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"Influencer marketing as we knew it not driving engagement" - Global Brands marketing chief

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Global Brands has said it will use target consumers to promote its VK RTD brand in the UK, as it looks to keep up with the changing nature of 'influencers' in its home market.

Global Brands will appoint target consumers to ambassador roles

Global Brands will appoint target consumers to ambassador roles

Earlier this month, the group launched a nation-wide search for 'student ambassadors' in an effort to reach 6m 18- to 24-year-olds in the UK market. The company's head of marketing, Jen Draper, told just-drinks that the move follows a shift in the perception of 'influencers' by Generation Z consumers.

"From A-list celebs to Instagram stars, influencer marketing as we knew it isn't driving engagement any more," Draper said. "For brands that are trying to reach a specific demographic, it's not enough to just pay the person with the biggest audience. Their interests need to be genuinely aligned with the brand proposition."

According to Draper, Generation Z consumers "want relatable and believable content from someone who is directly invested in a campaign". She described the approach as brand "advocacy".

"An advocate can be anyone from the target demographic," added Draper.  "As well as raising awareness, true advocates will draw on their own experiences to encourage others to get behind a brand."

The search for VK Student Ambassadors invites students to submit a short video, highlighting their credentials. Ambassadors will get paid up to GBP100 (US$133) per month, as well as receive concert tickets, party invitations and VK merchandise.

Draper's comments echo those made last year by Will Rowe, CEO of marketing consultancy Protein. According to a Protein report, Generation Z consumers see the influencer landscape as characterised by "monotonous and inauthentic 'paid-to-post' mechanisms".  

Why drinks companies will struggle to break Generation Z - Consumer Trends


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