What actors’ strike means for influencers

114 | Influencers may be banned from SAG-AFTRA

Issue #114 | Your reading time this week is 5 mins. 45 secs.

Welcome back to the Creator Briefing!

Here’s just some of what we’re looking at this week:

  • How actors’ strike affects influencers today and in the future

  • The hidden cost to clients of the pitching process

  • McDonald’s social media director speaks about the Grimace Shake meme

  • Cycle ceiling? MrBeast earned just $160k from $3m video

  • UK Government provides update on Loot Boxes

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SMEs on TikTok contributed £1.63 billion to UK GDP in 2022

Small businesses on TikTok contributed £1.63 billion to UK GDP in 2022, according to a new report from Oxford Economics.

  • Investments from UK SMEs in advertising and marketing on TikTok generated £1.2 billion in revenue in 2022 for UK SMEs.

  • The total Gross Value Added (GVA) of SMEs on TikTok rose to £1.63 billion to UK GDP when investments in supply chains, and wider economic impacts are factored in.

  • The food and drinks sector benefitted the greatest (£0.6 billion).

  • Business services (£0.3 billion) and culture and entertainment (£0.2 billion) were also key sectors that saw an increase in revenue due to investments on TikTok.

  • To download the Oxford Economics Impact report, visit here

Influence is King

This newsletter is supported by Fourth Floor – a digital marketing agency that fully understands the power of influence. Fourth Floor is an insight-led creative, social and influencer agency that enables games businesses to engage audiences, build emotional connections and get results. They build bespoke campaigns by combining any number of their services, which include advocacy, production, commerce and events. Find out how they can help your business at fourthfloor.co 

What actors’ strike means for influencers

US actors are on strike. SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 160,000 TV and movie actors - plus a handful of influencers - have followed Hollywood writers into a strike. The use of artificial intelligence lies at the centre of both disputes.

SAG-AFTRA says demands from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are tantamount to “AI exploitation”. The union wants its members’ images to be protected from being replaced with AI. It says AMPTP “want to be able to scan a background performer’s image, pay them for a half a day’s labor, and then use an individual’s likeness for any purpose forever without their consent”.

How does this affect influencers?

Influencers who are SAG-AFTRA members shouldn’t seek out new brand collabs with companies the union is striking against. AMPTP represents companies including Amazon/MGM, Apple, Disney/ABC/Fox, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount/CBS, Sony, and WarnerBros. Discovery(HBO).

Member influencers should “should refrain from posting on social media about any struck work regardless of whether they are posting organically or in a paid capacity,” according to an FAQ sheet.

Potential future influencer ban

The FAQ sheet goes on to warn “Any non-member seeking future membership in SAG-AFTRA who performs covered work or services for a struck company during the strike will not be admitted into membership in SAG-AFTRA”. Given the non-linear career span of an influencer threats of a future ban from being admitted to the union may carry significant sway.

Potential upside for influencers

If the actors’ and writers’ strikes roll on for months brands will increasingly turn to influencers for content creation opportunities.

McDonald’s responds to Grimace Shake meme

We talked about the “Grimace Shake” back in Creator Briefing #111 The trend blew up on TikTok after McDonald’s put the purple milkshake back on its menus and TikTokkers turned the drink into an absurdist comedy meme. Now Guillaume Huin the social media director at the golden arches firm has posted to LinkedIn “an insider view from the social media team of what happened.”

The post is well worth a read to gain an insight into the juggernaut of a runaway meme. “if you think we would never acknowledge the trend, well, I thought so too at first, so I won't blame you”, writes Guillaume continuing later in the article “were there a lot of questions, sentiment analysis tools, listening dashboards and emails? More than I can count. Was there doubt? Immense doubt. Did we still move forward and get full support up to our top leadership? Sure did.”

Pitching process: The hidden cost to clients

Pitching for business costs money both in time and in out-of-pocket expenses. This is true when pitching for new business or when defending existing accounts.

So far, so obvious. Now there’s data to show that the pitching process costs the client money, too. According to data shared by the ANA and the 4A’s.

For the client, the key costs for an agency pitch are related to hourly costs, staffing changes, disruptions/delays, external consultants, and compensation to the agency. The Cost of the Pitch report puts client spend at circa. $400k.

METHODOLOGY: Online research conducted 23-28 March 23, 2023. Sample size: 329. Sample set: brands and agencies spending the most on advertising and marketing in the U.S.

Italy’s groper’s charter: just keep it to 9 secs

‘Palpata breve’ - a brief groping - is trending in Italy on Instagram and TikTok along with the #10secondi hashtag. This follows an incident where a 17-year-old student at a Rome high school reported to police the school’s caretaker for groping her. However, according to judges what happened "does not constitute a crime" because it lasted less than 10 seconds.

Social media was furious. Many influencers have posted videos to social media attacking the judges’ verdict. Chiara Ferragni, Italy's most famous influencer was just one person to post against the ruling. Whilst Roberta Maddalena (pictured) an influencer with 156k followers on Instagram posted a powerful video which she captioned: “How infinite and endless is this span of time when you feel violated.. ANY CONTACT WITHOUT OUR CONSENT IS A CRIME.”

MrBeast earned $160k from $3m video

MrBeast says he spent $3m creating his recent Train Vs Giant Pit video. However, the 10-minute 36-second film earned the creator just $160,000 from 83m views according to Ryan Broderick writing in Garbage Day.

Donaldson is often credited with pioneering a video genre that centres on extravagant stunts with a philanthropic angle. More money → Better videos → More views → more money.

Train Vs Giant Pit has proved the exception to this rule. At least for now. Cycles have a ceiling I wrote back in 2021 when discussing MrBeast’s $3.5m spend on recreating the Netflix hit Squid Game.

The creator needs to continually fuel the machine, increasing video views to earn more AdSense to offset the increases in costs per episode. It’s far too early to say whether the ceiling’s been reached but maybe a video can only be so profligate.

Loot boxes in video games: update on improvements to industry-led protections

The UK Government has called on the video games industry to up its monitoring of parental controls uptake in a bid to ensure greater adoption of best practices around loot boxes.

Those best practices include a default £0 spending limits on child accounts (applying both to loot boxes and other in-game purchases).

The Government also said effective parental controls need to be underpinned by improved age assurance, which reduces the reliance on self-declaration.

News In Brief
  • Influencers excluded from Twitter’s monetization programme are furious [RollingStone]

  • Battle for the high Threads count is on. Mr Beast has more followers than Mark Zuckerberg. But Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez both have more followers on Threads than MrBeast [Insider]

  • TikTok has become the first-ever app to exceed $1 billion in consumer spending within a single quarter. That’s according to new data from mobile app experts data.ai. [BusinessofApps]

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