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Behold, a new YouTube star rises. There’s nothing terribly new about seeing a teenage girl use YouTube (s GOOG) to discuss the world of beauty and fashion. But Blair Fowler, a sixteen-year-old girl whose name seems directly drawn from the pages of Sweet Valley High, has been written up twice this week for her use of video to not only share her favorite fashions, but monetize her YouTube fame with promotional deals.
Fowler was first cited as an example of the teen girl phenomenon of putting your “hauls” (ie — purchases from shopping trips) online, and in fact she is a great point person to consider in the examination of this trend, given her intense yet approachable commentary on what she acquired.
In addition, the upbeat, positive way she describes her choices in outfits, along with careful yet frequent mentions of the brand she was supporting, makes her a natural fit for doing a sponsored video. And that’s where the custom shoe website Shoes of Prey comes in.
In the below video, Fowler promotes the site along with a contest they were organizing, showing off a free pair of shoes she’d been given and receiving compensation beyond said shoes for making this video in the video description. And per a blog entry by the company owners, it’s a promotion that brought in many times the traffic that posts on Techcrunch and Springwise did.
I actually first saw this video thanks to one of my fellow GigaOm serfs, who passed it and the accompanying blog write-up around to the staff as an example of social media marketing in action. The internal debate that waged over it was surprisingly intense, with some being alarmed by her alleged shallowness, while others admiring her entrepreneurial spirit.
Personally, I fall on the latter side — she’s figured out what works for her audience and figured out how to balance authenticity with the occasional shilling moment. And at least we can all agree on this: She’s not nearly as annoying as Fred.
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Fact or Fiction: Where Is Branded Online Video Going?