Take a moment to think about the last time you went on social media. For most of us in this digitally obsessed age, it happened just a few seconds before you navigated to this blog. Let’s face it, you were probably mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, drooling over those delicious Do-It-Yourself recipes that look so easy and yet somehow never end up turning out how you want it to. Either that or you were rolling your eyes at “that” person’s new public, political tirade over American politics.
But somewhere between the pictures from proud parents and stupidly, funny cat videos, I’m willing to bet my entire college tuition you saw an advertisement. Maybe you clicked on it, maybe you ignored it and dismissed it with a sigh, but it was there.
Advertisements are everywhere—from the intimate door of the bathroom stall to the unescapable ones that pop out of nowhere and plague your computer screen with click-bait in an attempt to lure you onto another website—and they’ve been around for forever. However, a new twist on these old, unavoidable promotions is social media.
Social media has forever changed the face of advertising. By introducing a new medium for advertising, companies are constantly taking advantage of this new way of reaching customers. Companies take a product, create an ad campaign to promote this product and post it wherever they can across all forms of social media. However, a post by a company can only go so far. Many brands struggle with creating content that will connect with a certain audience. In cases like these, many turn to celebrities.
Celebrities are perhaps the most influential group of people a person can come into contact with on a daily basis. Celebrities are stars; they set trends, they live seemingly fabulous lives, they make people want to be them. So it only makes sense that companies partner with celebrities to promote their products. Because who wouldn’t want to live like a famous person?
The Kardashian-Jenner family is a prime example of this. Their family is one of the most talked about and followed families throughout all of social media. Their fame has stemmed from a successful reality television show, making their last name a global household name. And with a social media following that includes hundreds of millions of people, companies have noticed and are willing to pay. One advertisement from the main sisters can be valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why? Because it will make the product sell.
Advertising with celebrity endorsements isn't just selling a product, it’s selling a lifestyle. The Kardashians are sponsored by travel agencies who pay them to post epic pictures on social media sites like Instagram to draw more people to vacation like a Kardashian. Private airlines, teas guaranteeing weight-loss, clothing companies are just a few companies who want the Kardashians and other celebrities to be seen using their product and promoting it through social media. Kendall Jenner’s post of JetLuxe’s plane without her even in the picture got 1.8 million likes and almost 42,000 comments—explain that!
Kylie Jenner is perhaps the most successful with using her name to promote a product, and this time it’s her own. Kylie launched “Kylie Cosmetics” less than two years ago which quickly turned into a makeup empire that has raked in over $420 million, according to Kylie’s mother, Kris Jenner. Kylie’s success with this company has come largely from promoting her products through all forms of social media. Almost daily, she posts pictures of herself or her friends wearing makeup from Kylie Cosmetics, showing her following what they could look like if they wore her products. Whenever a new product or color palette is released, Kylie’s social media again gets covered with the new product, promoting it for absolutely no cost.
Other celebrities have jumped at the chance to launch their own product line and use their name to promote it through social media. Kate Hudson did so when she founded “Fabletics,” an activewear company which she wears clothes from all of the time. Her Instagram shows her working out in these comfy, fashionable outfits and her following jumps at the opportunity to buy them.
In the next coming years, the amount of people using social media is expected to continue to grow. Thus, advertising on social media will continue to grow. Celebrities undoubtedly help push this along and assist in developing trends to show people what to buy. And no matter how you feel about seeing all of those ads in between the dog fail videos and the best friend appreciation posts, they’re not going to go away. And while they might lead you to products you might not need, that’s where your credit card has the most fun.