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Brand Trips Are Here To Stay

TikTok and Instagram are huge hubs for influencer marketing. Influencers are the trendsetters and brands pay top dollar to promote products within their content. Brand trips have been around for years. In 2016, the Maldives was a hot place to travel for brands. We have seen Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Bali, and more destinations featured where these influencers can be pampered by companies. But how are companies able to afford this? What benefits do these brand trips bring in?

Recently, Tarte Cosmetics sent 29 influencers with a plus one to Dubai on a three-day trip. Now, Dubai is one of the most expensive places to travel to. A TikTok created by @jackmacbarstool sparked my interest in this topic as he explained the financials of a trip to Dubai in comparison to this brand trip. For these influencers to travel business class and stay in the Ritz-Carlton, it would be ballparked around $60,000 per party, which does not include the excursions, product gifts, and food expenses. Marketers have speculated that Tarte had help from the United Arab Emirates to sponsor their stay to get exposure for more tourism. The checks that Tarte wrote are huge and it makes us marketers wonder, what is the end goal of all of this?

Tarte CEO Maureen Kelly spoke to Glossy about this trip, saying that although they did not get help from the tourism industry, they were able to secure partnerships with SEPHORA Middle East and other small businesses to give gifts to these influencers. The influencer, @sarajmccord, posted from a strategist's perspective on this trip. Consumers are wanting to emulate these influencers, so they purchase the products that these influencers use: “These influencers are known for selling out products,” as McCord said. A poll taken by Tomoson about influencer marketing states that “businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.” This shows how customer acquisition from influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing sales tactics and has a large return on investment. During the entirety of this trip, Tarte was all over their audience’s For You Pages. Monet McMichael (2.8M followers), Alix Earle (4.1M followers), Xandra Pohl (605.5K followers), and Meredith Duxbury (16.9M followers) are just a handful of influencers that were on this trip. If you were to individually pay each of the invited influencers on the trip for promotional videos, it would have been the same or even more money than what they spent on the trip to Dubai. Not to mention the exposure it got from the hashtags, the loyalty it built with these influencers, and the content they were able to produce within this trip.

Tarte is under a lot of scrutiny for being tone-deaf about the recession that is currently going on and spending all of this money, as well as disrespecting the culture of Dubai by having the women drink and dress outside of the accepted ways. Although there are negative comments circling, any press is good press. Tarte is still getting spoken about and is flooding the TikTok pages of their target audience. Gen Z is their target audience and this demographic follows what influencers do. Tarte has been one of these revolutionary brands during the influencer marketing era because of these brand trips, and they continue to show results.


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