Celebrity Endorsements on Instagram
Instagram is a great place to not only release sponsored ads for a brands product but have celebrities with large followings endorse the product too.
Instagram- celebrity endorsements:
Celebrities are paid, sometimes extortionately high amounts, to pose with a product. Some reports suggest that celebrities with a large following, such as Scott Disick (former partner to Kourtney Kardashian and reality TV star) can receive up to $20,000 per post.
The better known a celebrity is, the more you are likely to pay them to promote your product.
Celebrity endorsements- a hidden advertisement:
Instagram is primarily used by celebrities and ‘normal’ people alike to post an insight into their daily lives. When you follow a celebrity on Instagram you are given these insights into their lives whilst also viewing sponsored ads, sometimes unknowingly. These ads can be hidden between a casual selfie and a picture of a close family relative, for example. The product is shown so casually among genuine photographs that the ad isn’t as ‘in your face’ as, say, a sponsored advert on the same platform.
Instagram- The guidelines and law:
The guidelines and law surrounding celebrity endorsed products is clear: it must be very noticeable that what the viewers are seeing is in fact an ad.
Last year many celebrities including, and most notably, the Kardashian and Jenner family received a warning due to breaching the law when it came to their sponsored advertisements. In the Kardashian's case they were given one week to amend over 100 posts that breach Instagram’s guidelines, if this was not completed the family would have faced a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint. This is because on many posts they don’t clearly state that they are being paid to promote various products.
Shortly after this warning Kim Kardashian posted a photo alongside Sugar Bear hair vitamins with the description including #ad.
Did this have an effect on the brands ROI?
The point of celebrity endorsement is exposure- however when seeing something clearly as an ad, it does question whether the product is actually worth the hype around it. It's hard to estimate what effect this had, as although it was not marked clearly as an ad, it's usually easy to assume a celebrity has been endorsed when they show certain products.
Are celebrity endorsements worth the money?
Ultimately, it depends on the market and the product if celebrity endorsements are worth the investment. If it’s a fitness supplement, having a well-known and respected fitness instructor with a large following endorse and promote the product is going to result in sales. Equally, if the product is, say, lip gloss, having a well-loved beauty blogger such as ‘zoella’ endorse the product is also going to result in sales.
How many sales a brand can achieve through celebrity endorsement is hard to estimate and advertisers can’t always ensure a good ROI. However, the brand exposure is incredible. You don't have to be following a certain celebrity to see sponsored ads from them. Through the Instagram discover feed, popular posts and posts from accounts your friends follow appear.
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