Published: 27th June 2021
Welcome to Reason: Could influencers be blackmailers too? The debate is on
The rise of social media has helped people increase their outreach to a global audience. Influencers can also be typical individuals who post their interest
Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire teammates and customers
-Robin S Sharma (b.1964), a Canadian writer, best known for the The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series
There was a time when advertising was a dominant tool to make people buy goods and services. It is best explained in Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders, about media manipulation in the 1950s. First published in 1957, Packard explored advertisers’ use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including depth and subliminal tactics, to manipulate expectations and induce desire for products. He identified eight ‘compelling needs’ that advertisers promise that their products will fulfil (emotional security, reassurance of worth, ego gratification, creative outlets and immortality). Advertising is still going strong.
But a new breed of ‘persuaders’ have come on to the scene. The internet celebrity — also known as social media influencer — has acquired or developed their fame through the internet. The rise of social media has helped people increase their outreach to a global audience. Influencers can also be typical individuals who post their interest. Today, the most popular influencers are found on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. Internet celebrities may be recruited by companies for influencer marketing to advertise products to their fans and followers on their platforms.
Internet celebrities often function as lifestyle gurus who promote a particular lifestyle or attitude. In this role, they are crucial influencers or multipliers of trends in genres including fashion, beauty and entertainment. Now, the domain of influencers is also extended to politics. As The New Indian Express reported on June 17, the BJP is inducting social influencers in Punjab to broaden its base ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections. The party has already welcomed six Sikh faces into its fold.
On June 15, Cristiano Ronaldo, the global football legend, at a press conference, openly shunned and pushed aside two Coca-Cola bottles as if to tell people to drink water as he placed a water bottle on the table to replace the drinks. The American soft drink giant’s market capitalisation crashed by $4 billion after this. What will happen to the brand in the long run is a matter of conjecture now. But a new angle to the influencer phenomenon has come to the surface. Will it mess up the scene?