You know what’s really interesting? The rabbit hole that is YouTube beauty videos—monthly favourites, Sephora hauls, get ready with me’s… that slice of the internet.
It’s addictive. I can watch someone apply eyeshadow with 14 indistinguishable brushes for hours, knowing full well I’ll never try it myself. My idea of a ‘smokey eye’ is mixing two shades of skin toned beige I’ve owned since university, and I’m OK with that. I am not the product hungry teen these videos are targeting, and yet, here I am.
I know I’m not alone because these videos have millions of views. Beauty vloggers are building tiny empires on our support. They’ve changed the entire industry. They’re a new breed of celebrity.
And it’s fascinating.
Why? What makes a girl who doesn’t even own eyeliner watch a 20 minute smokey eye tutorial? I’m sure there’s some good psychoanalysis to be done here, but I’ve noticed it’s the personality I’m watching more than the content. ‘I don’t really care what you’re talking about as long as you’re the kind of person I’d want to hang out with on the weekend’ sort of thing.
Do you see how influential that is? It might feel like passive entertainment, but think of what I’m subconsciously absorbing and how it’s affecting me. I mean, Wow.
If a stranger on the internet can keep my attention for 30 minutes on a topic I’m not even interested in… that’s powerful.
My question is how could you harness this magic to make topics that are traditionally a snooze fest, like finance, accessible? What can we learn from these content creators who have millions of teens hanging off their phones waiting for the next upload?
The way people consume content has changed, and the finance industry needs to pay attention. Banks thinking the YouTube beauty vlogger phenomenon doesn’t apply to them isn’t just stupid, it’s suicide — how do they think they’re going to get their next generation of customers?
P.S. In lieu of a somewhat-passably-relevant stock photo… Please enjoy this snap I took of pretty colourful things like flowers in Chinatown, New York.