Jonas Brothers fans eager to get a glimpse of Kevin Jonas’ baby Sunday evening were also treated to a marketing message from Procter & Gamble’s Dreft, a baby fabric detergent brand that purchased the exclusive rights to publish photos of newborn Alena Rose Jonas.
In what appears to be a marketing first, Dreft live-tweeted Alena Rose’s birth, and posted the first public photo of the baby with her mother, Danielle Jonas, on the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.
The partnership is a perfect example of how traditional media publishers have lost power due to the popularity of social media.
Once upon a time, magazines and TV stations were the only conduits between celebrities and their fans, and could count on selling valuable advertising real estate alongside exclusive news and images. Now, social media allows celebrities to control their own messages without interference from third-party media outlets.
And by publishing their own content and selling sponsorship rights directly to Dreft, the Jonases managed to cut magazines like U.S. Weekly and People out of the revenue stream entirely. By paying the Jonases directly, Dreft was able to send users straight to its social media feeds rather than paying for an ad beside a story in a magazine.
“Being able to share exclusive content through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allows us to connect with our consumer that much closer,” Dreft brand manager Rob Reiss told Business Insider in an interview, adding that the brand is very pleased with the campaign’s performance thus far. “It just creates a personal connection between the consumer and the brand.”
The partnership was formed after Dreft selected the Jonases from a pool of expecting couples it had been thinking about working with. Procter & Gamble communications manager My Anh Nghiem said that Kevin and Danielle stood out for their social media savvy (they announced the baby’s gender on U-Stream in August) and compatibility with other millennial parents.
According to Reiss, the partnership has helped Dreft gain 22,000 Instagram followers just days after becoming active on the network.
Dreft has also benefitted from Kevin and Danielle’s promotion of “Amazing Baby Days,” an iPhone app that allows expecting mothers to create a digital scrapbook of their pregnancies that Reiss says has now been downloaded more than 20,000 times.
However, Reiss was clear in saying Procter & Gamble had no plans to use any of the “Amazing Baby Days” data for marketing purposes.
“Privacy is at the cornerstone of our company,” Reiss said. “The only reason that we’re asking the mum to provide the birthday is so that the app can cater to her prenatally and postnatally.”
“The app is really to provide today’s millennial parents an opportunity to capture those moments of babyhood.”
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see whether traditional media organisations will be willing or able to compete with major brands for the right to publish content surrounding the personal lives of celebrities.
And if other brands are willing to follow in Dreft’s footsteps and spend money to acquire such rights, it might be only a matter of time before the next celebrity couple introduces the world to their very own newborn bundle of sponsored content.
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