Daily Insights

This Brand Is Flipping the Influencer Script

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Mar 28, 2019

Influencer integrity has been the subject of heavy speculation lately, but Benefit Cosmetics wants to flip the script.

The beauty brand rallied five of its most famous ambassadors, or “Cheekleaders”, to bring good to those most deserving. In this case, each influencer surprised their favorite teacher with $15,000 apiece, and viewers witnessed the presentations across several social media channels.

As consumers increasingly expect brands to stand for something, they’re more wary of such publicized stunts. In Benefit’s case, the activation was played out for over 25 million followers and subscribers across the ambassador’s respective social channels, Benefit’s Instagram, and via IGTV’s new double-live feature. That said, it makes sense that the campaign caught the attention of nearly 560,000 views (a 1700% increase from average views) and 875 comments during the live feature.

But one key move may have kept the brand’s audience from clicking out: deciding to do without the usually recommended swipe-up-to-buy feature in any of its Instagram postings. Benefit is one of the most active brands on Instagram Stories and frequently links Stories to opportunities for commerce according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty. As such, the decision to eliminate it for this particular campaign, the move appears even more deliberate and well-intended.

Though cutting out a call-to-action like swipe-up-to-buy may seem counterintuitive, Benefit’s latest move demonstrates just the opposite. For brands looking to enhance their natural authenticity without caking on the commerce, cutting out a call-to-action like swipe-up-to-buy could be the key.