The Food Renegades Star Chef Kat Ashmore, 950k Followers, Helps Lead Viral Frito-Lay Campaign

Chef Kat Ashmore, influencer and TV producer, partners with Frito Lay to bring New Years Resolutions to new heights for 2022.

Chef Kat Ashmore of @katcancook was one of the first campaign partners to share what she is “never going to give up” for Frito Lay’s #FritoLayRickRoll challenge, and her campaign video has now surpassed a whopping 4.3 million views. Kat shares that she is never going to give up scrolling through social media in bed, pictured eating snack food; specifically, a bag of Frito Lay Brand Sunchips. “I gotta say, I sleep pretty well,” Kat remarks in response to those who might otherwise comment how bad phone usage before bed is for sleep quality.

Having developed recipes for Martha Stewart, as well as producing an Emmy award-winning TV series, Kat is a professionally trained chef. TikTok and Instagram Chef Kat was also a Food & Entertaining Buyer for Indigo, Canada’s largest book retailer, developing seasonal retail, cookbook, culinary assortments, and private label recipes. Now amassing over 950k followers across social channels, including her TikTok and Instagram account. The gluten-intolerant TikTok Chef creates recipes that like her, are gluten-free, including gluten-free desserts, gluten-free bread, gluten-free snacks, and more. Kat prides herself in creating recipes with real food that are attainable for any home chef to whip up. The top food influencer, food blogger, and health and wellness influencer has partnered with brands such as Ocean Spray, Instacart, Kroger, and Chobani to share her love of good and healthy food and having fun in the kitchen with her followers. Kat strongly believes that there is room for all foods in a healthy and balanced diet. 

You can book celebrity Chef Kat Ashmore for your next campaign by emailing Christina Brennan at christina@celebexperts.com.

@katcancook

#ad This is what I’m never gonna give up in 2020. Check out #FritoLayRickRoll and share yours!

♬ original sound – Kathleen Ashmore

We’ve all been there; you’re going about your otherwise normal day when you click on an innocent-looking link or are enjoying a quiet moment with a handful of friends when suddenly, out of nowhere, drums kick in and the sound of a familiar synthesizer confirms your shock: You have been Rickrolled.

Rick Astley, famous for his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up,” has been a popular meme since before the word “meme” was part of common vocabulary. This new year, Frito Lay grabbed the bull by the horns of this iconic internet inside joke and turned it into a viral campaign, currently with over 6 Billion Views and thousands of user-generated videos. With a prompt video of Rick Astley himself, the call to action asks users to share what guilty pleasure they are “never going to give up” in 2022, and TikTok has taken off with the ask.

You can book The Food Renegades Chef influencer Kat Ashmore for your next campaign by emailing Christina Brennan at christina@celebexperts.com.

IN THE NEWS: Creators turn to public shaming to seek compensation from brands they say don’t credit them

The tide is turning in favor of creator pay, but is calling out brands for using allegedly plagiarized work actually helpful?

CEO Evan Morgenstein featured in NBC News article by Morgan Sung.

Designer Cecelia Monge found herself in a spat with Converse after she accused the shoe brand of using her designs, which she submitted in 2019, in its national park collection.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence, and it’s kind of just unfortunate when larger companies ‘borrow’ from smaller designers,” Monge said in May in a TikTok video, which amassed 22.8 million views. Converse denied the accusations in a comment on a post on Diet Prada’s Instagram account. 

Monge, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, and the shoe brand, which also didn’t respond to a request for comment, never partnered up.

But months later, in October, Monge was presented with a new opportunity: creating a collection of apparel using her original national park-inspired patterns in collaboration with the underwear brand Shinesty. The collection is nearly sold out.

While some creators may seek legal retribution for work they believe is stolen, few have the resources to go after well-known brands. Calling out brands online, however, is free. 

And that’s why many creators, like Monge, are increasingly using social media to call out brands that they say aren’t properly crediting and compensating them. 

Copyright laws regarding creative work aren’t always clear-cut, and people who post online risks their work’s being plagiarized and distributed without credit. Large companies have long had the upper hand in working with creators, especially those who have smaller platforms.

@ceci.monge

These are seriously so soft, if you like companies that support small designers, GO SHOP FROM THEM!! AVAIL FRIDAY #Shinesty #converse #design #fashion

♬ original sound – Ceci.monge

The tide is turning in favor of creator pay, but is calling out brands for using allegedly plagiarized work actually helpful?

It depends, said Evan Morgenstein, the CEO of the influencer talent agency The Digital Renegades, which manages partnerships between creators and brands.

Publicly shaming a brand may be tempting because consumers tend to trust other consumers more than they would a large company, Morgenstein said.

“Brand to consumer [marketing] is dead,” he said. “If you’re a brand, you can’t advertise to consumers anymore. It has to be consumer to consumer, which is why brands want to start in communities, and hopefully people in the communities talk the product up.” 

Public snark can pay off, sometimes

Public snark can sometimes end up leading to a productive partnership, one that benefits both brand and creator. 

One of the higher-profile instances occurred in 2020 with Epic Games, the parent company of the game Fortnite.

Epic Games ended up working closely with the actor Ana Coto, who went viral in early 2020 with a roller skating routine to the song “Jenny From the Block.” Coto had posted a side-by-side video of her original TikTok video from March 2020 with a clip of Fortnite’s nearly identical dance emote Freewheelin’, which was added to the game that summer.

“Flattered but no dance credit?” Coto captioned the TikTok video. 

A week later, Fortnite attributed the dance as having been “inspired by” Coto, who eventually worked with the game to create another skate-themed emote. 

Epic Games had been criticized in the past, and even sued, for using viral TikTok dances as in-game emotes without crediting the original creators who choreographed the dances. Although Epic Games last year began crediting emotes to creators, like “Renegade” choreographer Jaliaiah Harmon, other TikTok creators still accused Fortnite of using likenesses of their work without permission. 

Now, however, the company is reported to directly pay creators to use their viral dances, and it includes attribution on the emotes’ listings in the game’s online shop, Billboard reported last year.

Coto didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Epic Games, which declined to comment, referred to previous comments it has made to Billboard.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a choice we’re making to correct a past mistake,” Epic Games’ head of partnerships, Nate Nanzer, told Billboard in March of the move to paying creators. 

“When we were thinking about this program, honestly, it wasn’t even a question,” Nanzer said. “We were like, ‘Of course we need to compensate the creators.’ We wanted to make sure that we could tag them in the posts [and] work with these folks from a marketing perspective, as well, and make sure that we’re giving them proper credit.”

Some creators end up taking legal action

Some creators prefer to stir the pot when it comes to calling out brands.

Since it launched as an anonymous fashion account in 2014, the Instagram account Diet Prada, for example, has acted as an online whistleblower bringing attention to the injustices of the creative industry.

The account, which has 2.9 million followers, is known for shaming both luxury fashion brands and fast fashion chains for copying the work of lesser-known marginalized designers. 

Diet Prada’s approach to seeking digital justice has been criticized as bordering on sensationalist and in poor taste — the account known for canceling others was canceled for criticizing Kanye West’s Yeezy collaboration with the Gap with statements referring to his controversial political stances.

The post, which Diet Prada apologized for and deleted, failed to acknowledge Mowalola Ogunlesi, the Black female designer leading the collaboration. 

Diet Prada declined to comment for the story.

From the Desk of the CEO: The Evolution and Future of the Talent Agent

Lately, I have been thinking about how being a Talent Agent has evolved. This isn’t to say that there aren’t still some that practice what they have done for decades, still today. Contrary to popular belief, dinosaurs still live and exist. The talent representation business, which I started in by working with NBA players in roughly 1991, was at best a kiss-ass, follow everywhere, and “deal with the groupies” kind of deal. Yes, we had obligations to help negotiate deals and contracts, no question about it, but in that time, there really weren’t any competitors to athletes when it came to who was viewed as being the best spokespeople.

Truth be told, most of the big agencies told their A-List talent to do international commercial deals (such as Tom Cruise/Tag Heuer in Japan) vs. showing the American public a commercial side of who they were. It was so phony and inauthentic. But, that was the game being played in the 90s. I remember being at the Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton when the NY Knicks came to town to play the Lakers and the Clippers. I was working with a few of the athletes in marketing. I came to the hotel and there were 10+ women dressed for a party at 11am waiting for the athletes. (It always amazed me how these people really thought there was anything there for them emotionally, spiritually, etc.)

To be candid, part of why I got out of being a sports agent was the lack of loyalty from the athletes. There was little to no trust, and no shot that they were going to be with you for their entire careers. I have been to 6 Olympic Games, NBA All-Star Games, MLB playoff games, etc. I have seen a lot. I love sports and I love athletes, but I love it differently now. Now, my passion and focus is on the NIL athletes because they are real. They want your help to be their best, and they are so smart!

In February 2020, I had an epiphany about what was happening in the marketplace. I saw the pandemic exploding and realized on-site events were over. Life was going to be turning to virtual events. Virtual marketing. Virtual speaking conferences. Virtual sports. Everything and every brand needed to deliver their messaging via a virtual pathway. Consequently, the social media influencer market exploded. I was signing creators with 200-400,000 followers and in a year they were in the millions. 

Brands were coming out of the woodworks looking for influence and answers. How can they compete? How can they sell their products to a nervous marketplace? The social media influencer became the superstar of the world of celebrity. Stars will be stars, but for my money, social media influencers saved 50% of the companies that exist today in food, fitness, nutrition, beauty and more. With few people going to stores, online shopping became the hub of the marketplace. Uber Eats, Instacart, etc. took off. Who was driving the brand awareness? Social media influencers. 

As a Talent Agent, when all this was coming to fruition, I was servicing moms, retirees, chefs, fitness advocates, etc. Real people that had a skill. One of those skills was creating interesting and compelling content and sharing it on a social platform. I was in the business of building groups of creators that could collaborate together, share ideas and share insights on how to grow their audiences, sales, and income. It was a community like I have never been in before. 

The Digital Renegades and our sub-groups, The Food Renegades and The Sports Renegades, now had meaning. It wasn’t just representing talent that was there for themselves. Now, it was wildly successful and famous creators taking the time to help others grow and be successful. The social media influencer space is one of the hottest growth engines for entrepreneurism on the face of the earth. Most influencers and “micro” influencers are entrepreneurs. Most have no employees. One person shows! It’s remarkable.

I felt I could impact and help creators build their business. No longer was I just there to wipe the ass of sniveling rich athletes. Now, I am helping my clients build their forever. To wrap it up, like I said, I see an evolution for the Talent Agent for those who want to evolve. If you want to stand at the gate and wait for the rich athletes to maybe let you in the party, so be it. For me, I am spending time helping my clients be ground breaking creatives in a market-place full of great people with similar goals and dreams.