Let me start by saying that I’m a fan of influencer marketing. When done right, it can be very effective for both advertiser and consumer. Getting it right is not easy, and we have seen some of the worst influencer marketing fails coming out recently. Each campaign received swift backlash and the companies responsible for these turkeys have quickly pulled their videos off line. As an industry we all need to learn from these mistakes. If anyone needs a reminder, here are some highlights:
Pepsi feat Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi spot has got to be the most embarrassing example of influencer marketing ever. Making light of the civil rights protests is never a good idea. Pepsi very quickly pulled the ad from rotation, but you can read Washington Post’s second by second ad breakdown. Developed by Pepsi’s internal agency Creator’s League, the tone deafness is excruciating to watch. Internet uproar quickly ensued before Pepsi issued an apology and backpedalled.
Eric Thomas said it best: “This is what happens when you don’t have enough people in leadership that reflect the cultures that you represent. Somewhere in the upper levels where this commercial was approved, one of two things happened. Either there was not enough diversity — race, gender, lifestyle, age or otherwise — or worse, there was a culture that made people uncomfortable to express how offensive this video is.”
Singapore based “instagram agency” upstart FavesAsia had to deal with a backlash of their own. Their self promoting video promised a laughably unrealistic career path for budding influencers. If brands ever need a reminder why they need to carefully vet agencies’ work, look no further than the amateur production, awful acting and painful music this video is showcasing. You can read AsiaOne’s breakdown of the just awful video spot, or watch it if you feel like having a cringe:
Fails happen far too often with instagram marketing. Scott Disick was too lazy to come up with his own caption, so he copy and pasted the whole email. Thankfully the twitterverse have preserved this moment for all of us:
In which Scott Disick copied and pasted the email from the skinny tea marketing team onto his Instagram caption pic.twitter.com/ocVdxi4jaZ
— i'm frances (@frankiegreek) May 19, 2016