Is Instagram the new advertising?

With more than 440 million blogs online, social media has helped people to create what seems to be a perfect life. Instagram influencers, in particular, are now documenting their lives through fashion, sport, beauty, hair and lifestyle. These ordinary people have been able to live their dream lives travelling the world, working with some of the top brands in exchange for social media content.

Supercharge Trip

Supercharge blogger in St Lucia. [Instagram:Supercharge]

We wanted to explore how brands have been able to use followers to connect with luxury resorts, dine for free and fly for free in exchange for Instagram posts.

One such brand is Supercharge; a year after being established by Franco and Spencer, they have travelled to Morocco, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico and Saint Lucia hosting bloggers curating content for Instagram.

The mission?

It is simple: They hand pick 10 striking influencers who have a niche audience and unique flare to travel with to a vibrant destination creating lifestyle content for a brand. The brands vary from hair brand Bumble and Bumble to watch companies such as Daniel Wellington. Their recent trip around Costa Rica had a total reach of 2,353 million with the influencer’s followers combined.

Franco and Spencer on their recent trip to Costa Rica. [Ginny Pettitt]

Artefact spoke with the men behind the movement. After talking with both Franco and Spencer together, their dynamic began to emerge. Franco is the businessman, the problem solver and the man with the drone. Spencer is the man with the camera, the social media ideas and the creative influence.

Working together, they compliment their contrasting personalities. Franco is more laid back. He is true to his business expertise as his biggest strategy is being kind. Many of his paths in life have been achieved through kindness. Spencer is the energetic and perfectionist. He spends a lot of time connecting with each influencer to create the perfect content emulating their vision whilst keeping the Supercharge flow.

We wanted to find out how the magic began, the challenges faced and the goals for the future.

“We look for people who are truly unique in their voice and aesthetic.” [Instagram:Supercharge]

What inspired you to create this platform? 

Supercharge is the creative answer to a vast space with little structure. It came to fruition at a time when social media hit its stride, and the industry took a shift to focus on platforms such as Instagram, blogs and YouTube. We want to be at the forefront of content, with concept, production skill, and quality as our defining characteristic.

Why the name Supercharge?

The title Supercharge plays off the immediate nature of our work. We provide solutions in real time for our clients.

What are some of the challenges you face? 

As a small company, we have seen tremendous growth since our inception. What we are now facing is not a bad problem to have. We have too much work and not enough manpower! Many of our trips are conceptualised by us, and brands are invited to take part in the activities.

This is different than the traditional approach to projects such as these and allows us a greater authority over what we create. Since we do have to find sponsors for most projects, we can be looking for funding until the last minute. Our solution to this issue is that we have 2018 already mapped out so that we can present our clients with the projects far in advance.

Supercharge influencers in Morocco. [Supercharge, Instagram]

How do you pick the influencers who come? 

We see a trend in companies working with influencers, and we want to be the group breaking the mould. We look for people who are truly unique in their voice and aesthetic. Our #superchargesquad is made up of people who are dynamic, worldly, and who stand up for their beliefs.

What are your goals with Supercharge? 

We don’t expect Supercharge to be a household name, but rather an underground company that is behind viral movements throughout the web. Our upcoming year is set to be much more adventurous than what you see on the internet these days.

We have Kenya, St. Moritz, Ubud, and Japan in our sights, as well as a few other projects that are in the beginning stages. We would like to bridge the gap between social media and print, bringing together influencers and magazine editors as we travel. All in all, just travel more is the answer to this question.

Eugenie in St. Lucia – a loyal Supercharger who has been on six trips [Instagram:Supercharge]

What was the best trip you have been on so far? 

For me, Morocco was by far my favourite. The experience was absolutely incredible. We went from one of the top hotels in the world (La Mamounia) to glamping in the desert. The food was so fresh, and our time with the people of Morocco was super hospitable.

We travelled as a group of eleven, with limited wifi. We spent a few hours per day in a luxury van, where we became very close. I still miss this group. We went by camel in the desert, hot-air balloon, quads, had dinner in a restaurant next to John Legend, toured the spice markets, and ended with a private Riad with hired chefs. Can’t beat this experience.

Where do you hope 2018 takes you? 

I have a hard time with expectations. I set goals and then forget about them. I think at this moment, I am having a hard time thinking about anything larger than myself, so I’ll go inward. I want a little more time for myself. I want to reconnect with friends, travel without work, and find time to create art that I am passionate about.

 

 

 

Keep up to date with the Supercharge family on their social media platforms! @Supercharge


Featured image by Supercharge