Mariano Di Vaio: Mr. Like, they call me


Mariano Di Vaio: An Influencer’s Life

This interview with Mariano Di Vaio was published on March 7, 2018, in a magazine issue and we are presenting it again today to review the changes that have been a protagonist of in the last 20 years. At one point he disappears. His cellphone is off, he can’t be found. The sun is pale, a cold wind is blowing at the golf club in Perugia, he has stopped outside to “play two holes”, while we have taken refuge inside. Minutes pass. The Marketing Specialist and the Press Office are getting more and more nervous. They look for the Range Rover: it’s there, he can’t be far. They check the green: no trace. They cling to the WhatsApp checkmark. Much later it turns blue, they call him in three, the quickest one rejoices: Mariano is here, he’s arriving.

Mariano’s Busy Life

Someone like Di Vaio has no idle moments. Or rather, his are those of Big Jim. There’s Mariano the ambassador, who appears in Instagram posts. There’s Mariano the entrepreneur, who goes to the office to manage his company, NoHow. There’s Mariano the architect, who chooses the finishes of the new headquarters, five thousand square meters because the old one, twelve hundred, is no longer enough. There’s Mariano the stylist, who designs the pieces of his line. There’s Mariano the model, who tries on a striped shirt: do we send the black stripe into production, or the white one? The white one is more summery, the black one darker, the white one is more feminine, the black one more masculine, the white one highlights the tan, but the black one “Mariano, you have to think that not everyone is tanned like you”. This is the hard life of an influencer, or a fashion blogger, as he tried to have written on his ID card three years ago, but it was electronic and you couldn’t write on it anymore.

Mariano’s Success

With 6 million and 300 thousand followers only on Instagram, Mariano is the most powerful influencer in Italy behind Chiara Ferragni (11.7 million), and among the “instaboys” – beautiful boys from the world of fashion, luxury, extreme sports – he is second only to Nick Bateman from Miami, who is “only” 500 thousand followers ahead. “But Mariano has a more attractive target for male lifestyle brands: 60% of his followers are men between 25 and 35 years old”. Numbers are not everything, but they count: every day his team analyzes them. In the office, photos are stuck on a wall in order of engagement. The one that got the most likes on Instagram, over 500 thousand, is a puppy. I point it out. “It’s not up to date”, they tell me. “And then animals draw attention on social media”. While I mentally try to multiply the potential “likes” of a photo of Mariano petting a dog, they explain to me that it’s not that easy. Behind every shot there is a complex study and above all you can no longer monetize a single post. With brands, usually, large communication campaigns are closed, which show little of the product, “and do storytelling”. The revenues are staggering.


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