Celebrities and Instagram: When the flash turns into cash

With their Smartphone as work tool, a lot of professional instagramers turns their pictures into their earnings. How do they do it? By mastering filters, hashtags and by having a huge fanbase. These new and connected ambassadors appeal to the brands. Is it a good way for advertising and brand building to use those famous accounts?

Instagram, the picture related social network, purchased by Facebook in 2012, claims to have 300 millions of active users, 30 billion of pictures and 2.5 billion “like” per day. These numbers are obviously attractive for companies, willing to express to a wider audience, through publicity based on image and seduction. It has quickly seduced brands willing to win in visibility and increase their notoriety. From Nike, Etam, Air France, make up or clothes brands, all types of trademark turns toward popular users on the network.

Some of the famous individuals on Instagram do not hesitate to sponsor their content with brands in order to make money through their popularity. For the influential account owners, this social network has became a business with important sum of money at stake, but it is also sometimes taboo. According to the celebrity, the brand, the number of pictures and the nature of the message, an Instagram picture would be paid between several hundred and thousand Euros, usually around 1,000 or 2,000 €. In addition to that, gifts are regularly made: phone, travels, make-up products… But these instagramers often forget to inform to their followers that their content is publicity.


Danielle Bernstein is a 22 year old New Yorker who shares her favorite things on her Instagram account We Wore What. Not long ago she decided to share to her reader the prices she males when she does that kind of brand promotion. She said she used to charge between 4 500€ and 13 650€ each content she does for a brand, depending on the number of posts or the relation with the brand.


As the influent accounts don’t always indicate that it is a promotion post, I find it tricky and manipulative to use it to build your brand image. The consumer don’t always know he is being subject to publicity, and if the subscriber is a fan of someone, this consumer will want to buy anything that celebrities praise on their account. Persuading consumers with half-truth and techniques using influence on consumer behavior, appears as manipulation and not as a good way to do brand building.




Followership and Social Media Marketing, Carlson Ashley & Lee C. Christopher, Academy of Marketing Studies Journal. 2015, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p80-101. 22p.

The Right of Publicity and Social Media: a Challenging Collision, Tune Cydney & Levine Lori, Licensing Journal. Jun/Jul2015, Vol. 35 Issue 6, p13-18. 6p.





This entry was posted in Branding in social media, Target marketing, Trends. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Celebrities and Instagram: When the flash turns into cash

  1. limitlessdani says:

    It’s a thin line, having an ambassador for your brand leaves you vulnerable for the ambassadors mistakes, we have seen when it goes bad before (Tiger woods with Nike, Manny Pacquiao with Nike)

  2. bolainguec says:

    Very interesting article about how to create a brand and to make publicity about it ! As for me, this kind of practice is a drift. Instagramer are lying to the customers….

  3. elsangashi says:

    Instagram has become one of the most powerful marketing tools in social media. I think it is smart for companies to invest in bloggers and instagrammers, since they have millions of followers and from a company’s perspective; a huge spread of potential customers all over the world.

  4. meganeurvoy says:

    People on social media do not realize how much product placement there is on social media. It is becoming more and more popular and it is an easy way to target and influence customers. I agree that it is a smart move for companies, however is it always ethic?

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