A recent episode of 60 Minutes featured a segment called “The Influencers,” which highlighted just how influencer marketing works. They spoke with social media stars like Kim Kardashian, Logan Paul, and Andrew Bachelor about what they post, how advertising works, and the kind of money they’re making.
Logan Paul, a YouTuber with more than 43 million views on his slapstick videos, has done ads for Cheerios and Dunkin Donuts. The Dunkin Donuts ad was made in the style of Paul’s other videos, which are off the cuff and silly. After it was posted, it was viewed more than seven million times, and he received $200,000 for it.
Advertisers are attracted to Paul and other influencers not only because they have large audiences, but also because they give them access to millennials, a coveted demographic with a lot of spending power. “When Logan does a branded campaign, you can see how many millions of people have watched it, where they’ve watched it, what age they are and their demo,” said Paul Cazers, Paul’s agent at Creative Artists Agency.
Paul has been so successful at this that during an on-the-street interview with the 60 Minutes reporter, he was stopped by people from all the around the world to take a picture. He’s also been on the cover of Ad Week. “I speak the language of millennials and they respond well to my content,” said Paul.
Since social media is so new, and advertisers can’t always measure shares or word of mouth, it can be difficult to put a price tag on the value of these influencers. “To be honest, I’m worth three times the amount I’m getting paid,” said Paul.
Zach King, an illusionist with nearly 54 million views, and Amanda Cerny, a model and comedian with more than 33 million views, are influencers in the advertising world as well. Vine celebrity Andrew Bachelor, aka King Bach, has 16.2 million followers and gets paid for product placement in his clips. He wore a Jimmy John’s shirt in a few of his videos and made more than $300,000.
The segment included Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia, which connects influencers with brands. In the clip, he was advising Hulk Hogan on how he needed to find the right cadence and not make it seem like he was just doing PR all the time.
The Federal Trade Commission is taken notice and is coming down on influencers now. The FTC requires them to make it clear when videos, pictures or anything else they’re posting actually ads.
Though they now have to answer to the government for what they’re doing, influencers are going to continue to have a big impact on the advertising industry.
“They’re the new rock stars with a bigger audience than old Hollywood ever had a chance to access,” said Cazers. “When they take a video or a picture and push a button on their phone, [it’s] immediately disseminated to millions of people across the planet. That level of access is unprecedented.”