Post beautifully written by the Hot & Sexy Marc Hustvedt via Tubefilter.TV
It’s not really a secret anymore, but celebrities, especially in LA, get hooked up with more free gear and high-end garb than they even know what to do with. Seriously, it’s almost criminal how much free swag gets thrown at them at charity events, award shows, launch parties, you name it. Thankfully, for the rest of us, there’s a new web series called Gift Bag Robin Hood from Stylit.TV which tries to share some of that trendy booty.
The Stylit.TV site had been in a private beta until it launched to the public this week. Founded by Ken Feldman, who also mugs a little on-camera hosting time in the series, the site is half web series, half e-commerce startup.
I talked to Feldman about the site launch and his plans for the web series crossover business model that he’s banking on. The concept of the Robin Hood series is essentially autobiographical, I’ve learned, as Feldman himself turned into quite the gift bag giver through his years in commercial production. “I was going to all these fashion shows and getting all these gift bags filled with makeup and clothes and I was just giving them away to my girl friends,” said Feldman.
Feldman saw an opportunity and brought on a handful of talented, not to mention fashionable, hosts like Katya Dara, Rebekah James, Ari Tinnen and Kristen Brockman. While Feldman intros each episode of Robin Hood, he says he’s phasing himself out as quickly as possible. With hosts like Brockman (above), whom he calls “the Julia Roberts of hosting,” we can see why.
Apparently the celeb-hungry brands aren’t that miffed that some of the gear is ending up in the hands of the common folk. “All the brands that we’ve been working with are happy,” Feldman noted. “The love it, telling us ‘wow, you guys are giving this to an ordinary person.’”
Where it goes beyond just celeb-life voyeurism, is that each episode features a chance to win one of the gift bags shown. On the site itself, all of the bag’s items are laid out with photos, descriptions and of course links to buy the items directly. Viewers enter to win the bag by electing to submit “credits”, which are essentially raffle entries. So far eight winners have been chosen (one for each ep) and are shown next to their respective loot bundles.
The latest episode (below) gets inside the HBO Luxury Lounge and scores a bag valued at over $2300—sunglasses, watch, t-shirts, Guitar Hero, makeup—you know, all in a days work for LA’s chosen few.
“We are e-commerce as entertainment,” said Feldman. “It’s the merging of ecommerce with web shows.” There’s also an upcoming tech gear series, TechStyle, with techno-host Shira Lazar which premieres on September 1 in conjunction with Apple blog TUAW.com. Another series, Designer Showcase, that highlights different fashion designers. “Some of them are contest type shows like Gift Bag Robin Hood, but all of them will have a way to purchase [the products] on site or through an affiliate,” added Feldman.
For now, the main focus seems to be on Robin Hood, which has a number of episodes already in the can, totaling more that $100,000 worth of merchandise says Feldman. They are in talks with sponsors to directly cover additional distribution of the show and with a few blog networks that fit their 18-35 female target audience. Next on the block is an $1100 swag bag from Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right NOLA” charity event.