Fame, free clothes and even cold, hard cash, for some. What do you have to lose when your child becomes a brand representative?
More and more, apparel companies are working with photogenic kids on Instagram to market their products. And parents are eagerly offering their adorable babies and toddlers for such opportunities.
“When you are one of our brand reps, we will provide a significant amount of items worth around US$200 (S$272) each package, as well as features and shout-outs on all our social-media platforms. You will also enjoy a 30 per cent discount in our store for life,” shares Color Long, owner and designer of Reignland Concept, an online fashion store.
But why do these brands want to work with ordinary parents and kids, rather than a modelling or talent agency?
“Parents can usually come up with a more creative and fun photo shoot than we could ever recreate,” Miranda McCullagh, owner and designer of Whistle & Flute Clothing.
Plus, the kids are usually much more relaxed when parents take the pictures. “Professional photos aren’t what we are after, as that (feel) is not often duplicated,” Miranda adds.
While Reignland conducts searches for new ambassadors every five to six months, others – like Whistle & Flute Clothing – have stopped formal hunts.
“We found that it was hard for people not to feel hurt to not be chosen. Now, we prefer to reach out to individuals whom we feel would be a good representation of our brand,” Miranda explains.
Meanwhile, Metagold International – which distributes the footwear brand Pediped in Singapore and Malaysia – does both. It runs searches once a year, and occasionally rewards its Instagram followers with free shoes when tagging the brand.
“We once saw a post about a little girl who was kind to everyone. It just melted our hearts, so we gave her a little gift,” its marketing manager, Vicki Yong, says.
Here, they share insider secrets on how you can improve your child’s chances of being the next brand rep of a trendy kids’ label.
1. Match his personality with the brand’s
Let your little one be himself and his personality will shine through. Every brand has a distinct identity, as well, so find the best fit for him.
Reignland Concept, for instance, is known for its hip and edgy clothing line, so Color looks for kids with charisma and attitude. “That’s basically our brand’s concept,” she shares.
Pediped, on the other hand, adores “active little ones with sunshine smiles, curiosity and a love for exploration”, says marketing manager Vicki.
2. Style and shoot
Take well-lit and clean photos – the background should be uncluttered without distracting elements.
Good photography skills aren’t enough – you need to have “a big sense of style”, as Reignland’s Color puts it. Learn to be fashion-forward and coordinate outfits.
Social media star Tyler Huan’s (pictured above) mum Haze accessorises his outfits with shoes, sunglasses and hats. “It definitely completes the look and makes any outfit interesting,” Haze says.
3. Hashtag and wear the brand
“If we find a kid who wears our stuff really well, we will reach out and offer to send a few new items if they are interested in modelling them,” says Miranda from Whistle & Flute Clothing.
But make sure your child is wearing the brand. She adds: “We don’t usually look at photos we are tagged in, unless the child is already wearing our clothing.”
4. Be active on Instagram
One way to get the brand’s attention is to “comment” and “like” the brand’s postings as much as you can, Color says.
You should also spend time building your account. Miranda says she looks at other photos on the account. “We check for consistency, so we can trust whatever they do (for us) will be great,” she adds.
5. Your account has to be public
You’d think this was common sense, but Color has received many requests from mums who keep their accounts private. “Sorry, that won’t work for us,” she says.
6. Show your commitment
Don’t just post once and then never again. “There’s nothing more disappointing and frustrating for us than getting a one-time posting of the item or, worse, not posting at all,” says Color.
“Good brand reps would post our outfits several times, showing them in different styles and options.”