This article by @adweek explores the success of the Instagram project, #FollowMeTo, and the booming global travel brand that emerged from it. The project began in 2011 by Murad Osmann, when he took a picture of his wife, Nataly, leading him through a graffiti-covered door while on a trip to Barcelona.
As the popularity of #FollowMeTo has grown, the Osmanns have partnered with Macy’s and Napa Valley’s Beringer Vineyards to promote the brands pro bono. The Osmanns have worked with Macy’s to incorporate subtle advertising into #FollowMeTo posts by wearing Macy’s clothing in #FollowMeTo photos. The couple has also teamed up with Napa Valley’s Beringer Vineyards to create an album featured on the website’s homepage of #FollowMeTo photos – wine glass in hand, of course.
#FollowMeTo has proven viral social media trends to be creative and successful platforms for brand marketing. Brands recognize the influence these social media stars have on their followers. The Osmanns definitely have a lasting power, with their beautiful photography and wanderlust-filled posts delighting followers for five years. It makes sense for brands to want to be a part of the magic.