Roger Young
Roger Young

The genius of Lee-Ann Liebenberg

If there is one thing I appreciate in marketing it’s Honesty. I can spot a sham at the subject line, the “I make art therefore buy this crap” stuff that’s force-fed onto us every day by C-listers the world over. So I find something refreshing in the honesty that Lee-Ann Liebenberg offers in her Twitter and Facebook campaigns for other people’s stuff. Never once does Lee-Ann pretend to be anything else but a really hot girl you want to have sex with but know you can’t because of Danny so you’ll fake interest in what she’s selling. And the cleverest thing about it is that all she is selling is herself. Not art or music or baubles, just images of herself for you to fixate on. And she uses the campaigns for All Africa Poker on Twitter and her status updates to tell you constantly that her life is fabulous and therefore you can never have her, all the while building your desire to rush out and buy her next gloss, soft-porn bikini shoot. Saying that Lee-Ann Liebenberg is a vacuous airhead is like saying Transformers 3 won’t make a penny at the box office.

The root of the strategy is that Liebenberg is constantly promoting herself above everything else, when not promoting a specific product or shoot, she updates on her daily life, her realness, her fondness for sweet things, her lack of enthusiasm for exercise, creating as she goes a perception of her normalness. This only adds to her desirability, key to which, of course, is her unavailability. When Liebenberg does pick up an event to support or promote, she has just under 5 000 FB friends and nearly 1 500 followers on Twitter ,many of whom comment, reply to and yes, buy or support that product or event. This would not work if she were merely sending out product updates. Liebenberg’s brand is herself; her target market is people who desire either her or her fiancé or her lifestyle. She lends that brand to other brands, she is never owned, but even in lending that brand to All Africa Poker or Sports Illustrated helps to grow her own brand.

What Liebenberg is really marketing is a lifestyle that is totally unattainable to most mortals, but the fact that she lives it means that it is possible, she gets paid to sell the possibility of wealth, hot sex and expensive products. The fact that this strategy works toward increasing her earning ability, as a swimwear model, doesn’t hurt.

Many would say that the lifestyle Lee-Ann Liebenberg is promoting is a hollow shell of existence that no one could really want, that living like that could never be satisfying in any meaningful way but I imagine that Danny K would argue different. And that there is why Liebenberg is able to keep it honest.

Side Note: This article was written in the hope that one day Lee-Ann will leave Danny for me.