Celebrity Influencer Marketing :
By FYKAA CAAN
Endorsements are the use of celebrities in promotion and advertising, usually seen as a testimonial or the showing of a celebrity’s written or spoken statement, commending the virtues of a product by the use of pitches by celebrities. However, some celebrities such as David Beckham are going beyond just attaching their face with a product and high-profile celebrities are now being coined with the term influencer. This is because many celebrities that we are exposed to, have a powerful impact on not only our fashion styles, but also our style of life.
Celebrities such as Paris Hilton have had a long-time dependency on various cellular devices, it is perhaps visionaries like Steve Jobs who became indebted to her, seeing that it was Hilton who took their creations beyond their wildest expectations, inventing along the way “the maligned but ubiquitous selfie” and thus she became the matriarch of the modern phenomenon with that ever so catchy aide-memoir pout.
Paris turned the New York social scene around in the early 2000s, setting not only fashion and lifestyle trends there, but globally. Paris defined what it meant to be an ‘influencer’ before there was even a word for it and contributed to starting a whole new genre of celebrity that no one had ever seen before. Critics and admirers have said that Hilton is famous for being famous exemplifying the ‘celebutante’ (a celebrity not through talent or work, but through inherited wealth and lifestyle).
Social media influencers were also among the top celebrity endorsers for brands in 2016, according to a new report by Celebrity Intelligence. Social media influencers are seen as being at the top and challenging traditional celebrities for endorsement opportunities. Top names include Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner, Iris Apfel, Vogue Williams and Karlie Kloss. Model Hailey Baldwin took top spot on the list and is an example of how brands are looking to social media followings for their next big campaigns.
This Influencer trend is proposed as “likely to intensify in the year ahead with social media specific campaigns and promotions becoming more important for brands and marketers”, says Sarah Mawson of Celebrity Intelligence… and “In 2017, we will see this trend intensify with brands and marketers… authenticity and truth will be critical, to prevent the dilution of celebrity-led campaigns”.
As a consequence, Adidas has sought to changing the face of influencer marketing with the launch of Tango Squads. These are communities of hyper-connected football obsessives operating on direct messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and online. Named after one of Adidas’ first footballs, the Tango Squads, which are groups of socially savvy 16-19-year-old football content creators living in 15 key cities worldwide. While the squads are between 100 and 250 people, Adidas hopes to reach a maximum of 500 members per squad by 2017.
Each group is managed by an Adidas in-house team, who share exclusive content and new products with the group, before they are even unveiled on Adidas’ Twitter or Facebook channels. All content is mobile optimised and shot in portrait selfie-style to add to the authenticity. The squad members are invited to take part in experiences like meeting players, which they then share on social media.
“Currently 70% of global brand referrals happen on dark social not via Twitter or Facebook”, explained Adidas senior director of global brand communications, Florian Alt, speaking at the Festival of Marketing about how the value brands can add by gaining mentions in the private messaging sphere.
“At the moment, a lot of brands are approaching social media as a publishing job with pre-set and pre-defined agendas. With the Tango Squad project, we have a great opportunity. It’s a different way to produce content and speak to your communities… It’s not about sheer reach, what the hyper-connected kids bring is mass awareness. These are the guys who will push out your stories and content. They give it longevity and authenticity, because they are talking in a private messaging environment. If it comes as a referral from your mate, you’re much more likely to pick it up than if it comes from a brand.”
Alt argues that while you can give a piece of content to one global influencer with a million followers, the message is far more authentic if you give it to 500 kids, each with 2,000 followers. The Tango Squads fulfil Adidas’ desire to be a responsive brand, working on co-creation with consumers in key cities.
The benefits of being an influencer, are in return the celebrity gains targeted exposure to the right kind of consumer, someone who is already interested and will likely pay attention. What’s truly happening is a broader shift, as more and more people are discovering the art of personal branding. When you have a personal brand- you have an audience and people see you as a thought leader in your specific niche or market, you have something no one else does: you have people’s attention. That, in itself, is highly valuable, not just to brands but to other thought leaders as having a personal brand opens doors of opportunities.
By Fykaa Caan fykaacaan.com
Hollywood:London Magazine, Lifestyle and Current Affairs Editor.