13 November 2018
What started as an influencer marketing campaign designed to create desirability around Snap’s new glasses, has turned into a rather dreadful PR spectacle.
ICYMI, Luke Sabbat, a social media ‘influencer’ with 1.4 million Instagram followers, is being sued for failure, to well, influence. PR Consulting (Snap inc’s agency) has filed a lawsuit against Sabbat who was paid silly money to create a series of social posts promoting Snap’s new spectacles. Having not fulfilled his duties on Instagram (yes, Instagram, the social network currently eating Snap’s lunch), PR consulting are asking for $45,000 (the amount of dosh they’ve already handed over) alongside another $45,000 in damages.
Before I get into why this entire campaign is nothing short of a complete moronathon, I have to point out that influencers who are happy to take money from brands should absolutely be held accountable when they don’t deliver.
Let’s have a look at what went wrong (which, by the way is all of it).
Firstly, I’d love to know the influencer selection process PR Consulting underwent. Sabbat is an actor SLASH model (tick) with over 1 million Instagram followers (tick) who was recently spotted with a Kardashian (tick). Nonetheless, I have no idea if he was a suitably authentic advocate and if his audience marries well with that of Snap’s target demographic for the new spectacles.
Secondly, the campaign platform of choice was Instagram. Now if this was executed subtlety and with any degree of finesse, they may have got away with it, but because of the shit storm that has subsequently ensued, the activation looks incredibly desperate given Instagram is the no.1 reason Snap is going down the pan.
Thirdly, when contracting Sabbat, why on earth was he paid 75% of the total fee upfront? PR consulting have had to learn a difficult lesson on the importance of phased payment terms.
Lastly, the lawsuit in itself has created the worst possible PR for Snap, Snap’s new shades, PR Consulting and the world influencer marketing. The whole debacle has brought unwanted attention to the murky backstage goings on of influencer paid-for-promotion. I believe authenticity to be the key ingredient key in a successful influencer campaign, yet I’ve seen more authenticity in a plastic surgery waiting room.
So in summary, if you want a blow-by-blow account of how NOT to run an influencer marketing campaign you don’t need to look any further. Whatever desirability Snap hoped the glasses would generate has now been diminished, alongside Sabbat’s name on agency’s influencer target lists.