, isn’t proximity (one of the reasons) why bloggers and influencers grew so much in such short time?

LFW Street Style Part II

Part II or how to master the print mixing game. And wear fringes. And what about a total white outfit with pops of red? Have you noticed how elegant a woman in red is? So many questions pop my mind when I look at street style pictures. Am I the only one who barely thinks about trends when scrolling through them? Of course we can always spot trends (and this time I tried as you can see) but I’m always more focused on the person. Street style taught me so much when it comes to finding my own style and identity. A person comfortably trending will always be prettier. Not because she’s trending, no. Because it’s someone who feels comfortable in its second skin – clothes.

Photos courtesy of Farfetch.com/UK

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LFW Street Style Part I

We patiently wait to see the newest trends and inspirations for each new season. It´s not only the clothes or accessories that are about to be revealed. It´s the environment, the light, the artistic process behind every show. But when it comes to street style everything changes. Trendsetter or not, everyone will be showing their personality through what they´re wearing. Multiple inspirations, mixed trends, things that only the person who´s wearing it considers trendy. That´s the beauty of what happens outside a show. And that´s why I consider street style such a strong source of inspiration. Are they waiting to be photographed? Of course. Does it make street style less authentic? Absolutely not. What about you? Do you also think the “magic” begins outside the shows?

Photos courtesy of Farfetch.com/UK

New Category – People / Nova Categoria – Pessoas

I’ve always felt that fashion was very similar to art and when I first started going through street style photos I realized why I’ve always been so passionated about both of them: because those are -to me- the best ways of self expression. And seeing street style photos helped me realize how good some people are at expressing their personalities and how good they feel about themselves.

We all follow trends but many of us let those exact trends choose who we are. They take a bit of personality from us. Why do we let clothes own us? After speaking with lots of different people I got to the conclusion of that most of us let the clothes take the lead because we’re afraid of not getting approval. We’re afraid that other people will make fun of the way we’re dressed. Remember when berets first appeared? Well, I loved them (still do) and I bought one. The first time wearing it was…challenging. What about mixing red and pink? God forbid us to do that before it became a thing and started being acceptable.

Trends are just that. Trends. It’s the way we interpret them that makes each one of our outfits a unique statement. This new sub-category is an ode to self-expression and an attempt to show you true fashion icons and real fashion stories. Who are they? Certainly not people who dress to please. They’re people who dress what they want, follow the trends that they like and are not afraid to express themselves. Some are trendsetters, some are even characters.

Because every person has a story to tell and something you can learn from, a different and unique personality, this sub-category will be about People & their stories. Everything that helped and contributed to shape their style and also helped you shape yours. How we all were inspired by those people. I bet at this point you don’t see how… But just think about how many times Carrie Bradshaw indirectly gave you the courage to wear something you always wanted but never did. Or how Leandra Medine interpreted in her very own personal way a man repeller look that you wanted to try?

Dissecting The Look is all about giving you the inspiration you need to express yourself through fashion, art, even decor. So what better new category to create than this one, full of posts where you’ll be able not only to be inspired (if I’m doing it right) to keep creating or create your own personal style but also understand what or who contributed to shape it. I’d love to know your thoughts about this 🙂

Anna Dello Russo via Elle.com

 

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Leandra Medine via theurbanspotter.com

 

Iris Apfel via Harper´s Bazaar

 

Olivia Palermo via Who What Wear