Out of the Box Marketing Partnerships

By: Kelsi Camp

With public relations and advertising being an ever-growing and evolving industry, I think it’s important to identify current and emerging trends to look forward to.  As many of us know, endorsement advertising in the past has been a very successful way to advertise a service and/or a product. But, a commercial today with [Insert your favorite celebrity here] hasn’t done as well as it has in the past. According to Marketingideas101, 55% of US adults find that celebrities can have a somewhat or very negative impact on the product/service/issue they are promoting. As we know, more people are more likely to buy a product if it is endorsed by someone they personally know, such as a family member and/or friend. According to Marketingidea101, 92% of people will trust recommendations from a person they know, and 70% of people trust consumer opinions that have been posted online.  Leaving us with only, one in 10 people that would engage with advertisements because they like the spokesperson. 

Now, why is this important? YouTube is one of the top platforms used when it comes to creating viewing video content. Following Netflix, shown in the graphic below: 


YouTube “personalities” is a relatively new trend when it comes to celebrities and how well their audience and/or fans actually know the influencer. Some of YouTube’s biggest independent influencers, meaning one “influencer” runs the channel, who are portrayed as YouTube personalities are PewDiePie, Shane Dawson, Smosh, and David Dobrik.

The audiences of these platform influencers tend to have a relatively close relationship with the influencer. These influencers’ videos are conversational and reveal personal details about their lives outside of their career.  Most of these influencers talk to their audiences rather than talking to their audiences. This type of content isn’t something you would commonly see from a “normal” celebrity. For example, David Dobrik, who has over 16 million subscribers on YouTube, posts vlogs on this main channel that are always four minutes and 20 seconds long. The vlogs explore the daily life of Dobrik and his friends, who are called “The Vlog Squad.” These videos can range from Dobrik buying his friends cars to pranking his members of “The Vlog Squad.” 

SeatGeek is an excellent example of how to use a popular influencer’s credibility to their advantage. Seatgeek is a ticket buying and selling platform that users can access through a mobile app or website to complete their transaction. 

David Dobrik is a YouTuber who has a brand partnership with SeatGeek. The partnership started in 2016 and is still very active today. Since SeatGeek has partnered with David Dobrik and other YouTube influencers, sales have grown over 1,500%. The relationship between Dobrik and SeatGeek isn’t your typical brand partnership, which is why I believe SeatGeek has been so successful. This four-minute and 20-second video from Dobrik’s Youtube channel is just one example of the unique partnership between Dobrik and SeatGeek.

Ian Borthwick, director of SeatGeek, is one of the main reasons this partnership with Dobrik has been so successful.  Borthwick has even become somewhat of a marketing star from his relationship with Dobrik by accumulating 31.7k followers on Twitter

Borthwick’s out-of-the-box marketing partnership with Dobrik is something more brands should be aiming for. Ditch the boring 30-sec scripted advertisement and allow the influencer to endorse the brand in a more authentic way. Not only does this tactic help build a better partnership between the influencer and the brand, but it shows the audience that the brand trusts its product enough that they can allow an influencer to talk about their brand freely. 


Infographic: Can Celebrity Endorsements Influence Sales? (2020, January 31). Retrieved from https://marketingideas101.com/branding/infographic-can-celebrity-endorsements-influence-sales/

Spangler, T. (2019, May 3). YouTube Now Has 2 Billion Monthly Users, Who Watch 250 Million Hours on TV Screens Daily. Retrieved from https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/youtube-2-billion-users-tv-screen-watch-time-hours-1203204267/

Weiss, G. (2019, August 2). David Dobrik’s Unique Relationship With SeatGeek Is The Stuff Branded Content Dreams Are Made Of. Retrieved from https://www.tubefilter.com/2019/08/01/david-dobrik-seatgeek-branded-dreams-influencer-marketing/

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