Top 10 weirdest examples of Influencer Marketing

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Blog


Home > Blog > Top 10 weirdest examples of Influencer Marketing

Ah, influencer marketing. Love it or hate it, you can’t say it’s not an effective way to advertise a product or service… when done properly.

Businesses have been doing it for years, and with the rise of digital marketing, it’s become an even more popular tool for them to take advantage of.

When done well, it can end up being a memorable piece of advertising that helps bring in lots of new customers for a business. Some can take a serious tone, while others can be more light-hearted. Some though, let’s face it, are just plain weird.

From Post Malone crocs to having Katy Perry featuring in a mobile game, here are 10 of our favourite examples from the weird and wonderful world of influencer marketing.

When festivals go bad

Oh, Fyre Festival… where did it all go wrong? Well, pretty much right from the start, to be perfectly honest. Not even the help of influencers such as Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid could save this “immersive music festival” (seriously, what does that even mean?).

A PR disaster and a 6-year jail sentence for the founder of the company behind the festival later, and the event has gone down as a prime example of influencer marketing gone wrong.

Image result for fyre festival

We buy any influencer

We buy any car? More like we’ll take any influencer, am I right?

As if opting to use daytime television presenter Phillip Schofield wasn’t weird enough, webuyanycar decided that the best thing for him to do in front of the camera was to sit and play with adorable cats and dogs, as he narrates how easy selling a car is. If there’s supposed to be some subtext to it all, we aren’t getting it. However, it is memorable, and that’s the key to success.

Car-loving GIANT Adam Morris shared his thoughts with us: “The campaign itself works well,  and addresses how WeBuyAnyCar can save you a lot of time and hassle, all while hitting that sweet spot – puppies. Who wouldn’t love that?”

Dogs are an influencer’s best friend

Speaking of cats and dogs, some businesses have begun to realise that they don’t even need the likes of Philip Schofield, or any other celebrity for that matter – they just need a cute cuddly animal to help promote their product.

Enter the world of animal influencers. From Doug the Pug to Pimpa Wan, there’s a whole host ready to pull at your heartstrings – as well as your wallet.

“I think the reason this works so well as a marketing strategy is because people love spending their time following these animals’ adventures, across social channels,” says GIANT Tom Botting. “As a result, the message being put across is more effective than other visual strategies advertising pet products. I mean, who doesn’t like to see animals dressed up?”

Who needs human influencers?

If the 21st century and the rise of the internet have shown us anything, it’s that you don’t even need real people to take advantage of influencer marketing anymore.

Dogs and cats are one thing, but purely fictional characters are a whole new sector entirely. Enter Lil Miquela, a lifelike robot who became one of the biggest influencers of 2017 – despite you know, not being real.

GIANT Insta-fan Georgia shared her thoughts on the matter: “I think it’s a really clever way to engage with people, as it’s something we’ve never seen before. Businesses that are working with ‘her’ obviously have a creative mindset and aren’t afraid of trying something new.”

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"Do you have some sort of business woman's special?"

A post shared by *~ MIQUELA ~* (@lilmiquela) on

Post Malone & Crocs

What’s worse than being seen in Crocs? How about being seen in Crocs designed by Post Malone? Whatever you think of the guy, his clever idea to team up with Crocs helped both party’s marketing efforts; both got extra publicity, and a nice amount of cash to boot.

Here’s some insight from resident Pocket Giant Lizzi: “The Post Malone crocs crossover is simultaneously the weirdest and most clever piece of marketing for both parties. He gets to keep up his quirky random image, and they appeal to a whole new market.”

Related image

I was in Final Fantasy (and I liked it)

Whoever did the audience research for the people behind the Final Fantasy mobile game either deserves to be fired, or be given a huge raise.

Put simply, the people behind Final Fantasy collaborated with pop star Katy Perry to help promote their launch. Not only did she write a song for the game, but she is also a playable character within it. We don’t like to stereotype, but Katy Perry isn’t exactly the first person we’d pick to help promote a mobile game. But hey, it got people talking, so it sort of worked?

Pepsi saves the day

Ah, 2017 – the year in which violence was solved by a model drinking a fizzy drink. Or that’s what Pepsi would have you believe.

In relation to the extensive media coverage surrounding police violence in America, Pepsi decided to release an advert starring Kendall Jenner, who solves the issue by… giving a police officer a Pepsi. Genius or completely out of touch? We’ll let you decide.

Listerine’s wash with influencers

When it comes to influencer marketing, authenticity is something both businesses and influencers need to carefully consider if they don’t want to receive backlash from their audiences.

Unfortunately, mouthwash brand Listerine and London based blogger Scarlett London didn’t get the memo. When the company started paying her to include bottles of the stuff in her Instagram photos, no amount of mouthwash was able to get rid of the bad taste it left in everyone’s mouths.

Sleeping Giant Media’s very own content queen Liz shares her thoughts on the matter:

“This campaign is a prime example of a collaboration where relevancy was not a priority; an unfortunate case of irrelevant influencer marketing that blew up in their faces.

This did nothing for the reputation of the blogger or the brand, even resulting in death threats – all over some mouthwash. The internet is a weird place.”

My milkshake brings all the influencers to the yard

On the topic of authenticity, do you know what really isn’t authentic? Copy and pasting the exact instructions sent to you by the business, word for word.

This is exactly what happened to Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Scott Disick, when he teamed up with detox drink company Bootea.

“I guess what we have to remember when it comes to influencers, even celebrity ones, is that they’re still human and can make mistakes,” says DC Team member, Yumna.

“Regardless, it definitely gave us an insight into how being a celebrity influencer works – shattering the illusion.”

Oprah Winfrey & Microsoft

Oprah hasn’t been one to hide away from her love of Microsoft, which is why it made sense that the tech giant teamed up with her back in 2012 to help promote the new Surface Tablet.

Oprah had previously expressed her love of the products, which is why Microsoft was hoping the promotion would appear authentic as a result. It probably would have too – if Oprah didn’t tweet about it from, you know, an iPad.


Did your favourites make the list? Any other examples you think we should know about? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter, and be sure to get in contact with us to find out how we can help you use influencer marketing in your business. You know, the right way.  


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