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Bad Influence(r), Chapter Four: Campaigns

Vivianne from Bad Influencer by Tori Hamlin

Vivianne signed the digital contract the next day. She didn’t want to appear too eager, so she waited until the afternoon to give the impression that someone with a professional, legal background had reviewed the document. That same night, she received another calendar invite for the following day, which she accepted. She made her way back to the office building, where she met with her campaign manager, a woman named Melissa.

“I’m so glad to meet you,” Melissa gushed, leading VixyViv into her office, “I’ve been following you a long time and really love your makeup channel.”

Vivianne beamed at the praise and sat down at a long work table in Melissa’s office. Melissa, herself, was very pleased. She had some great ideas for Vivianne, who had made a very insulting remark about Melissa’s younger sister on Instagram, calling her a pin-titted cow, when she’d posted photos of herself in her prom dress.

“We’re really excited about all the great campaigns we’re doing for you,” Melissa said, offering Vivianne a bottle of water, “Our people really are the best. Let’s get right to it, so we can start working on your rise to greatness right away!”

Vivianne nodded along eagerly. Melissa opened her laptop and navigated the company interface, pulling up some kind of complicated readout, which showed a photo of Vivianne next to a list of planned campaigns. The first one read, “Twitter Poll.”

“We’re going to start this one over the weekend,” Melissa said, tapping her painted nail at the screen, “People love interactivity. They want to feel like they’re part of your life, as if they have some kind of influence on their favorite influencer. It’s why polls are some of the most interacted with content on every platform. People want to think that their opinions and decisions matter. What we’re going to do, first, is start a one month campaign, during which your followers will vote on polls that decide which action you’re going to take next.”

“Um, okay,” Vivianne said, not really understanding.

“The campaign department already has a list of pre-planned polls that we’ll post to your Twitter account. They’re stupid things that give people a little thrill when they answer and then get to see the results. Stuff like, which dress you’re going to wear today from two given options, or which party do you think I should attend from these two options. They’re just silly little things that your followers can’t help but interact with.

"Of course, those options will be linked to products, travel opportunities, or services that the sponsors will provide you with. We’ve already had your first round of product shipped to your new place, and you’ll be receiving some emails for planned trips and party invitations with other clients. I’ve also scheduled some local events for you to attend over the next few days.”

Vivianne glowed at the idea, now. Already, she was being given free stuff. They were planning trips to fancy destinations and inviting her to parties for successful and influential people. She could hardly pay attention to what Melissa said, daydreaming, instead, about the luxurious lifestyle that had been laid before her after all her hard work. Then she snapped to attention and said, “New place?”

“Of course!” Melissa said cheerily, “Influencers have a certain lifestyle to maintain, so the company has rented you a new penthouse apartment, as well as a new car. Both are, of course, provided by the sponsors, so you’ll get instructions on how to promote them to your audience.”

“Wow! This is so amazing!” Vivianne exclaimed.

“Just make sure you follow all the instructions regarding the poll choices, to the letter,” Melissa advised, “You’re under contract, now. If you renege on the terms, it’s a breach of contract and you’ll be required to pay back any compensation that we, or the sponsors, have given you. It’s a big responsibility.”

Vivianne felt a bit nervous about that, but she was sure she could follow instructions.

“That wraps it up for today,” Melissa said, “You’ll be receiving instructions with each of the packages that will arrive, as dictated by the sponsors. As your manager, I’ll make sure to advise you on how to fit them into the campaigns and how to market them,” she slid Vivianne an envelope, “These are the details on your new place, as well as an onboarding bonus check to help you get started. We’ve already taken care of paying off the lease on your current apartment and a representative from the moving company will get in touch with you later today to arrange the transfer of your belongings.”

Vivianne’s head was a whirlwind. It was all happening so fast! It was like iFem had just swooped in and taken control of everything. The feeling was a little uncomfortable, but she decided that it was nice having someone else handle all the little details, so she didn’t have to make hard decisions or feel anxious. She just had to follow her instructions.

“I’ll walk you out to the garage and show you the car. If you want your old one taken care of, just leave me the keys and location. We’ll handle having it paid off, stored, and ready for you whenever you want it.”

Vivianne followed the woman, the envelope filled with dreams clutched tightly in her hand. She took Vivianne to the parking garage and presented her with a brand new EV convertible in blush pink, with an iFem license plate on the back. On the front bumper, a vanity plate read, “VV” in stylized, feminine letters that VixyViv thought were just the cutest thing. Melissa shook her hand saying, “Keep in touch if you have any questions. It’s what I’m here for.”

Vivianne thanked her, a rarity, and got behind the wheel of the slick car. She caressed the steering wheel lovingly, glanced around at the fancy leather interior and shining, chrome trim. It was perfect! Giddy, she opened the envelope and took out the information for her new apartment, then looked at the onboarding bonus check. $25,000. It was so much money! She practically bounced in her seat in excitement. She was the luckiest girl alive, she thought, as she started the car and drove to her penthouse.

Her new home was everything she imagined, already furnished with plush, leather sofas and modern decor. A large, flatscreen TV hung on one wall and the kitchen cabinets were stocked with healthy, but delicious choices. No more dollar store meals for VixyViv! The master bedroom had a large king-sized bed with a little card on the pillow requesting she log onto a website to schedule regular cleaning services. Vivianne lay on the big bed, stretching out and giggling.

She went into the bathroom and primped a bit, tugged her dress down a little lower to show more cleavage, then snapped a few selfies of herself in front of the big picture windows of the living room. She quickly captioned them and uploaded them to her channels.

“Kisses, all you lovely lovelies,” she wrote. The photos received immediate likes, validating Vivianne’s feelings that this is what she deserved. She flitted about the apartment, giddily checking every room, cabinet and cupboard. When she opened the closet, though, she squealed in glee. The thing was filled to bursting with new dresses, workout attire, shoes and handbags. Rifling through them, she began to cry with joy at all the beautiful and expensive things.

A knock at the door pulled her from the closet, and when she answered a delivery man wheeled in a dolly with boxes marked with the iFem logo. He placed the packages in the entryway and departed. Vivianne hefted the boxes, ripped them open, and began to pull out the contents. Some of the things made her blush. Several packages contained sexy underwear, while others contained a variety of sex toys. She supposed that this was part of her job as a promoter, though. She was sexy, after all, so her followers wanted to feel like they could be sexy, too.

Whatever, she thought, it wouldn’t be much different from taking selfies in a bikini. Besides, all those fancy parties she would be attending might mean she would meet a really cute guy, and all the top influencers had sexy little flings in exotic locales. The idea was kind of fun, she decided, imagining herself flirting over cocktails with wealthy and powerful people that lived in beachfront condos and secluded estates.

Other packages contained numerous lights, camera equipment, and electronics. Those were welcome additions. She’d made it this far with nothing more than a phone camera, but now that she was going big time, she’d need to step up her game and make sure her new content was top notch. The electronics included a laptop and a couple of tablets. Overwhelmed by her good fortune, Vivianne lay back on the couch and cuddled a pillow, dreaming of the fame coming her way.


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