In the beginning there were the celebrities to support online brands with a mechanism similar to that of classic advertising. But conversion into sales was by no means guaranteed. Then came the wave of those small or large entrepreneurs, often very young, who become living testimonials of good practices, above all with regards to cosmetics, wellness and lifestyle.
In short, influencers with more or less large audiences. But which eventually turn into promoters of specific products and services, which they have tried directly. Or, at least, so they say. TikTok and Instagram are endless streams of images and videos of all kinds where everyone can find advice for their current need, from experts who end up leveraging emotion and instinct with a method based on involvement.
By exploiting these elements, the influencer ends up not only satisfying the “consulting” needs, but also inducing new needs on the basis of emotional involvement and instantaneous reaction. And the commercial needs of brands. A mechanism that is not guaranteed by the certainty of real impartiality of those who recommend the products. More than one influencer has been caught out lately, playing the trick in a hybrid land between communication and advertising.
If influencers want to tell us what to buy, now a resurgence of awareness is spreading that wants to tell us what not to buy. Or, better, if what we are led to is something that is really worthwhile and that we need. Not that it’s a brand new trend, there had already been some signs, but in this first part of the year de-influencing has become a rising wave of reaction to consumerist excesses for their own sake.
The related hashtag has exceeded 68 million views on TikTok. Thus, while more than two-thirds of marketing agencies, brands and influencers aim to increase content production, at the same time 63% wonder about the effects of the crisis. And this is precisely the lever exploited by de-influencers to induce greater attention to the economic sustainability of consumption, in addition to the environmental one. The concrete suspicion is that those who warn against buying want to exploit the same mechanism to satisfy their desire to emerge, have an audience (and be paid).