Over the past couple of days, a lot of things have been said about the state of Singapore’s influencer industry — it’s an issue that’s been pushed to the forefront, thanks to social media marketing agency Faves Asia and their unintentionally hilarious recruitment ad.
But maybe you don’t want to watch the original clip again because you already did so one too many times. We got you, fam — watch MrBrown’s parody of the promo instead:
Having already had our share of fun with Faves Asia’s outwardly shallow vision of the influencer lifestyle, it would be remiss of us not to get their side of the story. Sure, they issued a statement in response to the clamor, but we needed to hear from the firm’s founder himself, Sky Lim. His controversial past aside, check out what he had to say about the whole shebang.
What was your first response when you realized that your video was going viral?
We launched the marketing video on Mar 15, our influencers shared the video, we spent a sum to boost the video post on Facebook during the final week of March. A lot of people saw the video — it was already quite viral and we were at 50k reach and 20k video views.
Initially there wasn’t any strongly opinionated reviews about the video other than the “cringeworthiness” of it, being a poorly edited video or audio quality needs to be improve — opinions were generally neutral at this point.
The tipping point was after the bigger celebrities and influencers shared the post with their opinions on how micro-influencers are shaming the industry. Subsequently, the bad reviews from the public started flooding and the media started picking it up. I believe this event itself tells the public how an influencer can easily influence people to take sides and make decisions.
We were definitely taken aback by the response from the public because that was totally not our original intention. We wouldn’t want to misrepresent or challenge anyone in the industry.
After much consideration, we decided to take down the video as we do not want to continue the wrong impression and educate the public in the wrong way.
How did the influencers under your wing react?
During this period of time, some of our influencers cleared with us some of their doubts.
Most of them stayed firm in their beliefs towards our community. A number of them gave encouragements to both our team and to the other influencers in the community.
Some of them stood up for themselves, the company, and the micro-influencers industry.
We’re happy that the majority of the influencers are sticking through this period with us. Thank you for believing in us.
This PR crisis shows who are the loyal and sincere influencers that truly care and support the company.
Why was the video so badly edited and why was the acting so poor?
It’s our first ever video produced. Thanks for the feedback. Indeed there were some rooms for improvements and we’ll work on that.
We believe our talents did their best in acting for the video.
Did you get hate mail? Did you get some supportive messages at least?
We did receive a few incoming messages from the public asking for the video. We received a lot of encouragement from our friends as well.
What do you think is the role of the “influencer” in today’s society?
It depends pretty much on the category and direction of the influencer’s feed.
For example, if the influencer is into food, then setting a good example of being a food person and giving constructive opinions towards food are important. Recommending good food to their followers [is] important as well.
Generally an influencer should impact their circles through their lifestyle in a positive way.
What’s going to change for Faves Asia in the aftermath of the uproar?
We are working on improving our communications and focusing on the growth of the company now, and of course, growing our community.