Twitter advertising: Celebrities are not online estate agents
Believe it or not, I don’t live on a boat. Incense is not tickling my nostrils as I write this. But it’s true – and as the natural composition of the world reflects, celebrity endorsement is ever-present, even in the places we hope it doesn’t quite reach.
So when advertising campaigns and sponsored slogans start penetrating such a sacrosanct place as Twitter, slyly, the latest purge in the form of Wayne Rooney no less , it does feel as if the final frontier of freedom has been breached. And within the worldly, often thoughtful forum that people circle around, most do not want to hear of a sport brand’s latest onslaught at the expense of our rusty number ten.
Twitter, although peppered with Beliebers and the like, is supposed to be a place where interesting people discuss interesting things – Grayson Perry and his wondrous tapestries; whether Ecuador is the best place for Julian Assange.
And although the ‘groupie’ tweeters, the trolls, the badgers – basically those who use Twitter simply as another Facebook-style medium – are at times annoying when they castrate the trends and knock important topics off the board, they are easily ignored. Everything can be fine.
With celebrities, people do want to pay attention and see what they have to say; sporadically, a footballer or a musician might say something exemplary.
Rio Ferdinand selling Snickers is wholly incongruous to the outlet – certainly when his Twitter usage prior to this was up there with the most worthwhile. In this case Ferdinand was not condemned by authority, because he adhered to the guidelines – but he was questioned by fans all the same. They didn’t want to see him selling in a place meant for actual conversation. He is not an estate agent.
This Kim Kardashian character has over 15 million followers; she must get paid a small house every time she filters in some kind of sponsored tweet to her disciples. It’s sad that there is not one ‘real’ place where the world’s most glamorous fall down a peg or two and simply engage as human beings with the rest of us. The whole point of level interaction seems robustly dismantled when sales slogans nestle between supposed normality.
Social media is used to advertise and you can’t get away from that. Everyone with a business to promote tweets, everyone with an exciting offering harnesses the blue bird to sing sweet melody. It would be stupid not to utilise such a tool – it’s justifiable, of course, if it’s clear what the intention is. Cyber trade is a necessity for most these days. Though partly because of this, celebrity endorsement probably won’t falter.
In a sales-driven world, a world so intrinsically sliced open by adverts, slogans and consumer fishing, it’s impossible to escape the corporate stroking without living in the woods. So while inescapable, ASA regulations are in place; the use of ‘#ad’ hash-tags or obvious codes must not be ignored. Such monitoring is needed, although it’s a shame in itself that Twitter must encompass it at all.
But while it may not be particularly hard to spot a sneaky money-maker, would it not be refreshing and dignified to appropriate for once and let Twitter stroll on unadulterated? Living in this bubble of consumption, shouldn’t we be allowed one space, one online place devoid of the selling barrage?
The chances of this are minimal, of course. So, quite simply, the least our public figures can do is respect the rules. I’m sure Rooney’s sneaky tweet didn’t fool too many – but I bet a certain sports brand profited anyway, and that’s incredibly annoying.Tagged in: advertising, justin beiber, Kim Kardashian, rio ferdinand, Social media, twitter, Wayne Rooney
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