Social Media and Influencer Marketing were the emphasis of Stridec’s July 2021 edition.

We welcomed Chuckie Dreyfus, actor, blogger, vlogger, and video content creator, to share his ideas and experiences as a celebrity endorser and social media influencer for this session of our regular webinar on digital transformation.

Chuckie Dreyfus began his acting career as a child actor in films made by Viva and Regal Films, as well as on television as a variety show performer on That’s Entertainment. Chuckie went on to write songs, score music, arrange music, and direct musical shows. He is a member of FILSCAP (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and runs his own music production company.

Dreyfus is active on a number of social media platforms and has amassed a sizable fan base. He has worked with a number of well-known businesses, including Ford, Globe, and AirAsia.

He spoke with Stridec Managing Partner Bernard San Juan III in early July about what it’s like to be an influencer behind the scenes and how to make influencer collaborations work for both brands and partners.

What Are The Differences Between A Celebrity Endorser And An Influencer?

San Juan began the debate by mentioning a group of early influences who were well-known in their areas, such as Yugatech’s Abe Olandres, MarketManila’s Joel Binamira, and Dessert Comes First’s Lori Baltazar.

“Bloggers were the first influencers of their generation,” San Juan remarked, adding that the term “influencer” had not yet been established.

“Influencers” became a thing with the introduction of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

“How can you tell the difference between a celebrity endorser and a social media influencer?” San Juan of Dreyfus, who is a little of both, inquired. “Where do you draw the line between those two?”

Dreyfus acknowledges that the lines are a little hazy. “As a celebrity, I advocate certain items in some capacity.” On the other side, there are instances when I work as an influencer and engage in, magnify, and assist other brands.”

The distinction is most noticeable in the formal agreement between the brand and its collaborator. If a company wants you to be a celebrity or a brand ambassador, it will have specific expectations about exclusivity – or “competitor lockout” – and compensation. It could include avoiding particular actions, such as not utilising competitor products in public.

An influencer, on the other hand, is usually expected to make brand mentions and possibly show off the product on social media – and it’s sometimes simply a one-time deal, according to Dreyfus.

Celebrities, according to San Juan, tend to represent “what a product is,” whereas influencers push out or amplify product messages.

Dreyfus concurs. “When a brand hires you as an influencer, you’re usually not the only one hired.” Brands pay attention to influencers because they have their own specialty audiences. Even if some of these influencers have a small social media following, brands will hire them because of their personal authenticity and connection with their audiences, he said.

Dreyfus said he doesn’t mind if individuals and brands refer to him as an influencer, but he doesn’t use the term as a title or on his business cards.

“I’m not going to go out there and say, ‘Hi, I’m an influencer,'” he said, “but I’m not going to go out there and say, ‘Hi, I’m an influencer.”

Successful Brand-Influencer Partnerships

Dreyfus was asked by San Juan why brands choose to work with influencers.

Dreyfus responded that brands should look at their goals and products to see if the influencer is a good fit for their target consumers.

If companies do their homework, they’ll know who he is and how he’s perceived on social media. “I’d like to think that brands pick me based on my capacity, reputation, and personal connection to my audience.”

Many of his previous and current partnerships are formed ad hoc, based on personal contacts. Other times, agencies will approach him and propose a brand or product to him. He claims that the best collaborations are built through “personal connections and friendships made along the road.”

“Of course, you begin as business partners, but you gradually meet everyone and build bonds.” The next thing you know, it’s been five, ten years, and you’re still.”

If he has used the product and enjoys it, he is more likely to form a good partnership. He prefers not to support items that he doesn’t believe in or for which he isn’t a trustworthy spokesperson.

He says, “I don’t want to deceive my audience.” If it appears like he did it for the money, “[my audience] might not believe me when the next endorsement rolls around,” he said.

There are several ways to form partnerships, whether it’s to keep a brand prominent or to kickstart promotions for a new product. Brand agreements vary, and brands frequently provide message pointers.

“Most of the time, they’d rather have me say it in my own voice,” Dreyfus added, “because it won’t sound authentic if it doesn’t come from me.”

He occasionally wishes he had made more videos when he first started on YouTube. He’s a lot more active now, frequently filming “a day in the life” movies with his family or going shopping. Since he is still working as an actor, he has also recorded himself traveling to various locations, taking a vacation, or getting ready for a movie shoot.

Dreyfus, who edits his own films, highlights the necessity of generating engaging, experiential material that is true to himself and naturally promotes the company without being pushy.