How are young Influencers Influencing their Followings?

We know influential content creators are the new essential brand outreach tool for advertisers. There’s hardly a brand that isn’t using them. So what do the advertising gigs (aka “integrations”) look like for this new breed of brand agents?


H&R Block, the tax return company targeting millenials, launched Billion Back Records, a music video campaign that helps young adults celebrate getting a refund at tax season.

The brand hired 10 YouTubers (Joey Graceffa, iJustine, Jimmy Wong, Pomplamoose, Dia Frampton, Julia Sheer, Meghan Camarena, Joe Hertler, The Rainbow Seekers) to push its Billion Back messaging via a social media record label. YouTubers released original songs and music videos on their channels that focus on getting their tax refund. The brand was looking for YouTube personalities that have music talent, creativity and a large social audience to spread the word.

Taco Bell recruited YouTubers Caleb Nation (73,000 subscribers and 47 million views), Freddy Wong (7.7 million subscribers and 1.2 billion views), Brandon Laatsch (1.2 million subscribers and 174 million views) and the Merrel Twins (686,000 subscribers and 78 million views) to promote the fiery Doritos Locos Tacos. The campaign launched in summer 2013 and Taco Bell continues to push social, social, social and mobile, mobile, mobile.

Tyler Oakley – who leads the YouTube field in Cause related brand deals -  teamed with Taco Bell to offer a $30,000 educational scholarship.

McDonalds has entered the brave new world of Influencers introducing a new youth channel with host vloggers and Internet sensations, Oli White and Gabriella Lindley. The channel is targeted at 16-24 year olds in an attempt to re-connect the brand with an audience that’s grown up with Jaimie Oliver and his fast food cautionary tales.

Janel Parrish – According to Teen Magazine, the 26-year-old actress (Pretty Little Liars) and Instagram star (2.7million followers) “appeared as a “surprise guest” at the Pop-Tarts PB&J Day event in Los Angeles. "Teen Magazine was there IN PERSON to witness all the fun activities. (Guys, there was a larger-than-life PB&J obstacle course, complete with a peanut buttery slip-n-slide, WHA-?!) When JP wasn’t participating in the #gonutty event herself, we got to chat about her new collaboration with the tasty treat, the PLL craziness, plus her budding music career. “ (Source:

Burberry’s launched a 24 hour fashion campaign on Snapchat in 2015 to whip up excitement for their 2016 spring fashion line. Targeted to fashion savvy millenials, the campaign was shot by Mario Testino – international fashion photographer and digital visionary – and was up for 24 hours before disappearing into the ether. According to Leo Burnett’s, global social and mobile lead, Snapchat’s fleeting communication app creates an artificial and brilliantly manufactured sense of urgency that taps into the FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOOL (fear of being offline) zeitgeist.

Mattel – Uno Dare Tag - hired 19-year-old Andrea Russett, who has been making videos on YouTube since she was 12. Her channel boasts 2.4 million subscribers and has pulled in over 100 million views.  Her Uno Dare Tag involved her soliciting her audience on Twitter for dare challenges, which she then delivered on her YouTube video. The comment stream is mostly positive with 933,634 views (although 306 thumbs down)

Her YouTube video pulls in fellow YouTubers Ricky Dillon, and she tagged – fellow YouTuber - Arden Rose (cuz that’s what YouTubers do) for the next round of Uno game play

Pizza Hut hired Jack and Jack (Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky – Vine pop and comedy stars who transitioned to YouTube - 1,250,021 subscribers • 85,769,143 views) to create videos to promote their new menu. The food chain wanted to introduce new ingredients to their pizzas and decided to promote it through YouTube content creators. Interestingly, the YouTubers they chose aren’t food video bloggers. The pair used the new ingredients Pizza Hut is using in their new pizzas to promote the new pizza offerings.

Viner Logan Paul was hired by Dunkin’Donuts as their newest spokesperson. His role involves promoting the chain’s new mobile app and its loyalty program through a range of social content across platforms such as Vine (the comedian has nearly 8.8 million followers), Facebook (5.4 million followers), Instagram (2.4 million followers) and Snapchat (an average of more than 500,000 opens per post).



Marriott Hotels and hospitality has created its own Content Studio including a Snapchat channel where influencers post their hotel-stay adventures. The @MarriottHotels channel is using Viner Brittany Furlan and YouTubers Casey Neistat and Louis Cole (1.3 million subscribers, /120 million YouTube views), and Snapchat-native star Shaun McBride to share their hotel-stay adventures on the platform in a 3 month storytelling campaign.

Moxy Hotels has enlisted YouTube star Taryn Southern (~500,000 subscribers/3 channels) to launch its own YouTube channel with an eight-part Web series, Do Not Disturb.  The series will see Southern interviewing other popular YouTube influencers inside a shipping container, which holds a prototype of the Moxy bedroom. The episodes feature games such as Yougle Search, which examines what guests search for online, What's in My Bag? which takes a sneak peek into overnight. She brings on YouTube celebs like Steve Greene (830,000 subscribers), Nikki Limo (395,000 subscribers) and Vine queen Brittany Furlan. has teamed up with content creators to produce an online video campaign that helps digital users make sense of social media speak. The videos are available on YouTube, and on’s homepage. The videos are hosted by Viners and YouTubers, including Meghan McCarthy (3.2 million followers on Vine and 727,000 subscribers on YouTube), Lizzza (3.8 million Vine followers) and Harmony Smith and her son Elliot (with 663 million Vine followers).

A team of American and German YouTube beauty and fashion vloggers travelled to New York to create a fashion-focused series. They hobnob with designers and go to all the hot and happening events around the city, all the while creating documentary and vlog-style content.

Content will air on beauty vertical by Studio 71 and the women’s own channels.

The Beauty Cruise will feature the creators behind the German Studio 71 channels DFashion (320,000 subscribers/315,603), The Funny Pilgrim (270,000 subscribers/60,570,390 views), Sanny Kaur (78,000 subscribers) and Beauty2Go (330,000 subscribers), along with the American CDS channel Amber’s Closet (374,000 subscribers/80,209,215 views).


 “Girls Night In” live tour featured online YouTubers, offline. The tour - focusing on female empowerment - featured comedy routines and music on stage, meet-and-greets with fans and Q&A sessions, starring several of the network’s most popular beauty and lifestyle influencers. The six women YouTubers have 12.7 million subscribers among them. Ticket prices for the event ranged from $25 to $45.