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OK, 550 Vanderbilt wasn't first: hiring Instagram fashionistas to tout new development

Ok, it's definitely a thing, hiring fashionistas with major Instagram followings to post photos of themselves looking glam and throwing that fairy dust over a new residential development. Extra points for picturing said fashionista on nearby, better established blocks.

And, it turns out, the developers and marketers of the 550 Vanderbilt condo, whose campaign I described, actually were not first.

Consider the 11/30/16 cover wraparound for the freebie Metro NY newspaper, toting the 365 Bond development in Gowanus.

It suggests an Instagram post by Linh Niller, though I couldn't actually find a post with her saying "Strolling through this dreamy neighborhood with the pup."

And the very modern 365 Bond, next to a Superfund site (see Pardon Me For Asking coverage), doesn't look like landmarked Carroll Gardens nearby. Whatever.

See, Linh Niller Hunyh, according to her LinkedIn page, describes herself as "Stylist for 365 Bond lifestyle photoshoot for Marketing Campaigns; worked with Lightstone Group and Douglas Elliman to collaborate on the goals of the campaigns."

So she worked on this and this, part of a campaign shot in April by several "bloggers," er, marketers. (I didn't see any disclosures, as required by the FTC, of sponsorship.)

While this came before 550 Vanderbilt, I'm not sure if this was the first ever. Still, it's enough of a trend to be part of today's real estate marketing. It's not "fake news." But sponsored-but-seemingly-grassroots social media certain qualifies as "fake social media."


  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    That corny picture has always cracked me up. The entire marketing behind all this stuff is beyond mockable. thanks for sharing this!


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