Celebrities contribute to incessant social media advertisements

Graphic by Abby Fleming '20

Abby Fleming ’20

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It started with a few cryptic tweets following her breakup with her fiance, SNL actor Pete Davidson, each one including the phrase, “thank u, next.” It caused a commotion, to say the least. On Twitter, fans speculated if this could be hinting at a new album title or single. They were right; a few days later Ariana Grande released her single, entitled “thank u, next.”. Then she tweeted pictures of her in costumes, quoting famous movies marketed towards teenage girls, who make up a big part of her own fanbase. This is how the pop singer broke news of her new music video to fans. By Nov. 28, she had released a four minute trailer for her music video, garnering 3.7 million views so far.

Celebrities like Ariana Grande have mastered the use of social media as a means of advertising. Many social media users don’t think twice about it. It’s the perfect way for famous people to continue to engage with their fans and to reduce expenditures on conventional advertising. They are, in a way, simply endorsing themselves. While it’s admittedly a keen business tactic, it’s not fair for celebrities to clog up followers’ feeds with advertisements of future projects when they get enough advertised posts already. Newsfeeds are already filled with ads, partnerships and brand deals all trying to pass themselves off as a regular post and people already have to mentally filter these out. It’s not fair to also make social media users filter advertisements that their favorite celebrity has disguised as a post.

For example, Grande has around 60 million followers on Twitter alone, not to mention her 137 million Instagram followers. People want to see what she posts and hear what she has to say and she takes advantage of this interest by promoting her album release. She consistently spams her Twitter, ensuring she is at the top of everyone’s feed. Beyond it being just annoying, it shows a blatant disregard for fans’ time.

Fans’  loyalty to their favorite artist is exploited when the artist is counting on them to repost and like their pictures for advertising purposes. Grande’s storm of tweets before announcing her new single caused so much chaos among her followers that they were being manipulated into  advertising for her without even realizing it. Social media advertising relies on people responding to it in some way, whether it is a positive response or a negative one.

Only artists like Grande benefit from advertising this way. For consumers, it just clogs up their Instagram feed, proving that celebrities don’t really care for their fans’ time or respect it as much as they would like people to think. We must be mindful as we scroll through our social media that we aren’t just looking at posts from our favorite celebrities, we’re also getting a sales pitch.

 

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