Last month, Selena Gomez was eating at Chili’s during an interview with W magazine when she got a text from her manager.
Her manager wanted Gomez to post a picture of her “boyfriend” on Instagram to promote her then-unreleased music video for her single “Hands to Myself.”
“Oh, my God,” she recalled saying to W. “Look at what my manager wants me to post.”
It was a simple photo of a physically attractive young man sitting down on a bench drinking orange soda, a photo that was sure to generate a lot of buzz.
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“No caption, nothing,” Gomez said. “Watch — it’ll be crazy.”
Within 12 hours, the post received over 1.2 million likes and was covered by media around the world. Doing what they do best, her fans banded together and discovered the man was Christopher Mason, who was set to star as her love interest in her new music video.
Since its release on Jan. 20, the music video has been viewed over 37 million times on YouTube and counting.
Gomez’s admission reveals just how calculated many celebrities’ social media content is. The seemingly random things shared by celebrities sometimes aren’t so random and can actually translate to big business for their brands.