Haul vloggers: the next target for fashion brands?

Is it me or is anyone else obsessed with haul videos? What’s a haul video? It’s a vlogging phenomenon whereby (mostly) teenagers shop at the mall then go home and video themselves talking through what they bought. And, er…that’s it. But this simple concept is taking America by storm. Like blogging, there’s a vicarious quality to it. By sharing a blogger’s excitement about what they bought, you almost don’t need to shop yourself. (I said almost.) And there’s just something very compelling about some of these videos. Even the actually quite boring ones.

The appeal for many haul bloggers – surprise surprise – is the money-making and fame-bringing potential that the exposure allows. Some ‘haulers’ have huge followings and share profits with Youtube from ad revenue generated on their videos. For brands who often send products for review it can be good publicity – although some stipulate good reviews only. Of course.

In the main, these videos give glowing reviews which is clearly great for the brands but not so useful for the viewer. But that’s where the two-way communiction aspect of blogging/vlogging comes in. The comments on this┬ávideo provide quite useful feedback about the items shown, rather than the standard ‘oh, cute top’ comments of many other blogs. This can have real benefit for brands, giving them both publicity and constructive feedback.

An interesting development is that of beauty brands using haul-style consumer videos on their own sites. L’Oreal Paris has its Beauty Confidential club which shows videos of members reviewing samples via webcam. According to an article in the FT, these reviews aren’t 100% positive (although all the ones I watched seemed to be) as consumers apparently don’t trust perfect-10 reviews. Another sign of beauty brands cosying up to vloggers is the news that Maybelline is launching a new, lower-priced make-up line in Europe. MNY will retail at under 4 euros and its marketing will include virals and reaching out to haul vloggers according to Makeup.com.

So far, I’m not aware of any fashion brands utilising the haul vlogging concept on their own sites but I would think that was a logical progression of today’s blogging and online review culture. I would certainly be tempted to have a look out of sheer nosiness as well as genuinely wanting to know how a product performs.

What do you think of haul videos?

UPDATED July 14th: So there are brands working directly with vloggers

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6 Responses to Haul vloggers: the next target for fashion brands?

  1. A La Mode says:

    I watched this same video a while ago, and, although I feel like I really shouldn't be in to it, it is really watchable!
    Because its in video form, maybe the viewer feels closer to the vlogger than one would from the pictures of a blogger?
    I did find myself wanting to buy the products too.
    More big business I think.

  2. Miss Dolly says:

    I find them pretty useful, especially if they honestly talk about the pros AND cons of the products. I've just been watching Lisa Eldridge make up videos, and it's nice to get an insight into a professionals favourites and best products.

    Whenever I'm going to buy something now, I look it up in a few different videos to see the overall opinion of it, and they tend to be mostly right.


  3. Ondo Lady says:

    Jezebel or Gawker picked up on this trend last year. I found interesting from an editorial perspective but thought it was all very teeny Miley Cyrus. I think it is more of a teen/early 20s obsession to go out shopping and then share your wares with all and sundry on the net. Still each to their own.

  4. Nathalie says:

    I never knew about Haul and you are so right about being sucked into it. The content of it wasn't that fab but I couldn't stop watching.

    I've now browsed the web a bit and I cannot believe how many there are! The teenagers are taking over, that's quite a scary thought but I love how they use the net to their advantage and turn it into something useful for them!

    Nice post
    Nathalie from http://www.emergingfervour.com xx

  5. snowy stylista says:

    I have'nt seen any yet, but your post has intrigued me and I shall check it out, although knowing what i'm like theres every chance I'll get completely sucked in! e xx

  6. Jane says:

    I think it appeals to teens, but as the mother of a teen I'm not sure i would want to encourage, as it also appeals to their need to 'get more stuff', regardless of the quality, provenance or whether they actually need it.
    But none the less a fascinating subject!

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