Any regular Instagram user will be used to seeing officially sponsored posts sneak into their feeds, although the easy scrolling nature of the app thankfully makes skipping these a piece of cake. However, unless you follow various celebrity Instagram accounts, you’re unlikely to see the unofficial yet oft-blatant advertisement-disguised-as-a-post that’s becoming far more common.
While we all accept that advertising on social media is a part of life in 2016, it’s always a schadenfreude moment when we get to see a celeb mess up so astonishingly at what seems like a simple task.
How To Spectacularly Fail at Instagram
While these obviously sponsored celebrity posts are usually quickly rectified, that doesn’t prevent eagle-eyed Instagrammers from grabbing a screenshot and sharing the latest Insta-blunder to the world. Supermodel Naomi Campbell is the latest victim of not thinking before posting, as just recently she uploaded an image of her holding up a brand new pair of Adidas trainers. The oddity came within the caption, which Ms. Campbell evidently copy-pasted from an email sent most likely by the marketing department of Adidas:
“Naomi, so nice to see you in good spirits!!! Could you put something like: Thanks to my friend @gary.aspden and all at adidas – loving these adidas 350 SPZL from the adidas Spezial range. @adidasoriginals”
However, Campbell isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last to make a mistake like this. TV personality Scott Disick likewise copy-pasted his instructions for a photo promoting Bootea protein shake. Posing with a jar of it on his kitchen counter, Scott’s caption was a hilarious insight into sponsored posts:
“Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk.”
With signs that Facebook’s popularity is on the decline, marketers will no doubt continually look to Instagram to get the word out, whether officially or unofficially. And why not? Instagram’s closest photo-sharing social media rival is essentially Pinterest, and that’s barely even a competition, as the two have some similarities but are vastly different in function. Instagram posts are far easier to share over other social media platforms, support video uploads, and the app has a whopping 300 million more active users than Pinterest. It’s easy to see why Bootea and Adidas will risk an Insta-blunder to reach numbers like that.
Finally, Instagram also has a way to distort a perception of life. A British paramedic has been suspended for one year due to posting a selfie which falsely claimed he saved the life of a patient. The caption wrote, “This is the aftermath of a stabbing. It is hard to believe but I managed to save his life.” Simon Williams of Colchester told the tribunal that he was just trying to get more followers so he could drive traffic to his jewelry website. Williams has also been in trouble for his Instagram posts in the past, often uploading insensitive and inappropriate images of hospital life. Williams commented on his Instagram posts, “People outside don’t understand our dark humor. Anyone who worked here would’ve found that funny.”