One Direction may be the boy band of the moment, but when a Jonas Brother has a baby, it still makes headlines.
This time, however, it wasn't usual suspects People or Us Weekly that broke news of the birth. Instead, Procter & Gamble’s Dreft, a baby fabric detergent brand, bought the exclusive rights to publish photos of the newborn.
On Feb. 2, Kevin Jonas (at 26, the eldest Jonas brother) took to Twitter to update the world on the birth of his daughter. And while it certainly wasn't the only time a parent-to-be has live tweeted a birth, it was a marketing first.
Jonas kicked off a string of twitter updates with a promotional tweet for Dreft, the New York Daily News reported.
By Sunday afternoon, the delivery was in full swing.
"It's showtime #thisisnotadrill" Jonas wrote. "I'm so excited… Here we go we're pushing!!!!" A few hours later, the first ever photo of baby Alena Rose Jonas, shown cradled by her mom, was posted on Dreft’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
"The idea that you would have a sponsored birth isn't new," Ted Murphy, CEO and founder of Izea, a company that connects influential bloggers and celebrities to brands, told AdWeek. "It's just typically done by media outlets. We're moving to something that's much more of a sponsored model for everything.”
Alena's sponsored delivery may usher in a marketing era in which celebrities and brands forge direct partnerships, cutting out traditional middlemen like entertainment magazines and television shows. It’s something of a symbiotic relationship: celebrities are able to control their image while brands can directly connect with consumers via a famous surrogate.
Mike Steele, editor of Wenner Media's Us Weekly, told AdWeek that he isn't worried. "I don't know that every celebrity wants to have their live events sponsored,” he told the outlet.
Perhaps. But if I had to put money on it, I’d bet we're not that far away from a sponsored divorce, courtesy of a Real Housewife.