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Annelise Campbell @BIC Lecture >> GenZ Influencing: Unfiltered–The Authenticity, Pay Parity, and Celebrity Enigma

By BIC CCNY Posted on 03/14/2024 16:21

The Spring @BIC Lecture was held on-campus, led by CEO and Founder of CFG Annelise Campbell.

Over the years, our @BIC Lecture Series has featured industry thought leaders, provocateurs, authors, and philosophers. Last Wednesday, March 6th, BIC welcomed Annelise Campbell to campus to deliver her lecture “GenZ Influencing: Unfiltered–The Authenticity, Pay Parity, and Celebrity Enigma.” Annelise is a modern-day Jill of all trades, CEO/Founder of CFG, and advocate for creators of color.

GenZ lives online and especially in social media, where they're seeking trusted voices who represent their interests. But with so much oversaturation, how do you cut through the noise? First, to make a successful Gen Z campaign you have to be social listening. If you want to not sound like you’re pandering, you have to speak their language. Next, it’s influencers. What are the factors they consider when choosing the influencers who can help shape their identity? The biggest thing: authenticity. Gen Z trusts the relatable people they follow online; 66% of them have bought something just from an influencer’s recommendation. 

Yet, there’s still space for celebrities and influencers to coexist. Annelise finds that you can use celebrities in campaigns, but it has to really fit the brand and message to make Gen Z trust it. Take the Michael Cera x Cerave campaign for example, which skyrocketed on social media conversations among Gen Z for his lovability and humorous tone throughout the rollout. Michael Cera’s relevance and his recent connection to the Barbie franchise, along with the 360 approach when it came to the channels and influencers on board for the campaign set it up for success and virality.  

Annelise also addressed a huge issue within the influencer space: pay parity. Female influencers often earn less than their male counterparts for similar work. Additionally, Black and other minority influencers face pay gaps compared to white influencers. 35% of black creators get paid less than their white peers. As emerging marketing professionals, it’s crucial to recognize these inequalities and advocate for change. Understand the root causes of these gaps, including biases in negotiation, industry norms, and systemic discrimination.

How do we address pay parity? Annelise suggests 4 key ways: Advocate, Educate, Challenge, Collaborate. Advocate >> for creators you work with to have fair and equitable rates that are standardized. Encourage brands and agencies to adopt transparent compensation practices. Educate >> brands and clients about the importance of fair pay. Share data, case studies, and success stories that highlight the positive impact of equitable compensation. Challenge >> unconscious biases during negotiations. Advocate for influencers regardless of their gender, race, or ethnicity. Collaborate >> in open conversations with influencers about compensation. Understand their experiences and challenges.

And, whether you represent who you’re advocating for shouldn’t matter. As Annelise said, “Advocating for POC creators shouldn’t fall just on the shoulders of POC employees.”

Thank you Annelise, for this engaging and useful lecture on influencing GenZ! 

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