Client ····· Anonymous
Subject ···· “Disruptive marketing”
Formats ···· eBook

For a B2B client that incentivizes customer reviews for home goods brands, I wrote an eBook on the history of home goods marketing. In it, I illustrate how campaigns designed to "disrupt" traditional marketing channels evolved alongside technology—from early TV campaigns that matched the tone of what an audience was watching, to today's digital campaigns that match the function of what an audience is doing. I call this "disrupting by fitting in", and close by analyzing 5 campaigns doing this in 2021—along with their implications for the future.

Click on the arrows below to see a few examples.

*Full eBook available by request*




Building off of the previous PBTeen example, Home Depot found a way to sell their products with an updated twist on influencer marketing. The initial Web 2.0 version of this marketing channel focused on influencers like Maybaby & much bigger stars—but over the years, brands learned there was a smarter way to get to their audience. As Instagram evolved into an ever-more-powerful force, many influencers began to cap out before reaching the heights of millions of followers. Today there are three tiers of influencers commonly acknowledged: the mega influencers (A-list performers or anyone who commands over a million followers), macro influencers (largely Internet-born celebrities with 100,000 to a million followers) and micro influencers (niche figures with 1000 to 100,000 followers, with most sitting comfortably around 30,000-70,000). For its own Instagram presence, Home Depot decided to lean into working with the latter.

Home Depot Instagram collaborations

It turned out to be a wise move that boosted the retailer’s own popularity to over 1.2 million Instagram followers, and engaged with its audience in highly strategic ways. The benefits of a micro-influencer partnership begin with a lower rate of pay (as opposed to the $1 million-per-post rate mega influencers like the Kardashians regularly collect), but extend to more efficient hyper-targeting. As stated in the case of PBTeen & MayBaby, an influencer’s trust is often transferred to the brand, and trust is decisively stronger between micro-influencers and their followers than macro and certainly mega tiers.

A micro influencer often gains & maintains their following by doing something within an incredibly specific niche, and the closer a brand targets that niche, the deeper they can disrupt it by fitting in. The final benefit to working with micro influencers is that you can afford to work with many of them, and target each of their followings individually.

“ is decisively stronger between micro-influencers and their followers than macro and certainly mega tiers.”