When people think of celebrity endorsements, they may think of Michael Jordan for “Jordans” or Oprah for “Weightwatchers.” For generations companies have used celebrities to endorse and sell their products for a variety of reasons. Celebrities are attractive, experts in their field, and role models. They have a niche audience, so it can be enticing to advertisers to pick the right celebrity to deliver their right message, to the right target audience of their fan base, without it being an interruption to the consumer’s life. Let’s face it, we all would love to be Beyonce or Ryan Gosling so the Average Joe tends to look to the elite for what to do and buy. Gatorade is a prime example of advertisements using only elite athletes and how Gatorade helped get them to their level of success.
Gatorade is not subtle about this either, an example would be the “Be like Mike” campaign that gave the illusion that if you want to be like Michael Jordan, you need Gatorade to refuel after workouts. But, consumers are becoming more realistic, and no matter how much Gatorade I drink, I will probably never be as good as Michael Jordan. With the consumer market changing at a rapid pace advertisers have faced a new challenge, finding someone who is relatable but also has a large following.
Celebrities are now seen as unrelatable and therefore not as effective for marketing towards the everyday consumer. No one believes David Beckham wears H&M when he makes millions a year. People want to feel connected and inspired by advertisements; like they can truly change because of a product. This is why advertisers have turned towards Youtubers as “celebrity endorsements.”
Ten years ago, the term “Youtuber” didn’t even exist. Now, millennials could probably name about five major Youtubers who, like celebrities, get paid upwards of millions a year. But, the difference is that those Youtubers were once average people who were interesting enough to pick up a following by sitting in front of a camera.
Youtubers are constantly putting out fresh new content, so advertisers can saturate a consumer with a specific ad once a week. For example, Youtubers who do makeup tutorials use specific tools or products which viewers then go and buy. There are a ton of different styles of Youtuber each with millions of subscribers whether it be through fashion tips, trick shots, music, gaming, comedy, or whatever random idea any average Joe with a camera can produce.
Youtubers are becoming the perfect vehicles for advertising products or brand image because they already producing content that a target audience not wants, but is awaiting and subscribed to, directly to a specific demographic and target audience depending on the nature of the video, at the uninterrupted leisure of the consumer. The addition benefit is that because these “celebrities” all come from humble beginnings and just like the viewers at home watching them, they can be the best influencer of the product because it is almost like a combination between a celebrity endorsement and a personal word of mouth approval from a friend you trust.
By: Brian Alter + Group 5 (Brian Alter, Andrew Palmiere, Mary Romero, David Zambuto)