Engage Hub is a social-media and influencer agency with fun, skill and passion at its heart. We work hard to make sure everyone is proud to have us as their agency. Some influencer deals, however, don’t go as planned. Here’s one we’re glad we weren’t a part of.
A post went out sponsored by Listerine. Scarlett London’s post had a picture of her enjoying some breakfast with a smile on her face and a Listerine bottle hidden in the background. The post read:
The best of days start with a smile and positive thoughts. And pancakes. And strawberries. And bottomless tea. My morning routine is now live on YouTube – and while I don’t show you my real bed hair (trust me, it’s not pretty), I do give you a little insight into how I start my day in a positive way. Head over to my stories for a swipe up link – and let me know what you think! It features my morning habit of rinsing with Listerine Advanced White to help whiten my teeth. @listerineukireland #BringOutTheBold | This is a paid partnership with Listerine.
Scarlett quickly received backlash. Fans and passers-by began to comment more and more on how staged the photo was. From MPs to celebrities everyone seems to have had a go at picking apart this post.
As more and more people began to have their say, more viral posts came about. They saw the balloons and pancakes as an insult to the integrity of Instagram. Beware – profanity ahead!
Fuck off this is anybody’s normal morning.
Instagram is a ridiculous lie factory made to make us all feel inadequate. pic.twitter.com/arV7uCusiJ
— Nathan (@hintofsarcasm) 31 August 2018
What do you think about this? Is it a calamity or simply people making a mountain out of a mole hill?
By this point people have put influencer marketing under the microscope. As an influencer agency we believe we should have our say, too. Not about the post, per se, more about the response. We’ve seen photographs similar to these on billboards, TV adverts and more, so why is Instagram so different? Similar photographs appear on banners for companies, brands and even personal accounts. Commonly, photographs on the front of products or on websites providing services will show a staged photograph or image of the product or service being enjoyed. What do you think makes this situation unique?
It seems like Instagram influencer endorsements are perceived this way because brands are using real people, not actors, to make their product seem aspirational. In doing so, they are attempting to create the sense that this is a ‘real life’ endorsement, but at the same time have created a situation which is false and un-relatable in any sense. This year brands have been coming forward admitting their concern or difficulties with other areas of influencer work. L’Oreal, Samsung and even eBay have come forward admitting they have struggled with the follower fraud. The Advertising Standards authority also voiced concerns about the lack of transparency in sponsored posts, suggesting hashtags weren’t enough.
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