Takumi: Using pop culture to highlight a dominant industry challenge

Takumi, the influencer marketing service is on a mission to educate brands, marketers and creative agencies about how to successfully execute and measure influencer marketing campaigns at scale – in a rapidly changing marketplace.

The PHA Group’s communications goal is to differentiate Takumi as the influencer experts and anti-fraud leaders of choice, grabbing the attention of a young professional audience of marketers, brands and creative agencies across the UK.

Many brands think the more followers an influencer has, the better the results are. But the size of an influencers’ following is not a valid metric for success, and fraud is on the increase, costing brands an estimated $750m globally in wastage every year – something Takumi is trying to tackle.

So how can you take the issues of marketing ROI and budget fraud into the mainstream, and grab the attention of this culturally attune audience? Align it with the most addictive trend in UK entertainment this summer: Love Island.

Our strategy:

June 2019: Love Island was back, gripping the nation once again.

The PHA Group and Takumi took advantage of its service’s unparalleled fraud detection technology to analyse the followers of this year’s first 17 Love Island contestants. The contestant followers’ numbers range from 30,000 to just under a million, but we wanted to know how any of these followers were ‘real’ and therefore potentially valuable to brands. The data-dive assessed the activity, engagement and profiles of the contestants’ followers using artificial intelligence-powered analytics and machine learning.

Once we had the data set for each contestant, the results are ranked from most to least fake follower percentages, along with analysis and insight from Takumi’s CEO.

The team waited until an uneventful eviction night to pitch the data release – titled using an eye-catching Love Island pun – and through a highly segmented media strategy that leveraged contacts across marketing and PR, national media and online lifestyle press to secure news and feature coverage. To ensure we also maximised this zeitgeist opportunity, we took Takumi’s data to entertainment and showbiz reporters who we wouldn’t typically speak to, but who we knew would be read by our target audience and could raise mass-awareness of potential influencer fraud.

The result:

Over the following days after the sell-in, the team delivered huge exposure for Takumi and the issue of influencer fraud; 15 pieces of coverage including 4 national articles, as well as 6 linkbacks to the Takumi website from titles with an average domain authority of 69, including Metro online (DA 92).

Takumi’s coverage was appearing high up in the UK Google News search rankings for ‘Instagram’, a huge win for the client. Takumi also saw a 40% spike in organic website traffic in the week of the campaign and a 25% increase in click-throughs.

The stories were also resonating with clients – multiple emails came into the team from clients commending them on the ‘expose’ story. It caused such a stir in the industry that competitors and social media leaders even tried to get in on the action, responding on LinkedIn.

The goal of this campaign was to remind brands that they need to be more careful when working with influencers, urging people to assess the success of influencer partnerships and vetting using more than just vanity metric such a follower numbers and reach.

Get in touch with the team