I spend a lot of time talking to my daughters about the importance of making things rather than simply consuming things. Anyone can buy stuff; it’s far more interesting to create something–a poem, a drawing, a video.
But maybe I have it wrong. Because one of the biggest categories of User Generated Content on YouTube is the “Haul” video: clips of mostly younger teen girls showing off the merchandise and deals they bring home from every shopping trip. The biggest player in this genre is JuicyStar07, also known as eighteen year old Blair Fowler. For the past three years, she’s uploaded videos chronicling her every purchase and every shopping concern from her unapologetically pink bedroom. She is a bona fide web celeb but in her words “I’m just a girl who loves anything beauty, fashion, girly, glitzy, and pink!”
Now if you’re at all inclined to middle-aged crankiness like me, watching those videos might sound as appealing as taking a belt sander to your teeth. Who in their right mind would want to watch a teeny bopper prattle on into her laptop’s camera about lipgloss and miniskirts?
Of course, you’d think that. And you’d be a know-nothing idiot. Because as inexplicable as that content might seem to you, it’s earned Blair nearly 136 million views in less than three years. Given YouTubes ad revenue sharing plan, that pays off nicely. But the benefits don’t stop at fame and fortune. Blair leads a loosely-affiliated army of consumers with incredible buying power: she has sold out products with a single tweet. So merchants send her products just hoping she will review them and create demand. JuicyStar07 earns fame, fortune and free stuff. And yes, she recently hired a publicist.
With no investment beyond time and passion, Blair has gathered a narrow but powerful community that shares her enthusiasm for shopping and wields enormous influence on her market. It’s enough to make the rest of us feel like we’ve led a lifetime of hapless slackerhood.
That is a testament to the power of community. And Web 2.0. And enthusiasm. All things any agency can bring to bear for their clients.
Good for you JuicyStar07.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson