I think last week some printed media was talking about companies engaging bloggers for publicity for their products.
I myself do write product reviews sometimes. Well, most of the time companies did not approach me to write stuff for their products, but rather, whenever I see something interesting, I would just pen down my thoughts and share. Afterall, I'm just trying to apply what I was taught. I'm from the Product Design specialization (although I don't seem like one).
A lot of bloggers do reviews out of interest. For example, when I am deciding to buy a product, usually I would do a search online, and see what others think of the product, what are the bugs to look out for, and whether there are better alternatives. These are first hand users' experience, so it's as real as it can get. And most of the time, they aren't paid for that.
From marketing point of view, engaging bloggers do seem like an attractive deal. You don't usually have to spend too much on the campaign, compared with sponsoring product and letting celebrities pose against a backdrop. Of course, some products you really have to look for celebrities to wear them on their body. However, bloggers can be a pain in the arse for brandname as well. Some can whack you mercilessly, while others may end up recommending your rival brands to readers. Honesty can hurt. You also need to find the correct bloggers to engage. For example, how would you feel if a health food brand engages overweight bloggers? Of course, it also depends on how professional the blogger is to decide whether to agree to be engaged. I for one don't write entrepreneur stuff, cos I know nuts about it. K, I know nuts about a lot of things too. I've got adult products and casino approaching me -_-" NO THANKS!
The new media sure seems exciting.
(actually I want to share about another publicity stunt I saw, will talk about it another time :))