It seems that the phrase ‘Instagram made me buy it’ is becoming increasingly popular nowadays – nowhere seems to be safe from the marketing gods of… every single business out there it seems! Even our beloved Instagram now comes with a (frequently overused IMO) sponsored programme – promoting products straight onto our specifically curated and trying to be selective feeds.
When researching into ads on Instagram they comment that they are ‘working to make sure that ads stay true to the spirit of the Instagram community’ and they only show us ads from businesses that they feel are ‘interesting and relevant’ by using information about what we do on Instagram and Facebook (their parent company) as well as on third-party sites and apps.
They go on to say that: ‘you might see ads based on the people you follow and things you like on Instagram, your information and interests on Facebook and the website and apps you visit’.. so I wanted to see just how well did Instagram know (and evidently stalk) me, and set out to buy the first 5 things that Instagram put as a sponsored post on my feed, try them out and see if good ol’ insta can live up to its SP hype.
I don’t know if time plays a difference to the amount of sponsored posts you see or the quality of them, but just in case I went out around lunch-time (1.30pm GMT) which I have found is one of my most popular times for engagement on IG, and it didn’t take long for my first sponsored post to pop up in the form of a beautiful pink primer and mask from Pixi beauty.
Sponsored post No. 1: Pixi Beauty
Now this is a company that I have never actually used before, but had seen across the likes of the beauty bloggers and lovers on my feed. This particular SP was for their new rose flash balm which they say is a 3-in-1 radiance booster. I had currently been reading a few hours before a couple of articles on how to reduce the size of your pores, because lol’ your girls face is ridiculous and unloved right now – so I would say that, that is a well played insta earning them a big +1 on curating that post onto my feed. £26 on LookFantastic (and then like another £50 order, because I have zero self control when there is a deal on) later and the Pixi balm was on it’s way to me.
*THOUGHTS* I have been using this for the last few weeks and it has really made such a huge difference to not only my overall texture of my skin – bare faced, but also how flawless it makes my makeup look when used underneath. It’s super hydrating without feeling sticky or resembling rubbing polystyrene on your face. It’s rose scent is subtle but sweet and as far as a 3-in-1 product goes (moisturiser, primer and mask) it really hits the nail on all three heads equally – which is super hard to find. The price tag was a tad steep for what I’m used to using I.E nothing, but it’s definitely something I would re-purchase without thinking twice.
Feeling like my bank account had already hit a huge chunk straight away (and that wasn’t even Instagrams fault) I made a limit of £25 per product and under for the rest of which was easily stuck too when my second sponsored post to come up was the Disney Magic Kingdom game for iOS and Android – and HURRAY free download!
Sponsored post No. 2: Disney Magic Kingdom.
Advertised as a way to relive the thrill of Disney parks with the ability to create the most fantastical park of your dreams, what kinda gal could say no!? As it downloaded, I tried to think how and why this would have been a sponsored post to me and I remembered a post a few days ago that I tagged my sister in which was all to do with my Disney merchandise on both Instagram and Facebook!
The game itself was very straight forward, it had incredible graphics, sounds and quests to complete banishing the vengeful maleficent’s and her evil tribe of villains from the Disney park and came complete with all my favourite characters from Toy Story, Frozen to Alice in Wonderland and of course the classic Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.
I played the game for a good half hour, before getting bored with the repetitiveness that comes with any quest building games and deleted. The overall ad was spot on, but I don’t have the time, energy or memory space on my phone to play games. Sorry IG, good effort, but no dice.
The next SP to pop up was actually a competition to win a collection of goodies from Coconut Collab, a brand I already adored, but wasn’t actually following on Insta – Sorry CC, I am now! Forgive me. A couple of clicks and tags later, Amanda is now entered and carried on with her search. In the interest of creating this post to the best of it’s ability I decided to disregard the competition as a factor in this experiment, due to not being able to buy or sample the thing it was sponsoring.
So onto the real third SP..
Sponsored Post No.3: Fleixenet Wine
This post was actually captioned shouting out to all those girls and guys that took past in Dry January, something I didn’t do or spoke about on Insta at all but maybe Insta just knows I’m a wineaholic and so targeted me with this rather sassy looking bottle.
This brand was one I wasn’t familiar with at all, but sounded right up my street. You couldn’t actually buy these online, but they are stocked in a multitude of supermarkets, so have added it to my grocery list to purchase the next time I’m out. I mean, it’s not much different, wine is always on my list anyways.
*THOUGHTS* This slightly sweet, slightly sparkly prosseco was all I could find – they didn’t serve the normal wine in my Sainsburys, but I’m not angry in the slightest, the bottle screams sophistication, the price tag does not – at just £12 this bottle has topped my expectations, even if my head was a little fuzzy afterwards. Apologises here for the bad quality images – I forgot all about it, and had to snap pre-drinking before cracking open.
Sponsored Post No.4: Tribe
This SP was actually from a brand I had seen advertised on my feed before, which is no surprise considering the amount of fitness accounts both people and companies I follow for personal or work reasons.
Although I had heard of it, I had never been influenced to purchase the brand before – until now. Their post was advertising their 6 selection box for just £1 instead of the normal £8.65!! So not only was this a sponsored post, it was a promotional one too – double whammy.
A quick look on the website to make sure they were gluten free (check!) and I settled in quickly filling out my profile so Tribe could personally curate a box specifically to my needs. Trusting their judgements on their best loved and most popular flavours I clicked buy and the box is making it’s way to my house as I type this.
I am super picky when it comes to protein bar’s especially after going gluten free – so I have high hopes on this one insta, you know my tastes. Don’t let me down.
*THOUGHTS* and they did not disappoint at all. TRIBE comes in different forms from powder, to trail mixes to gooey brownie bars and a banana goodie I’m currently munching on. They flavours are unique but delicious, and the texture of the bars are edible which is a rare find in gluten free protein bars. Some of the TRIBE bars were still rather dry, but the powders and trail mix pushed this purchase up to a solid 4/5.
Insta did let me down, on the final SP however, as it gave me yet ANOTHER competition – this time for Izzybee, a tea brand who I have zero interest in as I have never and never will drink tea. You were doing so well up until this point.
It must have gauged my frustration as my last and final SP was for Simply Cook – with my bio, blog and general day to day likes, comments and posts – food is at the forefront of my online presence so I was super excited to see a brand such as this advertised on my feed.
Sponsored Post No.5: Simply Cook
Simply cook is a recipe and meal kit subscription brand delivering the dry meal kits needed to create delicious and exciting meals at home – just add in the necessary ingredients and you are good to do.
They too were offering a promo ad, for 4 meals for just £3 – all future boxes at £9.99. I tend to stay away from meal kits such as this, with a full background in catering I have no trouble putting simple meals together and my kitchen is always brimming to the edge with fresh ingredients and all the spices under the sun. But I’m taking this with a pinch of salt and added 4 of their best sounding Gluten Free dishes to my box and clicked buy.. who knows, Insta you may have converted me to a true meal kit subscription lover.
*THOUGHTS* I have only used one of the recipe kits at this point, which was the Thai Curry promising sweet, salty, sour and spicy all in one meal and has quickly become my fave meal of all time! The kits are super easy to use, the instructions are super easy to follow and overall they taste incredible. The shopping list section is even removable so you don’t have to lug around a huge recipe card or have to rely on your memory. I can’t wait to get stuck into the other 3 boxes – and I will 100% be re-purchasing due to their ease and innovative recipes that are perfect to keep in the cupboard for quick and simple inspo, and a cheap cost!
The product I was most looking forward too before they arrived was the 1st SP – the Pixi primer, as it was something I was genuinely looking on the market for and it did not disappoint. The rest of the products: the wine, tribe bars and simply cook pack were all food and drink products curated from my excessive likes and comments on too many food porn accounts – and they *kinda* lived up to their aspects – so I guess it’s true that IG knows me – thanks boo.