May 11, 2017

"The influencer bubble will totally collapse in the next 12 months if people aren’t very careful about the money being thrown around as brands try to buy influencer placement."

Said Caroline Issa, "the fashion director and chief executive of Tank magazine and a street-style star-turned-occasional Influencer," quoted by NYT fashion & style columnist Vanessa Friedman in "The Rise and (Maybe) Fall of Influencers." Friedman continues:
Since being what used to be called a “tastemaker” became a job, and word-of-mouth tips became known as “influencer marketing,” attention has been focused largely on the risks to brands in linking up with individuals.... But while it’s easy to be distracted by the siren call of Influencer culture — Money for just being you! Free trips to sit front row at fashion shows! Global branding laying out the red carpet for your delicately pointed feet! — what the cases of Kendall et al. make clear is that there are also risks to individuals.
Kendall — Kendall Jenner — has gotten into one problem after another, taking gobs of money people want to give her. It's hard to imagine caring about her problems.

What's interesting here to me is how people who can hardly do anything get to be "influencers." What kind of a job is that? It's not easy to rack up 80+ million followers on Instagram, but once you have that, it's not surprising the marketers want to hand you money to be seen with their product. It probably makes more sense than buying ad spots on TV shows that might have something like 10 million viewers.

Speaking of influencers, Freidman claims to cringe at the word but seems to accept it because it's in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Is that an influencer dictionary? My dictionary is the Oxford English Dictionary — screw Cambridge — and it has "influencer" — meaning, duh, "One who or that which influences" — going back to 1664:
1664 H. More Modest Enq. Myst. Iniquity 473 The head and influencer of the whole Church.
Those were weightier times. The things pretty youths like Jenner are influencing us about really don't matter. We're lucky to be free to divert ourselves with the utterly inconsequential quandry, Coke or Pepsi?


Roy Jacobsen said...

I'm not sure who the bigger fools are, the people who pay attention to twits like Kendall Jenner, or the people who think that throwing gobs of money at twits like Kendall Jenner is a good idea.

BarrySanders20 said...

The things the influencers are promoting don't matter? Most of it is fashion and clothing. Has Althouse changed her (out)look?

Jupiter said...

"We're lucky to be free to divert ourselves with the utterly inconsequential quandry, Coke or Pepsi?"

But the influencer lacks that freedom. The influencer is constrained to prefer the fizzy sugar-water he is paid to prefer. And of course, the influencer is also constrained to favor homosexual marriage, affirmative action, and equal pay for the two sexes xi is constrained to pretend do not exist, and to deplore the President and his Basket of Deploreables. The latter constraints are not based on direct payment. Rather, they are the price of entry into the esteem and good graces of the Basket of Influencables, without which no direct payments will be forthcoming.

Ann Althouse said...

It doesn't matter which cola you drink or which handbag you buy. If you need or want one, and you pick one or the other, so what? Over the years, I have bought 3 Prada handbags and I've never bought any other brand of expensive handbag. Why do you think I did that? Something must have influenced me at some point. But I did need the handbags, and I like them, and I probably would have liked the alternatives I didn't even seriously consider. So that company made money from my having been influenced. I wasn't harmed by that influence, but channeling my attention to that brand, however it was done, was effective.

tcrosse said...

Peddling schmattas is a serious business, and there's no shortage of willing Fashion Victims.

robother said...

It's a sweet gig. Kendall's father would give his right nut to be half the influencer his daughter is.

Ann Althouse said...

Thinking over various fashion brands I've attached to, I believe what influenced me was a real-world store. I'm walking down the street and there's a store. I happen to go in, and something about the atmosphere and the product and perhaps the service suits my needs and taste, and after that I go back again and again and I also buy the product on line.

My #1 experience like this was Paraphernalia, back in the 1960s. Not the buying-on-line part. But what a store! And what great fashions then. So much fun.

traditionalguy said...

A Sommellier of life is great work to have.

Infinite Monkeys said...

A few more things involving influencers like that Fyre Festival fiasco will help the bubble collapse faster.

EDH said...

"What's interesting here to me is how people who can hardly do anything get to be 'influencers.' What kind of a job is that?"

Pretty Persuasion

In the light I saw
Quite a scene there

It's what I want, hurry and buy,
All has been tried, follow reason and buy,
Try wear that on your sleeve it's all wrong
Cannot put that in this heat it's all wrong, it's all wrong

He's got a pretty persuasion
She's got pretty persuasion
God damn pure confusion
She's got pretty persuasion

Sam L. said...

I am uninfluenced, having aged far past that stage in life.

Owen said...

"Quandry" should be "quandary," no?

Yours in pedantry.

Bill Peschel said...

There's a saying that half the money advertisers spend is wasted. They just don't know which half.

This is why they throw money at influencers. Unless it's something trackable, they have no idea what effect it has.

That's comforting, in a way, to realize that brand marketers are as much idiots as the rest of us. And since I stopped watching network TV decades ago, my life has been much happier (as I'm reminded whenever I visit the in-laws and their set).

Jason said...

I am easily influenced. If libtard screaming campus dumpster babies and their enablers start boycotting a company, or attempt to sue or shame them into bankruptcy, I very quickly become favorably disposed to that brand and will go out of my way to walk past picketing libtards to go inside and do business.

Darrell said...

I have the best clothes you can buy for $10 or less.

John Tuffnell said...

Paraphernalia Boutiques 60s/Featuring Head Designer BJ

rehajm said...

People who influence without a talent what begat fame. Incredible pioneers.

Christy said...

Connie Willis has an interesting take on influencers in her novel Bellwether. She looks at fads, where they come from, when they go, and throws a little chaos theory in for fun.

My Gucci brand loyalty disappeared the instant I accidentally flushed my Gucci watch down the toilet. I'm a Timex gal now.

Martin said...

On the subject of influencers, I quote the timeless words of the great Lou Costello, "I Don't Know, and I Don't Give a Darn."

Which prompted Bud Abbott's immortal response: "He's our shortstop."

Back when celebrities kept their idiot opinions to themselves and just tried to entertain us.

rsbsail said...

I suspect that when the next crisis occurs (and I mean a real crisis such as WWII) today's influencers won't have much influence. Because when it comes to life and death, who gives a rats ass about what an influencer is wearing, or how big their ass is?

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0_0 said...

Coke or Pepsi is NOT "inconsequential" :)