Staff Writer
Mar 30, 2018

Influencer marketing: Making brands shine

The brand spokesman is still in style, but social presence and content localisation are new hurdles for marketers looking to give a voice to their campaign.

Influencer marketing: Making brands shine

Consider the brand spokesman, a well-respected individual brought on board to bring a company’s message to life, to give it credibility, to reach out to new audiences. The traditional role of the spokesman has been reimagined with the rise of influencer marketing, and their sphere of impact in the realm of social media is of increasing importance. Nevertheless, the issues that plague campaigns featuring spokesmen are still very much the same.

It’s no secret that many big-name celebrity endorsements come with the risk of inflated numbers, but many of these ill-fated partnerships are doomed from the outset. Relevance is the key word here. Choosing an irrelevant influencer for a campaign is like draping a damp blanket over products and services. That’s not to say pop stars can’t get behind fintech, or athletes can’t promote autos, but if there isn’t a genuine applicability to their lifestyle, campaigns can suffer. Exhibit A—an easy target to be sure, but an important reminder of where not to place your influencer.

With snackable, mobile video content now reigning king, the time has never been better to give relevant, creative brand endorsements the limelight. Having access to a strong, diverse media network is a key first step in the process of finding meaningful partnerships. As we’ve learned from China’s success in the market, landing big-screen A-listers isn’t always advisable. Individuals with followings on mobile screens and social media feeds are often a better fit for bringing credence to a brand.

Colgate’s “Incredible Mouths” campaign is a prime example of this strategy in action. The work was presented by Fox Networks Group’s (FNG) content marketing arm, Content Labs, working with FNG’s National Geographic Channel and Colgate Total. The content itself took shape as four episodes in short form series, released across 23 countries and reaching 75 million households. To fit a National Geographic story right for Colgate, Labs blended the National Geographic elements of entertainment and education with Colgate Total’s brand messaging around our incredible mouths.

Featured in the series was chili chef JP Anglo, beatboxer Dharni Ng, ventriloquist Ruther Urquia, and barista and coffee connoisseur John Ryan Ting. Their reach across social platforms across the APAC region is clear, with Ng in particular making noise through YouTube, and Anglo building quite a following on Instagram. Urquia made a splash on Pilipinas Got Talent, and Ting is a Singapore National Barista champion. While the campaign presented each of their skills, it also taught the audience about the biology happening within our mouths and our brains when we taste food, beatbox, disguise our voice, and slurp coffee (yes, fine coffee is supposed to be slurped). Through this entertaining story vehicle, fans witnessed how incredible our mouths really are.

Both Fox and Colgate made good on their goal of localising for target audiences and transforming advertising into entertainment. Consumers responded well, resulting in a silver win for Best Consumer Campaign at the IPA Best of Health Awards. As long as brands stick to authenticity and entertainment, influencers will continue to be a powerful tool for moving the hearts of consumers.



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