How has influencer marketing affected your marketing?

Age-old Marketing Discipline: The History of Influencers since the 18th Century

InfluencerMarketing can easily be described as the ultimate trend in digital marketing. But this trend area is by no means new. As early as the 18th century, companies back then relied on influencers - far removed from the Internet, radio or TV.

The English royal family as a testimonial for ceramic tableware

The older generations grew up with opinion leaders who have made a name for themselves with their music or acting, or who have become known through record sporting achievements. So the celebrities from back then in most cases achieved something before they acted as testimonials for their own company or company. The trust factor may have been lower than currently due to the often very promotional appearance, but the campaigns were still effective. Today's influencers have become popular thanks to social media and massive following. Your trust factor is much higher, even if the product placement is often more overt. It is not without reason that there are more and more debates about surreptitious advertising among the popular social media stars.

Their impact, however, can hardly be dismissed out of hand, despite sometimes questionable methods. To give a positive example: When Bianca Heinicke (Bibis Beauty Palace) launched her own care range in cooperation with the drugstore chain DM, it was sold out in some branches after a few hours. Despite their immense success, influencers are people like you and me. Not least because of this, they make a positive contribution to purchasing decisions and are increasingly used by companies for collaborations.

The infographic illustrates the development of influencers since the 1760s. Josiah Wedgwood, listed as a pioneer in graphics, was the founder of a pottery and sold ceramic tableware. He managed to inspire the English royal family for his goods and to win the royal family as advocates. The brand still exists today. Fatty Arbuckle, a famous silent film actor, screenwriter and director in his day, became the first recorded testimonial as Brand Ambassador for cigarettes in 1905.

But also invented characters, such as Santa Claus or Tony, the tiger from Kellogg’s Frosties, are shown in the graphic, followed by celebrities and other internet stars. In addition, it shows the origin of influencers, how the discipline has affected marketing and lists the most important rules and insights.

Click on the picture to get to the complete infographic:


Studied social science with a penchant for online and marketing. Was editor and content manager at from 2014 to 2019.