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Ariana Grande is the ultimate influencer marketing darling of our time – but the new Starbucks cooperation brings her trouble

Ariana Grande has been THE pop phenomenon of the past one or two years: she has just broken the Beatles’ age-old record in the US charts with three top 3 hits at the same time, is ahead of the Kardashian sisters with 148 million followers, Selena Gomez and Beyoncé the most-followed woman on Instagram and clears one big advertising deal after another. But of all things, the new campaign for Starbucks is now causing trouble for the 25-year-old R&B singer.

It’s actually been 55 years since the Beatles hit the top three positions on the US Billboard charts with three singles, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Do You Want to Know A Secret” could place. It seemed like a record to last – then came Ariana Grande.

The 25-year-old R&B singer grabbed the top three spots for the release of her fifth album “thank u, next” with the singles “7 Rings”, “Break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored” and the title track at the end of February , initially thought the announcement on social media was a joke.

It’s this refreshing manner that makes the daughter of descendants of Italian immigrants from Sicily soar on social media. Ariana Grande is extremely authentic and titles her numerous tweets and posts on Instagram and Facebook like a good friend would write on WhatsApp – including inflationary swear words.

The reward for authenticity: With 148 million followers, Ariana Grande is the most-followed woman on Instagram – ahead of pop superstars like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyoncé, the Kardashian sisters and longtime frontrunner Selena Gomez. Only world footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has more fans with 155 million followers in the booming photo network.

No wonder that so much presence on social media arouses the desires of the advertising industry. In 2015, for example, the former Nickelodeon star advertised her own perfume line, a year later for T-Mobile USA, and in 2017 a multi-year advertising contract followed as a brand ambassador for Reebok, while the 25-year-old became the (animated) face for Apple’s Memoji this year Campaign was.

At the beginning of the week, a large-scale cooperation followed for the world’s largest coffee house chain Starbucks. Grande surprised everyone with the “Cloud Macchiato” coffee creation specially designed for her.

The “God is a Woman” singer skilfully incorporated the new macchiato into her everyday social media life without being intrusive. Influencer marketing could hardly work more skillfully in front of the eyes of 148 million Instagram followers – actually.

The problem: the coffee that the avowed vegan advertises is anything but vegan. Even Starbucks quickly admitted when asked that the Cloud Macchiato could not be ordered vegan because protein was used as the main ingredient.

You can call it a blemish or a classic own goal in the age of social media. The outcry on Twitter, Instagram & Co was limited. Ariana Grande’s promotional value as a brand ambassador is unlikely to detract from the Starbucks faux pas. The Celebrity Net Worth website, which is part of Business Insider, has meanwhile estimated its net worth at $ 80 million.

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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