Honestly, despite being one of the most followed icons on social media, Kim Kardashian’s content is often fairly mid. This can be further examined in this case of her daughter, North’s,  quirky and controversial TikTok account which has brought Kardashian back into the social media trend limelight. 

On Instagram, however, Kardashian’s posts are the definition of millennial. There was even a TikTok trend which lovingly poked fun at Kardashian’s ‘millennial pause’ (when a millennial user or older pauses before the lip sync because they’re used to older phones that don’t work as quickly).

On Kardashian’s feed, you’ll find many duck-face posts posing with other icons from Jennifer Lopez to the President of Armenia. A recent post, however, has gone viral among every generation, platform wide at that, and really stood out from the rest of Kardashian’s overly glossy feed. That would be the Valentine’s campaign for Kardashian’s lingerie and shapewear brand, Skims.   

On Monday, Kardashian shared images and a video on Instagram of Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò, who played Lucia and Mia on the hit show The White Lotus, for her Skim’s Valentine’s Day collection. The duo, who starred alongside powerhouse actors like Jennifer Coolidge and Aubrey Plaza in the Emmy-winning series, quickly became beloved characters among viewers, including Kardashian.

“I watched The White Lotus and had to have my girls!” Kardashian wrote in the caption of the Instagram post kicking off the campaign.

In terms of engagement, the post has a similar amount of likes to other Skims posts on Instagram (just over two and a half million). On the Gen Z favoured app, TikTok, however, the campaign video has more than 1.2 million views, compared with the brand’s usual range of 30,000 to 70,000 views.

The video is also very refreshing. In comparison to plastic surgery, retouching, false tan heavy Kardashians, Tabasco and Grannò are not airbrushed. They look like normal women, with healthy, natural bodies with short natural nails and cute cotton underwear. They look like two real women who have made themselves up in a way you or I would to await our partner on Valentine’s Day. It’s relatable and yet attainable at the same time. 

“Part of what the Skims brand represents is real, everyday women using this product to uplift themselves,” said Jared Watson, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “Now more than ever, what’s aspirational to many is not necessarily perfection.”

The campaign could also be an example of why promoting artists over influencers could have a great future. “Parasocial relationships are one-way relationships we form with people on television or on the internet where it feels like we know them,” he said. “That’s what Skims is doing fantastically here. For fans of ‘The White Lotus,’ we feel this source of pride, like ‘here’s our friend getting a platform.'”

Of course, as a business woman with a networth at almost two billion, Kardashian can pull the necessary strings to immediately get such stars to appear in her brand campaigns. Nevertheless, smaller brands can still take a leaf. For example, pizza chain &pizza sends out marketing text messages pegged to pop-culture headlines that also correspond to sales promotions, he added. Small-business owners can mirror this strategy for events like the Super Bowl or a highly-anticipated episode of television to attract customers. 

Furthermore, sharing timely posts on social media that are related to these moments is another way to organically draw more social engagement to your brand’s page.

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