Another year, another season of reality TV and casting shows. Old shows are returning with new sets of contestants, and the media is full of reality TV coverage. The 24th season of America’s Next Top Model started in January. Here in Germany, a new season of Germany’s Next Top Model began just last week and has split the country into two sides – those who have waited longingly for the new season and those who are #notheidisgirl. Although viewer numbers are falling, the shows remain popular, especially among teenage girls.
Why should social media and influencer marketers care about a reality TV contest for aspiring models? Because they provide an opportunity to reach a wider audience. Many of the contestants gain an enormous fan base during the show and become huge social media influencers afterwards. This makes them a great match for brands looking for partnerships with well-known influencers. But what should a brand consider when choosing a contestant to cooperate with?
Let’s take a look at some examples of the most popular German and American participants on Instagram and their metrics after their appearance in the casting show.
BETTY TAUBE (GNTM) VS. WINNIE HARLOW (ANTM)
A contestant on 2014’s GNTM show, Betty captured everybody’s heart with her wide eyes and optimistic attitude. After a 4th place finish in the show, Betty now has more than 900k follower on Instagram and is a popular influencer for many brands. During the show, the now-23-year old model shared some personal stories about growing up in a children’s home after her mother was unable to take care of her. These intimate stories and Betty’s authentic and honest personality seem to have helped her climb the ladder of social media success.
She has had numerous collaborations with fashion labels such as @aboutyoude and @hollisterco_germany and the watch brand @danielwellington. Betty also has one of the highest audience quality grades, scoring 86% (A) on InfluencerDB.
Winnie Harlow was part of ANTM’s 21st season in 2014 and eventually finished in 6th place after being eliminated and returning to the show when she received the highest average public vote score in the “Comeback Series.” She has one of the biggest follower counts on Instagram of ANTM candidates from the last 5 years, with almost 3 million followers. Winnie has a distinctive look due to a chronic skin condition that causes depigmentation of parts of her skin. Because of this, she has served as an inspiration and a reminder that beauty comes in many different forms.
She has a fairly good follower growth with 3.19 %, and followers from all over the world. In fact, only 25 % of her followers are from the US. Her success has led paid partnerships with fashion brand @hm as well as the luxury car brand @lexususa.
Winnie Harlow’s media metrics on InfluencerDB
STEFANIE GIESINGER (GNTM) VS. NYLE DIMARCO (ANTM)
Let’s take a closer look at two actual winners of the talent shows, Stefanie Giesinger, who became Germany’s Next Top Model in 2014 and Nyle DiMarco, the second male winner of an ANTM season, who won the year after.
With 3.1 million followers, Steffi is one of the biggest fashion and beauty influencers in Germany. She has had several big campaigns with prestigious brands like @lorealmakeup, @mercedesbenz_de, and @calvinklein. Beginning the show as an underdog who received a lot of criticism from the jury, she won the hearts of her fans over the course of her journey to victory. With her hard work and ambition that paid off in the end, she inspired thousands of young girls in Germany.
Steffi has an excellent quality grade with 94 % (A) and a quite diverse audience from all over Europe.
Stefanie Giesinger’s audience quality score on InfluencerDB
ANTM winner Nyle DiMarco is not only the second male winner of ANTM but also the show’s first deaf participant ever. As an activist for the deaf community in the United States, Nyle teamed up with the brands @diesel and @gq to raise awareness about the daily struggles of deaf people. He worked with Uber on their campaign Uber Sign Language, teaching his followers how to greet people in sign language.
Compared to Stefanie Giesinger though, Nyle had far fewer cooperations with brands on Instagram while his fans seem to love his activism. This could make him an interesting influencer for niche topics and brands. While he only scores a C- (57%) for audience quality, his LFR of 10.4% is notably high.
ANUTHIDA PLOYPETCH (GNTM) VS. MAMÉ ADJEI (ANTM)
At only 17 years old, Anuthida Ploypetch came in second in the 10th season of GNTM in 2015. During the run of the show, she won deals with the automobile manufacturer Opel and beauty brand Gillette Venus. Since then, she has become an important influencer in the German Instagram sphere. Anuthida has had countless partnerships over the past year with brands like @hollisterco_germany, @aussiehairofficial, and @asicseurope.
Her audience quality scores a very good grade of 83% (B+) and her Like-Follower-Ratio of 4.6 % shows an impressive engagement with her followers. That makes her an excellent choice for partnerships with fashion and beauty brands.
Mamé Adjei was the second place finisher on the 22nd season of ANTM. Looking at paid partnerships, the 26-year old Ghanian-American model is definitely one of the candidates with the most cooperations on Instagram to come out of the reality show.
She has promoted many brands on her Instagram channel, including the jewelry brand @theofficialpandora, the supermarket chain @walmart and the hair removal salon @laseraway. However, Mamé has an extremely low audience quality grade with only 17 % (F) which doesn’t make her a great candidate for cooperations despite her past partnerships.
Mamé Adjei’s audience quality score in InfluencerDB
Keeping up with shows like GNTM and ANTM can be useful to marketers because many of the participants gain popularity during the shows that will last beyond the final episode. However, marketers must look beyond the winners to find the best potential collaborators. Many of the most popular contestants on social media are those who made it into the top 10 but didn’t win. Marketers have to understand which character traits followers appreciate and respond to the most.
Looking at the six influencers presented here, it appears that authenticity may be a key factor in a participant’s popularity. Personal stories, struggles, and imperfections seem to appeal most to the audience. This comes as no surprise since authenticity also is the key to successful influencer marketing campaigns. Also, it appears that from a data-based view, German candidates achieve better results regarding their audience quality and tend to have more cooperations with brands than their American counterparts. So before choosing your next influencer, make sure to check how well their account really performs.
Both the American and German versions display interesting characters this season, some of whom most certainly will become a new star in the Instagram sky. Keep an eye out for the next generation of GNTM and ANTM influencers as this year’s episodes unfold.