Influencer Marketing: How Brands Harness Celebrities on Social Media

marketing de influencers

Last update: 05/07/2024, 10:38 am

Content supervised by Claudio Heilborn

In 2009, American host Oprah Winfrey began promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken’s famous fried chicken. A simple mention caused a massive spike in KFC sales that day, showcasing Oprah’s influence. Something similar happened with Ellen DeGeneres five years later when, during the 2014 Oscars, she took an epic selfie with several celebrities using a Samsung Galaxy phone. This spontaneous moment became one of the most retweeted tweets in history and provided massive publicity for Samsung. The photo garnered 3,420,000 likes on Twitter.

These seemingly innocuous events significantly changed the world of digital marketing and how brands engage with influencers and celebrities, giving rise to what is known as influencer marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?

From Oprah Winfrey mentioning her love for fried chicken to Ellen DeGeneres’ epic selfie, the impact of influencers on social media has proven to be a powerful tool for brands. This phenomenon, known as influencer marketing, has evolved significantly in recent years.

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which brands collaborate (directly or indirectly) with influential individuals on social media to promote products, services, or initiatives.

Therefore, in today’s marketing world, the power of celebrity influence on social media cannot and should not be underestimated. Recently, some notable events involved celebrities mentioning Argentine brands:

On Thursday, singer Britney Spears (do we even need to clarify who Britney is, bitch?) posted a photo on Instagram enjoying Norton wine in the pool of what is surely her super mansion. The image quickly caught the attention of Norton’s social media managers, who reposted it with a more than eloquent caption: “oops, we did it again!”, a clear nod, not without assuming risks, to Britney’s famous song. 🤔

Ejemplo de marketing de influencers
Britney Spears’ Instagram post

On the other hand, Ryan Gosling (Ken in the Barbie movie) asked an Argentine journalist if Freddo ice cream still existed – “I love it, it’s delicious!” said the actor. Just like Norton did, Freddo wasted no time in boasting about such a mention.

A few months ago, when Taylor Swift performed in Argentina, a casual event drew attention to a chemical toilet brand🚽: when the blonde finished her first concert, she left the stage so happily that she hugged and kissed Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, officially announcing their relationship to thousands of fans and cameras. In many of those photos, they can be seen embracing next to a portable toilet from the Basani company.

Within hours, Basani was trending on X and proudly shared videos on social media that garnered thousands of comments.

Even in my case, the meme I liked the most precisely mentions the exposure this photo gave to the brand:

All these brands were quick to capitalize on these events, sharing the posts on their own platforms, unleashing a wave of interactions and attention.

Advantages of Influencer Marketing: Benefits of Celebrity Mentions

When a celebrity mentions a brand on their social media, it can generate massive exposure and instant attention. This can translate into a significant increase in brand awareness, reach, and potentially, sales. Associating with a famous figure can also enhance brand perception, adding a touch of prestige and credibility, but…


Although celebrity exposure can be invaluable (especially if we’re talking about Hollywood actors), it also carries risks that could lead to failure. If the association seems inauthentic or forced, followers may perceive it as manipulative advertising tactics, which could damage the brand’s reputation. Additionally, if the celebrity’s behavior becomes controversial or negative, the association with the brand could have negative consequences. Taking Britney’s post as an example of influencer marketing, associating her with wine after all… was still a risk.

Differences between Influencer Marketing and Barter or Paid Advertising

A barter involves an exchange of products or services for brand promotion by the celebrity on their social media. This can be beneficial as it is a relatively inexpensive way to gain exposure and may appear more authentic to followers.

On the other hand, paid advertisements involve direct monetary compensation to the celebrity in exchange for brand promotion. Although this guarantees greater exposure and control over the content, it may appear less genuine to followers and be more costly.

Influencer marketing, on the other hand, seeks to leverage the natural relationship and influence that the famous person has over their audience, usually indirectly and without any monetary compensation.


In a world where attention is the most valuable asset, brands cannot ignore the impact that celebrities have on social media. From the mention that boosted KFC sales thanks to Oprah to Britney’s poolside wine, it once again demonstrates the importance of being alert and prepared to capitalize on any opportunity that arises. In the blink of an eye, a simple mention can elevate a brand to the pinnacle of recognition and relevance.

In this new paradigm of digital marketing, adaptability and quick response become crucial. Brands that understand the value of celebrity influence and know how to leverage it authentically and strategically will stand out in an increasingly competitive and dynamic market.

Therefore, let’s always be attentive, creative, and ready to turn any celebrity mention into an opportunity to shine in the digital marketing world. Because in the game of marketing, the influence of celebrities can be the winning card that leads us to success.

What do you think was the most epic influencer marketing campaign? Which one do you think didn’t work out as well as the community manager hoped? We invite you to share your opinions and experiences in the comments section!

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