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Brewster Seniors Create Influencer Campaigns to Learn About Economics

student takes photo of classmate for influencer campaign

Students in Kayla Corvino’s Senior Economics class at Brewster High School have been taking a closer look at how social media affects their spending. To really explore its effect on their finances, Corvino’s students worked in groups to “become” social media influencers. 

“So far, we have spent this year focusing on how your emotions and your values as a human being affect your economic decisions,” Corvino said. “We started to look at social media and how an emotional reaction can really influence impulse buying.”

Corvino had students look at influencers and the content they create and ask questions like Is this drawing on my emotions? Is this drawing to fear? After studying the content of others and thinking more deeply about the tactics influencers use, it was time to create their own campaigns.

Students were instructed to either create social media posts about three needs within one age group or one need that can reach three different age groups. They then had to create goods around those needs.

“They’re becoming the influencers and trying to understand the background and psychology of why we spend money,” Corvino said.

Students came up with a wide variety of ideas: smoothies, a portable solar hotspot, a café. From there, they created fake social media posts (via a website that allowed them to create posts that looked like they came from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) designed to draw in consumers.

“Over the course of this project, students learned to use these websites and posted as companies or people who they weren't,” Corvino said. “They learned how easy it is for social media posts to be manipulated or faked by anyone.” 

Tiffany O’Connell and Bella LaLuna decided to build their posts around a family gym.

“We decided to target a big group,” Tiffany said. “If we do family gym, people of all ages can use it.” The girls took photos and videos doing pull-ups, posing with yoga mats and showing off the gym.

At the same time, Megan Renzi and Ella Rhodes were in the cafeteria taking photos for their coffee company. They played off their Western-themed Spirit Week looks by giving their business a little country flair.

“This is the only coffee company that gets me up in time to saddle all my horses,” Ella said in one of their video posts.

After working on this project, students had the opportunity to do a Zoom meeting with an executive at Takumi, a brand influencer and social media agency. Students got feedback on their work and learned about the process involved in setting up influencers and brands.

“I am so happy that my students got a chance to have a real world audience directly give them feedback and advice on their work,” Corvino said. 

The winner was Super Juicy Mama Juices (which you can watch here), a spoof on unboxing videos by Sara and Sarah. The duo’s goal was to create a parody that drew out all of the exaggerated details in an unboxing video, which would be followed up by a "celebrity" endorsement featuring Social Studies teacher Tom Mullane. 

“This project taught students why they choose — or don’t choose — to impulse buy online based on what they value,” Corvino said. “They learned about how the media manipulates people into thinking they need products that they do not, strategies to stop impulse buying, how to market brands and the work it takes to create original content.”