New breed of advertising: M&C Saatchi launch new biz for social influencers

Advertisers are shifting their budgets from traditional adverts to campaigns featuring social influencers who better target audiences aged 18 to 35 years old. Once upon a time, there was real appeal behind following regular people on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They were neither famous, nor super glossy and yet we read their blogs, bought their clothes and booked their holidays. In a blink of an eye, these ordinary people cavorting online became social media influencers and now the advertising big boys want to cash in.

‘Social influencers have moved into the mainstream and the term is now added to the lexicon of marketing campaigns. We can’t ignore that,’ says Richard Thompson, chairman at M&C Saatchi Merlin, the ad agency’s sister talent management shop. Thompson’s creative talent management agency is launching a new division representing and managing the careers of social influencers. The agency will help the social influencer clients create new content but, as Thompson knows well, this must look as though they have created the content themselves. They will first launch these three influencers:

1. Seen Through Glass, an automotive lifestyle vlog run by Sam Fane. He travels the world filming luxury cars, has worked with Michelin and Shell; and has 261,000 subscribers on YouTube.

2. LDN Muscle, fitness social influencers – the brothers Tom and James Exton and Max and Lloyd Bridger live in West London. The personal trainers have 330,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

3. A Style Album, a daily updated fashion and lifestyle blog set up by friends Louise Redknapp and Emma Thatcher. They have more than 70,000 Instagram followers.

‘In today’s world, social influencers are more than just a channel, they are a business and have the ability to reach new audiences that brands can’t,’ says Thompson. ‘We are looking forward to helping them on this journey and continuing to grow in this sector.’

Photograph courtesy of A Style Album

June 2017