The outbreak has caused sudden economic and social shifts among people worldwide and brands have felt it, yanking deals and sponsorships drying up.
Former influencer marketing lead at Atlantic Records gone freelance worker and full-time influencer says “The virus was what we were talking about before I left, all the IRL events were cancelled, all the pop-ups were gone. It was all about how to engage audiences and remain relevant and not get lost in the noise, and not seem insensitive doing it.”
Brands and influencers are at high risk of looking crass and tone deaf in the current climate. With a surge of significant backlash against influencers (see: Arielle Charnas) who even had posts here on ONTD. Any influencer's feed show them grappling with the fact they can't go out to make content or those who choose to continue as usual get questioned over whether they should be selling frivolous items, but the very essence of an influencer is to talk about themselves.
Even before the pandemic, the public had already reached an algid point and were overcritical of them, but these ongoing events have caused fatigue, that brands have already noticed and are distancing themselves from them.
The article interviewed 9 influencers, who all coincided they had lost significant amounts of work – or all – due to the virus. “Emails have completely dried up. There’s nothing new coming in,” says a fashion and lifestyle influencer, “Projects that had either been agreed or discussed have been postponed.” Causing a battle royale between lower and higher tier influencers, since hierarchies have been erased between them and agencies and brands, with travel influencers being the biggest losers.
Despite this, some influencers are optimistic an upturn will happen, urging brands to continue engaging with them, believing that their industry will pull through unscathed because of the service they provide to audiences.