How Many Swimsuits Should I Take On Vacation
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Why should a woman be inundated online with pictures of beautiful people in skimpy outfits who are constantly on vacation?
How Many Swimsuits Should I Take On Vacation
I’m a woman with an Instagram account, so I see swimsuit ads several times a day. Sometimes it’s a photo of a skinny white woman in a bikini; other times his head is out of the picture. Sometimes the swimsuit is laid out against a plain background, and other times the background is sunglasses or a purse. But the goal of the ad is always the same: to get me to buy a swimsuit, assuming our mutual agreement is that I’ll post a photo of myself wearing it, adding to the never-ending stream of swimsuits that is Instagram.
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What happend? Why is a swimsuit ad almost the only sponsored post I see in the app? Why should a woman be inundated online with pictures of beautiful people in skimpy outfits who are constantly on vacation? Where did all this advertising and all these companies come from?
If you’re at a social event this summer with a lot of women you don’t know but want to start a conversation, bring it up. Say something about the prevalence of Instagram swimsuit ads and you’re guaranteed to get at least a few ads—at least that was my experience when I asked my Instagram followers to send me screenshots of their swimsuit ads. find your food. You’ll hear stories of women who have seen so many ads that they end up buying one and falling in love with it, or of people who are pretty sure that a $10 bikini ad for an unknown brand is a complete scam (more on that later). . ).
“I keep clicking because the woman in the ad is hot,” writer Jamie Loren Cale told me via DM. “Then I thought Instagram was serving me more because I clicked on it, which I kept seeing because I was turned on, which resulted in more ads for products I didn’t use or buy. By the way, all my food is swimwear now.”
Regardless of our collective passion, the real reasons why Instagram has turned into one giant bikini store are several. This is due to quirks in algorithms, the sudden explosion of swimwear brands in the 2010s, and the inherent difficulty of shopping in petite clothes, where most people, some brands remind me, will be most common. publicly.
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There are some easily explained algorithmic reasons why many women don’t see only swimwear ads. One of the things that Kayles has experienced (as I did when reporting this story and clicking on the swimsuit ad) is that when you engage with any ad on Instagram, you’ll see many, many similar ads. “Engagement” is defined by clicking, liking, commenting or sharing, but it can also be as simple as pausing to view a photo or video. If you have the very human desire to see a photo of someone in a swimsuit, you are considered a potentially interested customer.
Instagram also allows brands to target users based on age, gender, location and interests, among other things, and can find “lookalike audiences” that are similar to people they are already targeting. Brands decide how often they want customers to see an ad during a given time period, but it’s Instagram that sets the parameters for when they see it. According to an Instagram spokesperson, there is some kind of qualitative auction system to determine whether an ad will run; a winning ad is one that has the best chance of being communicated to.
While Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, likes to consider itself a neutral platform (as all platforms do), it has received criticism for the number of swimsuits and mostly bras on many of its user feeds. In 2017, Lauren Holden wrote an essay titled “Towards a Braless Instagram Experience,” in which she used the app for her never-ending task of promoting underwear, swimwear, and workouts.
“If you’re a woman who finds [an endless array of half-naked, very thin women], who thinks that spending a lot of time looking at these images is bad for our mental health and general self-esteem, or a lot of things, that’s saying something very sad about our value as women in the world – you can’t give it up,” she wrote. While users can select “Hide Ads” if they see an ad they don’t like, there’s no easy way to get rid of all swimsuit or bra ads.
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What’s also interesting is that it’s easy to argue that these ads violate Facebook’s own adult content policy (Instagram shares Facebook’s ad system), which prohibits “excessive skin or cleavage, even if not overtly sexual,” as well as “images , which are directed at the skin or cleavage. an individual’s body, such as the stomach, buttocks or breasts, even if not overtly sexual in nature.”
When given examples of swimsuit ads that reflect this, an Instagram spokesperson said that its policies have additional guidelines, though they couldn’t share them, and said none of the ads in question violated them. It’s a tricky question considering that many swimwear and lingerie brands have tried to make body positivity a cornerstone of their image.
To Instagram’s credit, it would be ridiculous to ban ads for things like Aerie swimwear or Fenty bras just because the picture shows cleavage. But the “adult content” policy still applies to ads for sex toys and vibrators, images that are largely banned from Instagram ads, even if the content can be considered body-positive. Instagram users also have a confusing relationship with the meaning of nudity or partial nudity: photos of larger women in underwear and swimwear have been removed, but similar images of thinner women have been allowed to remain. The line between what “focuses on specific body parts” and what’s necessary to sell swimwear remains just as blurred.
For Melanie Travis, founder of Andie Swimwear, Instagram is the easy part. He began his marketing career at Foursquare, moving on to Kickstarter and then BarkBox, all of which originated on the internet and social media. Finding a swimsuit is hard.
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“I went to a BarkBox work retreat by the lake, and everyone brought their Away suitcases, Glossier lip balm, and Allbirds shoes,” she says. “But all the women say, ‘Where did you get your swimsuit?’ It was a panic and a stressful experience. I thought, ‘This is a wide-open category for consumer branding, which is an obvious choice. You just put it in the Away suitcase and you’re good to go.’ ‘”
She launched a successful crowdfunding campaign with the promise of creating a beautiful and timeless women’s swimwear collection before she even created an actual prototype. Before the prototype, there was also Andy’s Instagram account, which Travis filled with photos of women he took on the road while traveling. He left BarkBox in December 2016 and started working with Andy the following April.
Given his background, the direct-to-consumer model was an obvious choice, and Instagram was the earliest DNA fragment. Today, it’s the brand’s top marketing tool, along with Facebook, where it spends about 80 percent of its marketing budget.
“That’s basically where our demographic lives,” Travis said. Plus, it’s a marketing tool that allows brands to learn quickly at low stakes: “After spending $50, you can tell if your ad is working or not, unlike TV where you might have to spend $50,000.”
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Travis found that user-generated content, such as impromptu selfies in Andy’s swimsuit, as well as e-commerce swimsuit images on plain backgrounds, performed best. Who isn’t, curious? Very sophisticated lifestyle photos.
“If you spend a lot of money and hire a great photographer and a great team and fly to a beautiful place, then you post it on Instagram? It didn’t work,” Travis explained. “I think it’s because, to be honest, they look too much like an ad. When people are scrolling, Instagram is more of a vibe where friends are sharing something.”
What works and what doesn’t work for swimwear ads on Instagram depends on the brand, especially given the sheer number of brands promoting swimwear. In about two weeks, I counted 23 that I personally saw or received from friends.
There are two categories of Instagram swimwear brands. The former has a clear identity, champions body and community positive values and sells us purposeful lifestyle ideas
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