When you go on social media, how many ads do you see? Too many to count. On average, you will see about 5,000 advertisements a day. How many of them do you actually pay attention to, though? If it doesn’t catch your interest, you’ll just move on and not even think about the ad. This begs the question: Is self promotion authentic?
Does it hurt the brand?
Most of the time, when you scroll through ads, they are more or less just copy and pasted in terms of delivery. They always show the next new product or even just blast the current products right in your face. This isn’t very enticing to the viewer. Instead, the viewer doesn’t really care about your products. So in other words, yes, it can hurt the brand if done wrong. One example I always think of are the Charmin Bears. What are they advertising? That it’s cool to poop? I, personally, find a lot of the ads very annoying as they are just telling you it’s fun to wipe with their toilet paper through an annoying song or weird visuals when in all reality, pooping isn’t really enjoyable to anyone. This draws me away from the brand as I find their ads annoying so I’m less likely to buy from them.
What can they do instead?
Brands have numerous different ways they could show their content without constant self promotion. Sometimes they can take part in social activism or even ask the consumers what they want to see or know. One brand I enjoy the content from is Levi’s. From first glance you’d wonder what any of it has to do with jeans but when looking further, it includes some product of theirs whether it be someone wearing a pair of jeans or a denim jacket.
What distinguishes them from other brands is what the people are doing in their posts. It is full of activism from movements like Black Lives Matter or showing fashionable ways to tell people to vote. It really engages the audience as these are very big topics and they obviously are taking their stance while still representing their brand in some way. In this case, it is showing what the company believes but has hints of self promotion. So the question remains, is self promotion authentic? If done wrong, yes. If done right like Levi’s, no, it can actually help them. It just takes creativity.