How Millennials Get Hooked by Celebrities Who Promote Products They Don't Use Anyways
By Jamie Martelli
If you follow any A-list celebrities on Instagram, you are sure to encounter numerous advertisements for certain products and brands. These individuals are famous in their own right and have amassed a large online following, turning them into social media influencers. These influencers are not only well-followed on social media accounts such as Instagram, but due to their position and following, they may advertise products blatantly in their posts.
Such posts are oftentimes made in exchange for either a fixed payment or the product itself without charge. One company that has effectively marketed its product through celebrity Instagram endorsements is Fit Tea. This company has taken over Instagram with endorsements by the Kardashians, almost every contestant from The Bachelorette, and reality stars alike. As a result, it has a strong online presence, with 1.7 million followers on Instagram. This high number is a direct result of their use of social media influencers.
Fit Tea markets itself as a “lifestyle beverage” made from “all natural ingredients,” including garcinia cambogia extract and guarana. Garcinia cambogia extract is a weight loss supplement and appetite suppressant, and guarana is a caffeinated ingredient found in many energy drinks. The celebrities advertising this product on social media are essentially advertising weight loss.
Using their influencer market, Fit Tea is able to reach a wider audience and create a very specific target market. In 2015, 31% of all online women established an Instagram account, and approximately 55% of those were under the age of 30. Women in their teens and twenties are often the most impressionable on social media. These are the women that are more prone to have body image issues and other low self-esteem triggers. As a result, they are likely to look to celebrities portrayed as perfect in form for answers on how to attain their shape.
Fit Tea likes to use healthy, active and relatively thin women as their influencers. Although some may say that they are exploiting an individual’s low self-esteem, this practice definitely helps them sell their weight loss product. When a young girl sees somebody like Kylie Jenner, who has an Instagram following of over 93 million people, post about Fit Tea and tell her many followers that this product is what she uses to stay fit, she is more likely to want to mimic Kylie and purchase Fit Tea in an effort to have the same body as her.
It should be noted that social media influencers like Kylie Jenner do not necessarily use the product on a personal level. Thus, these posts can sometimes be misleading. Much like many other ads on Instagram, it is unclear just how reliable and safe the product is. Do the Kardashians really like the product, or do they just want the promotional money? The answer to this question and the effect it has on these influencers’ followers will not be known with certainty, but what is known is the effect that these posts can have on a product’s popularity.
There are many products similar to Fit Tea out in the market, but what Fit Tea does differently is their use of social media and celebrities. This brand has successfully utilized their social media presence to gain their huge following, for they have created a platform based on the idea that the average woman can be just as perfect as the influencers they follow if they use their product. Over the course of the next few years, more companies will probably join the bandwagon, and more posts like Fit Tea ads will be filling up your feeds.