Celebrity Endorsements- The Misuse of Social Media

The rise of social media, has pumped celebrity obsession to new heights because of a perceived connection fans feel toward their idols. This has enhanced the value of celebrity endorsement and thus, provided a more lucrative avenue for marketers. But what happens when fans are blind sighted by obsession and purchase into product scams?

With over 88 million Instagram followers, Kylie Jenner is a powerful social media influence, charging around $300,000 per endorsement. This was paid by Fit Tea, and in return she promoted their wraps on Instagram, fetching over 1.4 million likes.

kyliejennerwearingfitteawrapKylie Jenner promoting Fit Tea Wraps. Source: Instagram 2017

“Fit Tea Wraps are a natural, non-GMO way to improve problem areas. Our wraps are infused with our Body Defining Gel Formula: a botanical blend of Cocoa, Seaweed, Green Tea and Hawthorn Berry extracts proven to tighten, firm, and improve overall skin texture”.
Source: Fit Tea 2017

However, not only is this product unapproved by the Federal Drug Administration, there is no science to demonstrate it would improve any “problem areas”.  But various customers were conned learnt the hard way.

amazon bad reviewsReviews of the Fit Tea Wraps. Source: Amazon 2017

Consumers possess varying levels of emotional attachment to celebrities from mild curiosity to worship. No longer do they solely provide entertainment, they compel behaviour and purchase decisions. Primarily, celebrity endorsements through social media are targeted to gen y, as it is they who are most heavily influenced into emulation.

Is it fair that consumers are being lured into purchasing products with no true value? Is Jenner at fault? Or Fit Tea? Or is this simply a lesson for all youth to not be so naïve and trusting?

Contribute to the sound of digital marketing and comment below with your thoughts

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13 thoughts on “Celebrity Endorsements- The Misuse of Social Media

  1. Super interesting piece – I’ve always wondered why celebrity endorsed posts made me buy products with more impulse and less thought. Much to my embarrassment, I actually ended up buying one of Kylie Jenner’s waist trainers back in the day and similar to the Fit Tea Wraps – it had no effect on me whatsoever! I was extremely disappointed to say the least. But to answer your question, I don’t think consumers are being lured into buying faulty products. Growing up with the internet, millennials are well-aware of the growing marketplace on social media platforms and are in fact going to these sites for product advice instead of relying on traditional forms such as newspapers, TV, etc. Therefore if a useless product is endorsed like in this case, consumers still have the option to look up reviews before buying which will always give them an accurate and genuine description on the value of the product. So yes, this is a lesson for millennials not to be brainwashed and engulfed in the celebrity lifestyle!!!

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    1. Where would I be without reviews! Reviews are a God sent! Yes people definitely need to start doing that! Hopefully now they have maybe learnt. Or not because they are so obsessed with certain celebrities they don’t care. Hmmm. Don’t know!

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  2. Nice! Fame and status attached to an offering does increase the value of an offering, I think in this day and age of instant gratification and emotional stimulation, I would capitalize on the paradigm to make money or associate my brand with a certain celebrity to gain more brand reach and awareness, which I think the world’s leading brands are doing. Starbucks, apple and Gucci are just some examples of companies which have increase the price of their brand to make millions in profit.

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    1. It is definitely what most brands are doing that’s for sure! And yes exactly, emotional stimulation definitely influences that. Some people actually have celebrity worship disorder. It’s a thing! They feel that attached to a celebrity they are almost their God. It’s a bit worrying. Then comes ethics.. Is that ethical?

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      1. Thanks for bringing ethics up; its a different topic altogether, definitely one to consider but in my opinion, impossible to regulate, since each hold their own values, and regulating that might be un-ethical in itself.

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  3. With the mass outreach and influence of social media, consumers are exposed to various products endorsed by various celebrities every single day. And it is kinda frustrating that some of these products merely make use of the placebo effect, in letting consumers believe that these products work due to the endorsements of their celebrity idols even when these products have no effect whatsoever. Although it can be said that celebrities owe a kind of responsibility to their fans in ensuring that whatever products they endorse are trustworthy and actually works, I feel that consumers should be more savvy regarding the products they buy and should not purchase products just because their celebrity idols are endorsing them. Ultimately, we are all capable of making informed purchase decisions especially with the internet and its expansive databases at our disposal.

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    1. Very true. They do somewhat owe a ‘duty of care’. And yes exactly we can sit here as logical people and see that a sticker would have no impact. We wouldn’t need to waste money to learn that. However some people aren’t as logical/smart as that. And some people are so utterly obsessed/infatuated that it isn’t fair to exploit them. I think anyway.

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  4. This is really interesting and you don’t realise how much celebrities affect what you buy, and also how much they can’t be trusted. For example the Kardashians – a lot of what they make comes from these endorsements. I think youth need to not be so trusting towards these celebrities just because they say they use it doesn’t mean it works so people definitely need to do their research when it comes to things like these.

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  5. Yeah some people are very naive!
    The Kardashians are definitely a big example! I remember reading that the Kardashians earn something like 1/3 or a 1/4 of their salaries from social media endorsements!

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    1. Unfortunately no I don’t think she has lost any integrity. Which annoys me, she’s exploiting her fans for money and people don’t seem to care! I definitely think brands should continue to use her to promote. She has such a huge following on a multitude of platforms. So regardless of whether the minority may not trust her, what still remains is the brand awareness gained by using her to endorse.

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