Social media marketing places an emphasis on looking the part, reality be damned.
Instagram users looking to make a quick buck need only to pretend they’re hunting, marketing experts say. The multi-billion dollar industry is seeing a shift in how hunting brands create an “emotional connection” with their customers, and influencers are leading the charge.
“The appearance of hunting is far more valuable than the act of hunting,” said Carly Pinebottom, the marketing manager at a popular hunting brand. “Hunting is like, super boring and stuff, and it’s too hard to get real hunters on-board with our strategy because all they care about is the hunt. So lame.”
Industry insiders say the recent shift in many brands’ marketing approach stems from their willingness to kowtow to the dumbest members of our society. Marketing professionals claim they’re simply “building a brand” and “expanding their portfolio.”
“Look, do you actually believe I left Arizona State thinking I’d be running a hunting company’s marketing campaign? I was trying to get on at Nike, but I think they gave the job to some bitch named Stephanie,” Pinebottom said. “The point is, if I can run this brand like the big-time corporate elitist ones, maybe I can land some larger companies and get away from all of these rednecks.”
Unsurprisingly, the owners of these hunting companies appear to be blissfully unaware of the growing swell of discontent from actual hunters.
“Buddy, I done made my money,” said one such owner who chose to remain anonymous. “There’s two things I like in life – hot chicks and $10 turkey calls. So, when that hot chick who runs my Instabook tells me we need more hot chicks holding our turkey calls, I’m all about it. I don’t give a rat’s ass if these girls hunt or not.”
TAB reached out to one such influencer for comment, which proved difficult because she’d just finished a brunch with bottomless mimosas and was out shopping for another wide-brimmed fedora.
“My daddy owns a couple of car dealerships, and he was always taking my husband out on hunting trips,” she explained. “But, one time, I really wanted my hubby to help me pick out some backsplash, so I tagged along and wore camo and my pictures got like, thousands of likes. It’s really about, like, inspiring women and stuff, though. OH, LOOK AT THAT HAT, GOTTA GO, BYEEEE!”
The effects of this current marketing trend are being felt across the industry, including by companies who don’t subscribe to the influencer model. Many entrepreneurs have built their company from the ground up and are tired of being asked for free product.
“I’ve got these fucking dorks texting me, asking me for free shit, and God only knows how they got my number,” said an owner of an archery business. “First of all, they’d post a squirrel if they shot one but they’ve only got one elk on their Instagram in five years. So, they don’t kill shit, but because they’re out there making YouTube videos they think I owe them something. Those nerds wouldn’t even move the needle.”
The end result is a masturbatory vortex of bullshit, where influencers feel pressured to post content (regardless of its merits) because they’re willing to sell their soul and sell-out other hunters for the chance at some free scent-control spray (and a few more “likes”). Naturally, this encourages others to adopt the cancerous behavior, and sends hunting further down the road of commercialization.
“My strategy only works if influencers think they’re important, and fortunately we have enough stupid people that buy into it,” Pinebottom said. “It’s like, ‘listen, just look good, hold up the product and act like you’re doing something hunting-ish.’ Then, I get paid, they get to say they’re sponsored and we all go home happy.”