As the strong sales of Camp Takota proved, Grace Helbig has a dedicated online following, and that makes her a valuable spokeswoman. Helbig, who is one of YouTube’s top vloggers, has starred in a branded video for skincare brand St. Ives.
In the video, Helbig is crowned the Queen of St. Ives and frolics about in a magical world filled with lotion waterfalls. It is St. Ives’ first YouTube video, and his has received universal praise; at the time of this post, it has received 13,571 likes and just 40 dislikes.
The video is a textbook example of branded content on YouTube. It allows Helbig to unleash her goofy personality without forcing her to shill for the lotion she is advertising. Helbig, not St. Ives, remains the star throughout the whole video, thus allowing viewers to feel comfortable and positive about her role as spokeswoman.
St. Ives and ad agency Arnold Worldwide also understand that fans–not companies–have the most influence on YouTube. Agencies like ZEFR and Pixability have repeatedly reported that the vast majority of branded views in the beauty industry come from ‘gurus’ who haul in, unbox, and apply their favorite cosmetic products. As Helbig explains in a behind-the-scenes video, she personally enjoys using St. Ives lotion; she featured it in a recent vlog about her “favorite things”.
It doesn’t matter if Helbig’s feelings about St. Ives lotion are authentic; they seem authentic, the video is fun, and that’s good enough. Brands looking to utilize YouTube talent would be wise to take a page out of St. Ives’ book.