Instagram Now Allowing All Users To Tag Products As Ads In Posts

Instagram is now allowing all users to tag products in the posts they upload to their feeds, enabling any photo to act as an advertisement for whatever product is tagged.

Instagram initially announced their plans to give everyone the ability to tag products in their photos last month. The feature is now currently available for all users. Originally this feature was only available for content creators who make their income by selling products through their Instagram posts.

Users can now tag products in their images as long as the business is registered and set up with Instagram Shopping. The company made a statement regarding the update to the app and their hopes for the future.

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“From supporting brands you love to helping your friends and family discover new products they may like, sharing products on Instagram just got easier.”

Full instructions on how users can tag a brand and specific product are posted on the company’s blog, but it essentially works the same way as when you would tag a person in your picture.

Like when another individual is tagged in a post, users will be able to see when an image has product tags, and can easily click the image to have the link appear. Users can then purchase the tagged product directly in the app or through the brand’s product page.

With this new feature any Instagram post can be an advertisement, something that is likely very exciting for brands, however, it’s not clear what the benefits are to the average user, who’s essentially providing free advertising through their posts. Instagram, however, believes that this is a feature many users will utilize.

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Business owners will receive a notification whenever someone tags a product of theirs in a photo and they can manage and view all tagged content on their profile. Businesses can also manage who can tag their products in their preference settings.

Instagram claims that this is just the beginning for product tagging for the average user, and they’re currently working on more ways to bring this feature to other aspects of the app as well. For the past couple of years Instagram has pivoted to become more of a platform for shopping, and the company has been transparent about the ways in which they’re trying to monetize every aspect of the app.

The company even said they no longer want to be viewed as just a photo-sharing app, unless it’s referring to their goals of expanding shopping and video features on the app.

In December, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri said that it” is prioritizing Reels as well as shopping in 2022,” so time will tell what other features will be implemented to further support the app’s goals.

Pepsi Can

Cardi B And Pepsi’s New “Culture In, Brand Out” Marketing

Cardi B has become the central figure surrounding Pepsi advertisements this past year. The rapper made her first appearance in a 2019 Pepsi Superbowl ad alongside Steve Carrell and Lil John. The commercial itself confronted the age old issue of when you order Coke at a restaurant and they ask you, “is Pepsi okay?” The ad itself is quite surprising, as it insinuates that Coke is always a customers first choice, and they only go for Pepsi when there’s no other options. However, as the ad progresses, all of the famous guest stars boast about how Pepsi is MORE than okay, it’s better. The concept of confronting an issue within your branding in an actual commercial is risky, but Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s Vice President of Marketing says that the ad was just step one in moving towards a direction of “culture in, brand out” in terms of advertisements. 

“Rather than start with your brand objective, start with what’s happening in culture by listening to the consumer, looking at cultural truths and insights, and saying, ‘OK, there is a thing that is bubbling up here.’ Start with that and then ladder up and say, ‘what would Pepsi’s point of view be on that,’” Kaplan discussed on his podcast.  

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Looking at “cultural truths” was the root of the Superbowl ad that seemingly places Coke as a priority for most soft drink consumers. The “large cultural truth” was the fact that Pepsi is often a second choice, but instead of ignoring that truth and working around it in an attempt to change that narrative, the company tackled it head on, telling it’s audience that they know Pepsi may not be you’re number one, but it definitely is an all star number two. “Why don’t we take this truth head-on and say is Pepsi OK? Yeah, why the hell wouldn’t it be OK. Of course it’s OK,” Kaplan says. 

This sort of self-awareness actually attracts consumers more. The average customer wants major corporations to look at the issues that everyone is clearly talking about, and to embrace them in order to change them, as opposed to just ignoring them. If there’s anything the public hates, it’s being left in the dark, so when a major corporation comes out with an advertisement that says, “we see you making memes about us, and you’re not necessarily wrong” consumers are going to embrace that type of honesty. 

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Adding superstar Cardi B into the mix just makes it that much more successful. Cardi has become one of the most recognizable faces and personalities in the music industry to date. You don’t have to like or even know any of her music, but you definitely know who she is. That’s why the decision to place her in an advertisement that’s embracing the “culture in, brand out” concept is so smart. Cardi’s personality is already very marketable, and has become a major part of modern day culture. Her many catch-phrases and memorable quotes pulled from her many Instagram video rants, spread on timelines like wildfires. Putting her in an advertisement, and including those catchphrases that everyone already knows and loves, all while saying “Pepsi is more than OK” is what draws consumers in. 

“The rapper is unapologetic [and] comfortable in her own skin, which I think in a lot of ways manifests what we are trying to do with Pepsi,” says Kaplan.

Additionally, with the holiday’s finally arriving, it’s safe to say that Coke holds a pretty high stock in terms of holiday marketing. They’ve really embraced and claimed the classic Santa imaging on their cans, and even the iconic polar bear, so much so that people often always associate Santa branding with Coke right away. Another example where Coke is seen as the primary and Pepsi takes the secondary role. So, Pepsi continued to do what they’ve successfully been doing all year in terms of advertisements and brought the culture in. Cardi returned for another campaign that also mentions the Grammy’s, making Pepsi the image for the holidays, and the biggest night in music, all in one shot. By branding for the Grammys as well, Pepsi is bringing one marketing campaign from month to month, which also will smoothly transition them to the Superbowl in February, which as we all know, is one of Pepsi’s biggest nights for advertising, as they sponsor the entire halftime performance.

Living Room Decor

Marie Kondo Launches New Online Home Deco Store

With December only a few days away, the holiday season is clearly already here making now the perfect time to clear out your old clutter to make room for new goodies. Right? But what should you keep and what should you throw away?

Many Americans have this dilemma and have turned to professional advice on how to decide what stays and what goes. It may seem slightly odd to ask a stranger how you feel about your own belongings but there is a highly profitable market for advice on de-cluttering.

In 2015 Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo felt her first brush with fame. The release of her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ soon became a favorite in many homes across the country, making it a hit on the best-selling lists. Full of advice on how to clear out your spare room, closet, basement or garage, Kondo inspired readers everywhere to clear out their trash.

This was followed up in 2019 with ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ airing on Netflix and again showed homeowners how they could streamline their homes using the ‘KonMari’ method.

This month Kondo announced her latest venture. But if you were imagining more details on whether an item brings you joy, or how to achieve the domestic bliss you have been craving you will be sadly disappointed.

Finally content that she has emptied the nation’s closets Kondo wants to fill them back up!

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Although you have been able to buy storage boxes since 2018 you can now buy more items thanks to her new online store. However you do not have to worry that her items will make your home feel cluttered again, as Kondo’s design has opted for a minimalist look, with many items in neutral shades as well as a calming dove-gray.

But however arrogant it may seem to spend years encouraging Americans to get rid of their belongings followed by a blatant attempt to capitalize on filling the empty spaces, Kondo is merely jumping onto her celebrity status, and in America being a celebrity means making money.

Look at any celebrity in recent times and you will see that they have more than one string to their bow. There was a time when starring in movies and being interviewed or photographed was a full time position, yet there are few celebrities who stay in their ‘genre’ any more.

Actors are always appearing in advertisements for some sort of beauty or fragrance products while many others are creating their own companies.

Think of Gwyneth Paltrow. Not content with being a hugely successful actor in her own right, Paltrow went on to create Goop which is promoted as a ‘modern lifestyle brand’, promoting everything and anything they believe can make your life better.

The Kardashian/Jenner family is another example of curating multiple professions. Playing off the back of a sex-tape scandal, Kim Kardashian managed to create one of the most successful reality shows of all time, paving the way for not only herself but her entire family to create careers for themselves. Alongside Kim’s growing empire her siblings have also created businesses with half-sister Kylie Jenner recently selling 51% of her makeup empire for $600 million, making her one of the youngest self-made billionaires at only 22.

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It is not only the female stars that are branching into other sectors either. Whilst lifestyle products predominantly target women, men are also being targeted with Kanye West, Will & Jaden Smith, and even Paul Newman finding considerable success via their own brands.

Paul Newman’s salad dressings were created as a Paul Newman ‘brand’ rather than an endorsement and was one of the first success stories. Since then we have had singer P.Diddy’s ‘Sean John’ clothing line as well as Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, a product he not only owns but cleverly promotes via a ‘war’ with Hugh Jackman, resulting in great sales for both his gin and Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee.

One of the biggest success stories however is that of Jessica Simpson. Back in 2005 Simpson used her public image to attract customers to her new shoe business. Becoming one of the very first social media ‘influencers’ Simpson found herself in a position where she could utilize her image to a greater goal. Through promoting herself and her lifestyle through her social media pages, Simpson has created a business attracting an annual revenue of $1 billion.

With social media continuing to grow more social media stars emerged and many have ‘YouTuber’ listed as their occupation. Many of the younger generation have turned their backs on mainstream television, getting their entertainment from such channels, ensuring social media stars’ bank balances are growing each day thanks to a line of ‘merch’ that compliment their channel.

Kondo’s latest venture’s success will surely depend on how well she can convince people that there really is not any irony in telling people to clear their homes then fill it with her items, in fact she was recently quoted as saying ‘my tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things – it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy’.