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The construction dad Instagram influencer was sadly just an elaborate marketing stunt for a coffee shop.
“After I explained he said ‘Pssh, I could do that,'” Barbara L wrote in a now-deleted or private tweet. “Well… he did. The best part is he works in construction.”
At the time the construction guy, who goes by “Omar,” had only 75 followers, according to Mashable. After Barbara L’s tweet went viral, their “dad” shot up to influencer status–with the help of several other platforms where the story was shared.
Omar’s first post was created on May 3, and he has already amassed over 400,000 followers–with that number growing by the minute. This puts him in the middle to top tier of all Instagram influencers.
Omar labels himself a “coffee lover” and “lifestyle influencer” based in Austin, Texas, in his bio.
His aesthetically pleasing posts feature high-quality photo ops of him in the usual construction fit, at construction zones, and flat lays of his construction gear and tacos. He is often seen promoting his favorite coffee shop, Cuvée Coffee, with a cup of coffee in hand–latte art and all. Now we know why.
In fact, Omar isn’t even running the Instagram account, an advertising agency for Cuvée Coffee is. Cuvée Coffee’s owner Mike McKim collaborated with Bandolier Media, the advertising agency, to create “Omar’s” Instagram account.
Cuvée Coffee fessed up to the elaborate ruse in a blog post.
In case you haven’t heard, our friend Omar (justaconstructionguy on IG), has picked up a few more followers. And by a few, we mean 369,000. Yep, he’s internet famous now, and couldn’t be more deserving.— Cuvée Coffee (@CuveeCoffee) June 13, 2019
Click here to check out the story:https://t.co/JcJS2veQWf pic.twitter.com/Lm2niCVmk3
“The whole idea was what we always thought as an influencer, and what we used as an influencer in the past, they don’t always fit our brand,” McKim told BuzzFeed News. “We need a different type of influencer: a hard-worker, blue collar guy.”
McKim said that Omar is a real construction worker based in Austin and that he isn’t aware of who Barbara L is or their initial tweet.
“I’m bummed because I thought this account was legit,” on user commented on one of Omar’s posts when they found out it was fake.
Omar is being paid for the photo shoots only and hasn’t earned any money off of the Instagram account.
“This has taken a life of its own,” McKim said. “None of us expected this. I think it’s super cool. We’re all having fun with it.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Cuvée Coffee.
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H/T Buzzfeed News
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.