Do you remember celebrity promotions for products? I guess the trend was for a company to pay a recognizable face to advertise its product. The trend changed after Joe Namath’s started advertising Beautymist pantyhose. It was a 1973 ad campaign that got everyone talking and then thinking about the veracity of people’s comments about products. The thought centered around what is commonly called today truth in advertising. How can someone endorse a product if they don’t use it?
Advertising trends changed very little since the days of Joe Namath who said he did not wear pantyhose except for advertising purposes. As a sex symbol of his time, his legs looked good in pantyhose and he suggests that if his legs can look good in pantyhose, just think how your (female viewers) legs will look. Celebrities are still active in promoting products, but nowadays they are though to be speaking from personal experience with the product or it is one in which they have a vested interest.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about influencers. Influencer marketing (also known as influence marketing) is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people, and organizations who have a purported expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. en.wikipedia.org Influencers are the new form of celebrity endorsement, which takes advantage of social media (which is huge and varied). This all makes sense except for the part about influence. Do we need it?
It would seem reasonable to presume that the biggest influences in the life of the consumer are need and finances. The consumer is the best person to know what is needed and if it is affordable. While this is true, these basics crumble before other factors: want and credit. Of course, wanting something is different than needing something and credit is different than cash purchasing. This is where influence comes in.
Need will tell me that I need a new pair of shoes and the kind that I can afford are, perhaps, so-called knock-offs or a generic shoe. Influencers push the envelope in our minds, suggesting that if you need new shoes, why not upgrade to something that you really want and if you can’t afford it, you can make easy monthly payments. Before you know it, you been influenced to buy what you don’t need and really can’t afford.
Most of us are victims of influence. Some people call it peer pressure and some refer to it as keeping up with the Joneses. In either case, the effect of influence is powerful and hard to resist. Maybe this is why we have so much stuff in our garages and so many credit card bills?