Celebrity Sells: The Rise of YouTubers

Celebrity Endorsements have been used by businesses for years as a way of creating likability and trust; both for the company and in the company’s product. Some great examples of this include Cheryl Cole and L’Oréal, David Beckham and H&M, and Michael Jordan and Nike.

This practice has evolved in recent years to include a whole new range of celebs: YouTubers. YouTube has grown into a digital powerhouse with over one billion users. This channel reaches more 18-49 year olds than any other outlet, making it an advertiser’s dream. This reach was then emphasised AGAIN when “YouTube stars” became a reality. Popular YouTubers have as dedicated a fan base as any traditional celebrity and, because they seem more authentic and genuine, their endorsement is more readily trusted. Let’s take a look at some companies that saw this opportunity and used it well.

Lilly Singh and Estee Lauder

With just under 11 million subscribers Lilly Singh is the proud owner of one of the most popular YouTube channels under the name IISuperwomanII. Not only does she make globally enjoyed videos, she also has created music, clothing and movies. This woman has a strong fan base and brand making her the perfect choice for Estee Lauder when they launched “Lana Steele: Make up Spy” on one of their own YouTube channels “I love MakeUp.” This series followed the adventures of Lana Steele, a heroic spy who uses her favourite make up products to disguise herself before she goes to fight the bad guys. While this all sounds unbelievably cheesy, people loved it. Estee Lauder went from getting an average of 100k views on their videos to over 600k on each episode of Lana Steele and there’s even talk of a second season! Watch it yourself below!

 

Kurt Hugo Schneider and Coca Cola

Kurt Hugo Schneider runs a hugely successful YouTube channel with over 8 million subscribers, dedicated to making music with other musicians as creatively as possible. This content includes playing songs using a bicycle and even through an original version of patty-cake. Butterfinger capitalised on this just a few days ago when they partnered with Schneider and he created a Back Street Boys classic using butterfinger bars to create different sounds. This is reflective of previous endorsements in 2013 when Schneider created the song “Safe and Sound” using glasses of coke. This Butterfingers video has already gained almost 600K views and this is likely to keep growing. Watch the video yourself using the link below!

 

These successful endorsements show that the way companies partner with celebrities is growing. YouTubers make more trustworthy and seemingly credible endorsers and their skills can allow companies to really get creative. Gone are the days when we watched Snoop Dogg rap about hot-pockets (yes this happened see link below).

 

No more stilted and cringeworthy advertisement performances from well-paid celebrities but instead genuine entertainment from people who make their money sharing self-made content in an interactive and modern way.

Chloe Peoples is a 2nd year CAM student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @ChloePeeps or on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-peoples