Sponsored Videos in the YouTube Beauty Community

I, like many other twenty-something females, am endlessly fascinated by the beauty community on YouTube. There is an entire generation of girls who earn a living simply by buying, reviewing, and putting on makeup. It’s the craziest thing.

What’s even crazier is the comment section of sponsored videos.

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 7.53.17 PM

Comment taken from “Easy Summer Makeup: Get Ready With Me!” by Amanda Steele

Obviously, the audience is aware that these “Gurus” partner with brands to create content or receive free product from brands in the hopes that they will post a positive review.

So then why are audiences so opposed to sponsored videos?

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 7.53.33 PM

Comment taken from “Easy Summer Makeup: Get Ready With Me!” by Amanda Steele

It appears to me that the most likely explanation is that the audiences of this type of YouTube content select which guru to watch based on a personal connection they feel with this person. Sponsored videos seem to shatter this illusion by reminding viewers that this relationship is a means of income for one of the parties involved.

From my own observations, it seems that very few viewers complain about videos in which beauty gurus film reviews using free product in comparison to the number of viewers that complain about outright sponsored videos.

From a brand perspective, it seems as though cultivating relationships with influencers via press releases and sample product (PR packages) is much more effective on the YouTube platform, rather than sponsored videos that come across as a forced, contractually obligated 20 minute ad.


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