Lights, camera, action. Mid dance routine, Rihanna turns to a backing dancer who hands her a Fenty Beauty powder compact, she powders her face for three seconds, and the performance starts again. To the untrained eye, Rihanna was simply mattifying her face under the stadium lights, but marketers' jaws dropped at this excellent, free way to promote a product, with the brand's world-famous ambassador at the helm.  

According to a LinkedIn post from Jennifer Adetoro, Creative Strategist, Digital Voices, searches for Fenty Beauty, the beauty brand founded by Rihanna, went up by 883% while mentions of Fenty Beauty increased by 717% on both Twitter and TikTok.

It may come as a shock that Rihanna didn’t take home a paycheck for performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, so her Fenty Beauty plug was the perfect opportunity to earn some dollar.

Jennifer Quigley-Jones, CEO of Digital Voices, commented on Jennifer Adetoro’s post: “Rihanna (and her team) are marketing geniuses. Five million more people tuned in to watch her halftime show than the game itself! The product placement was subtle but impactful. Social and influencer content effortlessly showed the inclusive power of Fenty Beauty.”

Zero dollars spent. Potentially millions of dollars earned. So why aren’t more brands leaning on similar earned media tactics?

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