There’s levels to luxury.

For some, LuluLemon and Alo are as luxe as it gets. For others it’s Gucci and Louis Vuitton. And the most elite it’s Moncler and Armani. 

But at the top of the mountain of luxury is a brand that is nearly untouchable, one that can be spotted often in the posh alpine village of Gstaad. Cashmere, wool, and exceptional craftsmanship, this luxury brand absolutely SCREAMS quiet luxury.

Seems like an oxymoron right? I’m glad you noticed.

In today’s lesson we’re peeking behind the curtains of how one comedy skit influencer has altered the entire course of the most luxurious brands in the world.

Founded in 1924, Loro Piana is an Italian clothing brand known for its timeless elegance, understated luxury, and flawlessly executed influencer Marketing campaign with, wait for it, a satirical influencer who goes by the name The Gstaad Guy.

The Gstaad Guy is one of the most interesting case studies I’ve done to date, highlighting the pinnacle of luxury collaborating with the pinnacle of Instagram humor.

With an incredibly typical Gen Z resume working 2 years at Apple, a few months at Coinbase, and now full time content creator, The Gstaad Guy has turned his following into an avenue for the world’s most luxurious brands to reach the unreachable, the 1%.

The legend all started from a Facetime call with a wealthy friend who frequented Gstaad. Complaining about his masseuse being late to an appointment during his winter holiday, The Gstaad Guy made a video poking fun at how ridiculous the friend was being.

The friend thought the video was hilarious and sent it to his mom, the mom immediately shared it in all of her Whatsapp group chats where it began to take off. Friends were sharing the video and an account posted the original video to Instagram where it went viral.

The Gstaad Guy didn’t stay much longer at Apple and leaned fully into this original character of “Constance”, a satirical over exaggeration of the ultra wealthy.

Constance is an avid collector of watches, cars, wine, and Loro Piana pieces with exceptional taste and most notably, strong opinions of how to live a luxurious life.

The Gstaad Guy immediately entered a unique position in the market because he was an influencer through fiction. When it comes to books, tv shows, and movies, fictional storylines are the most influential, but up until this point this leverage of fictional narratives around influencers in social media was untapped.

Continuing to feature Constance in short 30-60 second videos, The Gstaad Guy was building an archetype that much of the top 1% could relate to. 

Loud luxury, consumers thinking they’re in the club when they’re most definitely not, and the younger generations oblivious to tradition and true elegance, Constance was a snob when it came to all of it. 

To this date The Gstaad Guy has never shared his real name, leaving people to truly question whether or not the whole character is actually even a character

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Parlaying perfectly into Robert Greene’s quote, “What you reveal causes excitement, what you conceal heightens interest”, The Gstaad Guy certainly knows how to heighten interest.

With 800k followers on Instagram and 600k on TikTok he has a large following, but nothing compared to the size you’d expect once you hear the brands he has long-standing partnerships with.

The partnerships had nothing to do with audience size and everything to do with audience value. The Gstaad Guy didn’t have an audience of millions of 15-year-old Fortnite gamers, instead he sacrificed audience size for audience value and built a following of consumers with more discretionary income. 

They’re harder to reach, harder to target, and smaller in quantity, making them increasingly more valuable to advertisers if you get them all in one location.

The Gstaad Guy’s first partnership was with Audemars Piguet, the prestigious Swiss watch manufacturer standing as one of the oldest fine watchmaking companies still in the hands of its founding families. With entry level watches starting at $15,000, Audemars Piguet is reserved for those with a discerning taste for luxury and craftsmanship.

Aka the typical IG scroller isn’t in the market for an Audemars Piguet (AP).

But The Gstaad Guy doesn’t attract the typical IG scroller and was able to ink a partnership with the brand (the $$ wasn’t disclosed but The Gstaad Guy said he now makes 5x what he did at Apple). 

In nearly every video The Gstaad Guy dons a quartz AP and is known for a regular occurring series of AP focused satirical videos.

(This is The Gstaad Guy’s other character, Colton, a Gen Z frequenter of LA and New York at an Audemars Piguet exclusive event.)

When he’s not talking about how to properly pronounce Audemars Piguet, he’s walking around in the most luxurious Loro Piana pieces that everyone wants to get their hands on.

The collaborations are effortless, it never feels like an ad, yet every time I watch a video I want to buy the Loro Piana shoes he is wearing. That’s all because The Gstaad Guy’s archetype models something we all at some level wish to achieve, being WEALTHY.

Being made fun of for our hair style or our height, those stink, but being made fun of for being wealthy and affording luxurious things? That’s not such a bad thing to be made fun of, so his jokes don’t impact consumption behaviors negatively. 

Instead they encourage consumption because of the attention he gives to the audiences he pokes fun at, and everyone wants that attention.

Not only that, the subtle cue of humor The Gstaad Guy uses reduces consumer’s resistance to the campaign message he’s pushing, only helping recall, and retention rate.

The Gstaad Guy and Loro Piana even launched a drop of 600 limited edition open knitted walk shoes, which sold out within hours and were the fastest-selling product Loro Piana had EVER MADE.

The legacy brand is more popular now than ever, as you can see organic traffic to their website looks like a hockey stick since their partnership began in 2021.

(Thanks for the data Semrush ILY.)

You will never catch The Gstaad Guy wearing anything other than the very finest Loro Piana (omg I’m writing this with an accent in my head right now LOL) and you will never catch me saying that humor doesn’t work in Marketing.

If it can work for the highest-end brands in THE ENTIRE WORLD, it can work for your Series B SaaS company LOL.

Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
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