Welcome to Negronis with Nord. In today’s episode, we answer, will brands cast more influencers or celebrities in 2023 Superbowl Ads? James also dives into the infamous Tarte x Dubai trip, the beauty industry's financial impact, and how influencers SHOULD be integrated into Superbowl campaigns. You can submit your questions for future episodes here.
Below is a transcript of the full episode for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes.
James: Welcome, Negronis with Nord. Episode 46, dry January edition. Number three.
We have one week left of what obviously has become damp January for me. But we are continuing to film with the Midwestern phenonemon that is LaCroix. I only drink lemon LaCroix lime's. An acceptable substitute in a crunch or just plain, but everything else is honestly total trash. We were just talking about lemon cello, which is like awful, and it's like really isn't weird. Water can be slimy. My fiance always says that Dasani is also slimy. You know, I think what they get right is the, the carbonation level is ******* perfect. It is the perfect amount of carbonation, very hard to replicate. Anyway, that's my LaCroix rant over. We'll be back to Negronis here in the next couple of weeks.
James: I wanna talk at the top of this, about this Tarte trip. I saw the like barstool video going around that was kind of breaking down the costs of this trip, and they were like, this is so crazy.
They're spending $20,000 for a flight and they're putting 'em in these suites and they're going to Dubai. And I, I saw a few people in influencer marketing talking about this being like, yeah, this is a good breakdown of the cost of this trip. Like it's, that's kind of crazy. If you don't think that they had a deal with Emirates and the Ritz Carlton to be giving these people deals, like, how ******* daft are you? Obviously they're not pulling, paying full price for that. They had huge influencers coming. They were either free or they got a enormous deal on those things.
Also, Dubai generally just paid ******* Beyonce, what, $20 million, 32 million. What was it? Paid Beyonce, 30 million to sing like five songs. Like I am sure Dubai was involved in this and helping to probably offset some of the cost of that. All of that aside, I also don't think that people fully understand how much money some companies are making Tart's a private company, so we actually can't really know what they make or what their costs are for public companies.
You can, but, you know, estimates out there around a hundred, 120 million. Let's say they're making 120 million that's what they made last year. They have 700 employees on LinkedIn. So let's say the average salary is $75,000. That nets out to about 50 million. So you still have $22 million of pure profit. Well, now you've got an office and you've got things like that. But let's say you're at, you know, 15 million on the low end of profit spending half a million dollars, even if they spend half a million, even if they spent a million dollars on a trip, is like not wildly unreasonable. Also Tarte was the number two best, had the number two best selling like affiliate product all of last year. So obviously influencer is working incredibly well for them. So why wouldn't they invest more in this stuff? I'm just gonna say because the, the initial video that I think stirred up some of this controversy that I saw came from someone that worked at Bar Stool.
I assume it has to do with sexism, and I assume it has to do with that degenerate freaking organization that I hate. And Dave Portnoy can fall off Cliff and take his terrible, cheap, horrible watches and just go away into a hole and never come back. Amen. Amen. Thank you Dave Portnoy we hate you outside of all of that.
I do think, you know, beauty is a wildly profitable industry. It is why they spend so much. It's why beauty is one of the biggest drivers in the influencer space. Not only because those products are, are generally under a hundred dollars. They are something that you can kind of impulse buy in a way that you can't close or other things. But also the margins are just ******* great. They make an incredible amount of money. I would say 60% on the low end fragrance is like 90%, right?
I mean, they're selling water for like $200. It's, it's the best business in the world. It's absolutely incredible. But things like beauty, you know, those things are not recession proof, but they are a little more resilient. Those are things that ultimately, you know, even when money is tight, you feel like, you know, going to Sephora, buying a few things, it feels good. It gives you that little hit of, of endorphins, but also it's something you're wearing every day, and so you're willing to invest in it. Beauty being such a driver of our business and of the influencer space in general, it gives us a little resiliency, even if there is a bit of a turndown.
James: Speaking of spending a lot of money on advertising super Bowl season is coming up, the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl of advertising, right? I mean, it is where an enormous amount of money is spent.
It is also tied up in, you know, I think there are, this is where you win awards. This is where you make your name as a CMO or as an agency leader. So there are a lot of factors outside of the pure performance of these ads. If it was just about the performance of these ads, they, they, it would not be as big of a deal because they don't perform incredibly well. It's about everything else that's kind of wrapped up in it. And honestly, it's kind of crazy to put an influencer in an ad.
Influencers aren't actors. I think often the press is, is so quick to try and, and take one thing and compare it to everything else, but influencer is just its own thing. And the fact that sports stars and TV stars and musicians end up in commercials at a higher rate than influencers currently are, doesn't mean that influencers aren't reaching some, you know, some level of celebrity where they can be put in these ads.
They absolutely are. The nature of what they do is so different than what a celebrity does or what an actor certainly does that it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to put them in the ad. They're not actors. Acting is hard. I have done hundreds of episodes of this show. I feel super comfortable sitting here and talking to y'all, talking about influencer marketing. If you handed me a script and had me read something and I had to like act it out, I, I mean one, I I would, I would be mortified being able to speak to somebody, being able to be your authentic self and be fun and engaging. Even if you look at an Alix Earle who, you know, I think she's, she's super engaging and she's down to earth and she's funny and she seems fun and, and she's just being herself.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to like have an influencer commercial where the person is like holding up a phone and pretending to be an influencer. I think they've tried a little bit of that, but like, it's just a little cringe.
James: We need to resist the urge to try and take something and put it into some other bucket or, you know, compare it to something else and try and, and poke holes in it and talk about why it's, it's not important. I do think that is, you know, there still is this simmering resentment in the mainstream media and traditional press around influencer. I think a lot of people in the press don't see what they do as legitimate. They certainly don't see it as hard or interesting. There is resentment because so much attention has been taken away from, from mainstream media and is being cons is being kind of absorbed by influencers.
And that means, you know, what do we say all the time in the show? Advertising follows attention, right? And so how are newspapers supported? Advertising, you know, how are magazines supported advertising if influencers are, you know, taking the attention and thus the ad dollars away from your livelihood. Yeah, you're, you're probably not super keen to like write glowing articles about how much you ******* love them and how you think this is such an interesting thing and it's so much better than you know, the way the world used to work. Of course, you're not gonna write that article. Nobody would, y'all in this industry, you understand that, you know what's going on. And there's that, there's actually this interesting phenomenon that I don't remember the name of it exactly, but basically it says, you know, if you understand something deeply, right? Like if I read an article about influencer marketing, I read it and I'm like, huh.
They are willfully misrepresenting what's happening and not understanding this industry completely, right? You know that because you are deeply involved in the industry and of course a reporter that hasn't been doing this for 10 years may not understand what's happening as much as I do, who has dedicated my adult life to this industry. The phenomenon is that like we can understand that about our own industries, but then when we go and read something about s another industry, we don't bring that same level of skepticism and scrutiny to it. This has absolutely nothing to do with the show, but is an interesting phenomenon.
As you, you know, start to understand sometimes what the power dynamics are, and especially inside of advertising, how everybody is fighting for these eyeballs and how valuable these eyeballs are, and then how certain things are being portrayed in the mainstream media, which does a huge amount to set the tone of how people generally perceive what is going on in the world.
Again, it makes sense that there hasn't been a huge celebration around influencers. It is generally skepticism dismissal and outright anger. It has been going on for 15 years. It's pretty boring. But I imagine it will continue in perpetuity. There are good actors in the space, you know, there are people like, you know, Taylor Lorenz who's been on the show, who has been on this beat for years and doing a lot to bring awareness and legitimacy and, and support to what's going on in the influencer world with Phoebe Bain, who is on who's been covering this beat. Ultimately just how I think influencers should be integrated into the Super Bowl and something that we have been pushing with our brands for some time and honestly it hasn't worked yet. Nobody's like really caught onto it yet. People have dabbled in this, but like ultimately influencers should be there to fan out and scale that message and take whatever the campaign message is that you are trying to portray in your ad and bring it into social and put their view on it, put their spin on it.
James: You know, I think one of the difficulties in this, this shift that we've talked about before, from creatives to creators, right? That like a creative director and an agency comes up with an idea for an ad and they're like, boom, this is how to, how to do it. They have trouble then handing over that creative control to influencers. They, they want to be really prescriptive about what you should do. That doesn't really work. But the more branch who are running Super Bowl ads absolutely should be getting influencers to take that concept and to bring it to life on social. We'll be, we'll be kind of tracking if that is happening this year. Unfortunately we're not working on any of those campaigns, but I think we will over time start to see more and more of that, of as, you know, as TV viewership potentially goes down, you know, what are we doing to kind of capture this moment and, and while much of the country is still watching this game and they're on their phones, if they're bored in the commercial breaks, whatever it might be, you know, what are influencers doing to kind of bring those campaigns to life in social?
Unfortunately I think what we will see is a lot of ad buys where brands are just running those ads in your feeds. They're really proud of the creative. They paid a lot of money for it, so they're less likely to use influencers in that time because they've spent so much money to create, to create these ads. They need to get the most use out of them.
Cheers, and thanks for watching.
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