Social Media

Celebrity branding is a marketing strategy that has been utilized for centuries and has become standard practice as brands look to broaden their audiences. The tactic was first documented in the 18th century when pottery maker Josiah Wedgwood created a tea set for the Queen of England and dubbed himself “potter to Her Majesty.” Celebrity endorsements by athletes followed, then movies stars and musicians – think Michael Jordan for Nike and Beyonce for Pepsi. Today, social media has changed the endorsement game by increasing the reach of these traditional celebrities and spurring the rise of a new generation of famous people – and animals – with built in audiences that marketers are primed to target through endorsements.

As our society’s social media usage grows, the power the medium holds to persuade the population grows in kind. This is evidenced in the role that Facebook and Twitter play in politics and social movements and the money that brands and news organizations have invested in creating a strong presence on these platforms. President Trump regularly utilizes Twitter to voice his policy and opinion, most recently responding to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear threat by tweet. Social movements have thrived on social media, rallying followers with Facebook groups and hashtags. New York Times writer Amy Chozick suggests in her recent article “Hillary Clinton Ignited a Feminist Movement. By Losing.” that national feminist movement #MeToo was ignited, in part, by the poor treatment of Hillary Clinton on Facebook during the 2016 presidential race. Brands have flocked to Facebook and Twitter because that’s where consumers are spending their time and advertising agencies have developed marketing campaigns around engaging those audiences through Facebook.