It’s wrong for Social Tourist to turn Charli D’Amelio’s birthday into an investment, not a celebration


Charli D’Amelio (left) and Dixie D’Amelio (right) taking promo pictures for their brand Social Tourist

Charli and Dixie D’Amelio are some of the most successful influencers since the prime of the Gen Z favored social media platform: TikTok. All together, the D’Amelio family, comprised of the two girls and their parents, has an cumulative 192.2 million followers where, alone, Charli is responsible for 133 million of them.

Between having their own Hulu Original series, winning a Kids Choice Award, releasing multiple Spotify singles, and having plenty of Instagram followers, the bar keeps getting set further and further above all other influencers. Launched in May 2021, Social Tourist—the apparel brand under Abercrombie & Fitch, sold through Hollister Co. and founded by the D’Amelio sisters—is yet another accompaniment to brag about. 

The D’Amelio’s lifestyle has done a complete 180 to the point where Charli and Dixie’s birthdays aren’t just celebrations of their lives; it’s now to honor their careers. Charli’s first birthday since the launch, May 20th, is now being celebrated with the promo code ‘CHARLI18’ for 18% off purchases online. 

Brand face marketing is the most common way of getting young adults to buy products—just because their favorite celebrities have either created the product or are somewhat part of the overall business. And according to Micro Creatives’ statistics, 61% of marketers will argue that visuals are the most important part of branding, so connecting the name of the brand to a popular face helps this idea. Charli is one of the cofounders of her clothing brand, so using her special day as an excuse to have her fans buy products would be expected.

Since April 28th, just three days ago, the Instagram account behind Social Tourist has posted nine separate posts about Charli’s birthday sale. While this is all in good marketing strategy, it creates a pit in my stomach to see preplanned, birthday photoshoots for her brand all over social media and not much about the celebration of her youth. It would be different if Charli posted constantly about her brand on her personal Instagram or TikTok account, but this just isn’t the case. Within the past four weeks, Charli has only posted about her brand, on Instagram, three times out of 15. 

Another picture from the Social Tourist promo photoshoot (

On the other hand, 18-year-old business owner and actor, Millie Bobby Brown, has made her personal Instagram into a continuation of her brand: florence by mills. A few years ago, she used all of her birth month, February, to promote her newest drop for her 16th birthday: the 16 wishes collection. The difference between her and Charli is the extent of the content. While it isn’t a shocker to see Millie promoting her brand once again, it’s off putting to see every last drop squeezed from Charli’s birthday.

I’m also interested to see how 20-year-old YouTuber, fashion icon, and well-rounded celebrity Emma Chamberlain goes about her upcoming birthday with both of her brands: Anything Goes podcast and Chamberlain Coffee. 

Millie Bobby Brown posing with her makeup products from florence by mills (beauty

For Chamberlain Coffee’s Instagram last year, there was only one post celebrating Emma’s birthday on May 22nd. Her brand gave away the iconic square Mason jar, for free, with any order. There was nothing posted before hand or after to prepare clients, although Emma usually posts about her brand quite frequently on her personal account. It can be inferred from last year that her brand will continue this spontaneous trend with something similar such as a free metal straw or even a super sale on her coffee grounds. 

The difference between these three women’s brands shows the three most popular marketing techniques that celebrities and influencers alike are likely to use. With Charli and Dixie’s brand milking the new adult’s birthday all over their account, Millie religiously posting about her brand on her personal account and continuing that for the celebrations, and Emma doing a flash sale out of the blue, what is most successful?

Chamberlain Coffee’s hot chocolate (

If the number of followers on Instagram was, unrealistically, at an even growth rate, Social Tourist would be right between the two other companies for number of followers per month. While there are a lot of factors that say these statistics aren’t entirely accurate for consumer odds, such as difference in product and launch year, these numbers can tell us if these social media approaches to marketing are successful or not.

The strategy that includes rarely posting about sales, represented by Chamberlain Coffee, shows that this is the least efficient way to gain a following. With only a little over 13,000 followers a month, this doesn’t even come close to the others. 

When keeping the business out of personal posts but jamming content into the account of the brand itself, this has been proven to be the second most effective. With 27,000 followers a month, Social Tourist proves that this way is really a hit or a miss tactic. 

Charli D’Amelio for another photoshoot (

But, for florence by mills, it is shown to be most effective to post about the brand whenever the chance is given. With a growth of 75,000 followers a month, it can be assumed that being consistent on all forms of social media is best to attract the larger audience. 

While Charli and Dixie’s tactic seems to be working out for them at a steady pace, I would like to see Social Tourist follow florence by mills’ inner workings, not just because it would supposedly make their account more successful, but also because it would make their audience be more convinced about using holidays and birthdays as a main way to attract clients. All brands around the world will take any excuse to make their company look more appealing, but as clientele, we don’t usually see the faces behind the brands so up front.

Watching young women support their brands is extremely inspiring, but how much should they be using their celebrations as marketing tactics? It’s unsettling to see a young girl’s birthday used the way it is. Either companies need to make less of a deal out of the faces of their companies or have their account be everywhere you turn.