Influencer outreach vs Creativity and relevance

I was asked to write about something I was excited by this year in social media for someone’s blog. Rudely they never followed up so I thought I’d pop it up here.

Something I was tickled by this year and something I’d like to get more involved in / see more of was a lovely piece of work by Target McConnells for Safefood with Viper Higgins an “investigative journalist” who has a well-earned, substantial following on social. The end film encouraging people not to undercook burgers is probably the best piece of influencer/brand partnership I’ve seen. Viper’s tone and style of humour seem untouched; it certainly feels like he had total creative control of the film. This is what made it so shareable and engaging and talked about. Even in the most cynical places… other ad agencies.

It was a lovely counterbalance to this current culture of Influencer Marketing. One where we see a lot of brands paying someone with a big following to promote their product, no matter how relevant or talented they are, and with seemingly no restrictions on which products they’ve already promoted that same week. There’s no craft, no real added brand value – just blatant promotion often without any indication that it’s an #ad. It just rankles with me. They are the modern-day equivalent of the girls in the daisy dukes and bikini tops promoting car sales. I hope the future will see more and more creators/creatives become Influencers. Or more Influencers become more creative and engaging when they promote products.

Social media isn’t just about reach, it should also engage the audience and add value to the reader’s day in some way. And if brands are just happily lazily paying an “influencer” or doing some slipshod media partnership it will turn people off social media and we’ll all be losers then. Let’s reward the Vipers of this world and create meaningful, memorable, shareable work!

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