TikTokers: Find me someone who wants to watch you go on a free influencer holiday
You’d never go on a cruise if it wasn’t gifted, so get it off my FYP
When you think of the great advertisements of our time, what comes to mind? I think about the classics. They usually have a stupid little song attached to them. I’m particularly fond of an old advert for Sharwoods sauce – a jaunty reworking of Go West by Village People or Pet Shop Boys depending on what kind of homosexual you are. Instead of going west, we’re going east! “Go east, Chinese, Indian, Thai! Go east, there’s so much to try” goes the tune – and to this day, I still think of it every time I hear Go West. It’s good advertising, and a simple rewatch of the advert does indeed make me feel relatively influenced to pop on down to the Co-Op and whip up a bang average Thai green curry from a jar. Job done. Compare this to today, where my consumption of adverts has mostly boiled down to YouTube shoving “Granny, I got the job” down my throat or, worse still, watching TikTokers and influencers go on a free luxury PR trips and cruise holiday under the thinly veiled guise of it being “fun content”.
The issue is with the companies, not the creators
Before I go any further with my eye-roll fury on this, I’d like to just state that my beef here isn’t necessarily with the creators themselves. Sure, some of the people being invited on these constant ski trips, cruises, Jack Wills country mansion holidays are the most irritating creators on your FYP, but if someone emailed me and offered me a free holiday I’d be taking it. I cannot blame them for taking what life is throwing at them. Why would you not?
My issue is with the companies thinking this is what we want to see. For example, on the recent cruise trip a load of TikTokers have enjoyed a free holiday on, the invitee list includes the likes of Cory’s World and Charly Anne C. These are two creators that under normal circumstances, I love. Their WIEIAD content is ordinary, but they’re endearing. They’re normal people who love food and are accidentally funny. I enjoy their mundane scrans and takeaways. If I see Cory eat a Greggs, I too fancy a Greggs. I wouldn’t get a corned beef pasty like him, but I would be inclined to pop down and get something. Low level, achievable influencing.
Companies know the age of the ultra glam, Kardashian level influencer is over – so they’ve pounced on these normal people who’ve gained followers from being authentic on TikTok, invite them on these trips, and taint that authenticity. We do not want this. We want what we came for.
Who’s this content for?
Obviously, most viewers of these TikTokers are young – likely far too young to watch a free holiday video and then impulsively decide to book a cruise. Which really does beg the question, who exactly is this for? I also wonder how these videos are supposed to make me feel. Do they want me to be jealous? Envious? Are these good or fun feelings to have?
If someone in the office tells me they’re going on holiday, I would reply “Aw, jealous!” Because yes, I am jealous of a holiday. Most people on this planet who are not on holiday are likely jealous of a peer who’s on one, such is the way of life. The difference is I say I’m jealous and then don’t think about it again. I don’t have to be bombarded with a daily vlog of what they’re up to on that holiday, presented to me like I’m about to experience the same. I’m not.
Being jealous of something isn’t fun. It makes me resent the companies, it makes me resent the creators who are constantly getting free trips and holidays. How is this good advertising?
‘Aspirational’ is not attainable
When I tweeted about my thoughts on the constant influencer and TikTokers free holiday content I’m being bombarded with, a few disagreers said that this content is supposed to suggest an “aspirational” lifestyle. Aka, we see these people doing these things and think corrrr, that looks good, one day I could do that too! And then we book a cruise, or something of that ilk. It’s all a bit ‘American Dream’ for my liking, if I’m honest. Because aspirational is not attainable, and to say it is you might as well quote Molly-Mae’s “we all have the same 24 hours” mantra.
These TikTokers and Influencers are enjoying their free holiday because, for whatever reason, they’ve now got a big following. They’re there for free. They would not be on these cruises etc if they had to find, book and pay for it themselves. To call it aspirational is to suggest if I set up a TikTok account I’d eventually go down the same path. How can you not be able to see this is a bit daft?
I don’t want to resent content creators I like for doing annoying, corporate content under the thinly veiled pretence of fun content. It’s a cost of living crisis and I’m skint. Get off the cruise and get back to plating up your Chinese so we can all sleep peacefully with a little less eye rolling in our lives.
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Featured image credit before edits via Adam Gonzales on Unsplash.