Big Businesses Discover A New Class Of Creative Influencers

By Alison Lukin


Type the words “the most expensive commercial ever made” into a Google search and prepare for your mind to be blown. Most of them feature high-end celebrities like Nicole Kidman, who was paid a reported $3 million dollars to appear in a Chanel ad. A British insurance company paid upwards of $13 million for celebs like Ringo Starr and Bruce Willis.

While they were power players in the past, their social presence today, for the most part, is dismal. Take Ringo Starr, for example. He has 1.9M followers on Facebook and a mere 589K on Twitter. Nicole Kidman isn’t even on Twitter, but her Facebook does boast an impressive 10M followers. Now Bruce Willis should be ashamed of himself. He’s not on Facebook, and he allegedly just began posting on Twitter as @realbrunowillis and has a measly 1.7K followers.

What does all this mean for advertisers? A heck of a lot! It means that while these celebrities were huge influencers in the past, most of them are costing advertisers HUGE money and offer nothing when it comes to consumer interaction. The payout just doesn’t add up.

As the great Bob Dylan once sang, “Times They Are A Changin’” (by the way, Bob Dylan has a whopping 6.5 million followers on Facebook. You Go Bob!)


Finally, companies are getting creative. “Influencer Creative” to be exact. Big businesses are going about selecting “influencers” in marketing campaigns in new and “creative” ways. (See what we did there?;)

To be more exact, companies are getting smart about who actually has the most influence with their customers and it’s not the same Breakfast Club as it was 10 years ago.

Online personalities like beauty guru Michelle Phan currently has over 7 million subscribers and over 1 BILLION views on YouTube, which led to major endorsements with companies like Lancome and Target. Comedian Jenna Marbles who has over 14 million subscribers and more than 1.6 BILLION views on YouTube also has more friends on Instagram than Oprah.

With numbers like these, businesses can’t help but sit up and take notice. These “new” celebrities surely don’t hold a Nicole Kidman price tag and come with a reach and level of engagement that is unparalleled. Not only do people follow them in droves, but also their followers want to be and do exactly as their favorite web celebs are.

Not only is their personal style being copied, but their style of filming as well. They do have a unique feel that is significantly different than the productions of the past. In a word, they’re simply LOW BUDGET. And people love it! So why not give ‘em what they want?

Big businesses are doing just that. Low budget, simply filmed ads starring these every day folks that have more influence and reach than you’d ever image. Even companies with the largest budgets are going “snack-sized” created six-second Vine ads that are going viral to meet the ever-shortening attention span of the masses.

Dunkin’ Donuts has been a pioneer touting great success with their mini-ads:


HP, who goes slightly higher budget in their latest ads, features a ton of latest and greatest internet celebs to create their buzz: [youtube]

And lastly, the candy Airheads is doing a brilliant job with attention grabbing ads that are hilarious, and look like they were filmed on somebody’s iPhone: [youtube]

YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, you name it, and companies are using it to reach their customers. Finally big companies are taking notice that it doesn’t take the big-budget-mega-star -filled productions of the past to reach a large audience. In fact, the tide is turning in exactly the opposite direction. Apparently nowadays people would much rather see just an average Joe and an iPhone keepin’ it real.