Posting through a pandemic: can the social media influencer survive Covid-19? –

To a soundtrack of the 60s classic The End of the World, a trenchcoat-clad model in a diamante studded mask strides up to the front door of an LA mansion. 

This is the first scene in Culprit Underwear’s apocalypse-themed advert, which involves the model striding around the house in her smalls before, in true 2020 fashion, an asteroid falls and destroys everything. 

“We thought business would go down,” says David Dinetz, co-founder of Culprit, originally a production company and marketing agency. 

“But more people are using e-commerce now and we’re selling a ton of underwear, to the point where we can’t produce enough inventory.”

The company, which has recently expanded to sell masks, usually markets its products using the network of influencers and contacts it has from the LA film scene. 

That video, starring German model Jüli Mery, was filmed just ahead of the lockdown which has confined millions of Californians to their homes other than for essential journeys. 

Since then, like the many other businesses who rely on influencer marketing for their brand, Culprit has had to get creative, relying on CGI rather than live-action filming, which is anywhere from cumbersome to impossible in the age of social distancing. 

But what does all this mean for the thousands of