As the lines between celebrity and vloggers are starting to cross over in the media, (just seen Miranda Sings on the cover of Variety this week) the way they get treated is still very different. Just take a look at how audiences leave negative comments and dislikes on YouTube videos that have an ‘#AD’ in the title but don’t express the same frustration with celebrity-fronted adverts.
The double standards between vloggers and celebrities is verry apparent when it comes to working with brands, and it is creating negativity in the community with comments such as “I miss the old YouTube, when it wasn’t about sponsorships”. From Zoella working with the Body Shop, Fleur creating sponsored content for Loreal and Estee Lauder why is that are we more accepting of celebrities pushing us to buy products or promote brands but dislike it when vloggers do the same?
Many fashion and beauty YouTubers come under fire for promoting products and creating paid advertorials for brands, especially if the viewers decide that the vlogger isn’t that passionate about the particular company. Even we can admit to doing the occasional eye roll when seeing a YouTuber who swears by YSL lipsticks all of sudden start raving about Revlon lipsticks. There is always quite a difference in brands listed in the downbar from products ‘mentioned’ to the products they are wearing in the actual video. Yes, they love this new L’oreal foundation but in the video they choose to wear a much more high end foundation by Nars. Hmmm.
If a YouTuber chooses to only feature luxury products they come under fire for being unrelatable but if they then discuss drugstore brands then they are called “fake”. It seems as if some beauty vloggers just can’t win.
Celebrities for years have fronted brands from Cheryl Cole for Loreal, Emma Roberts for Neutrogena, Selena Gomez as a Pantene girl and Holly Willoughby and Davina McCall for Garnier. No one has really argued the fact that Cheryl probably doesn’t use a £8.99 foundation or the probability of Davina not getting her hair dyed professionally but instead doing it at home with a kit she bought at a supermarket. So why do we so harshly judge when YouTubers do the same thing?
The double standard is also shown through the way we judge what YouTubers eat. ‘What I Eat In A Day’ videos have become very popular this year thanks to Niomi Smart, Amelia Liana and Melanie Murphy, but they have resulted in some backlash. Vegan YouTubers such as ‘The Vegan’ couple love taking apart these videos and highlighting what they dislike about what the vlogger is eating. They focus primarily on YouTubers but barley ever discuss famous movie starts or musicians who have taken Instagrams of their meals or have openly talked about their relationship with food in magazine publications. We seem to be more forgiving and accepting of celebrities who stick to strict diets or have expensive eating habits but have strong opinions of YouTubers who do the same thing.
Using affordable brands is what makes YouTubers relatable, and some vloggers have progressed from Boots hauls to Space Nk and Sephora hauls so it is understandable as to why viewers are frustrated by this. I think it is often overlooked that YouTube is a job and as part of this career, you have to do sponsorships just as you would if you were celebrity. Brand deals are part of the game. Not only do celebrities model for brands but they are then contracted to mention the brand in interviews and on their social media which is a very similar format to what YouTubers have to do.
It seem as if we are still reluctant to let YouTubers fully enter to the world of celebrity and distancing themselves from their more relatable lifestyle. The excitement of seeing a beauty interview with your fave celebrity in a magazine and then realising that all the products they have mentioned just so happen to be by the brand that they are the ‘face’ of is no different to clicking on a video and realising that it is an ad and all the products have been sent to them to review.
Do you think we need to be more accepting of YouTubers doing sponsorships and view them in the same as we do celebrities who front brands? Can you still be relatable and represent a high-end brand? Discuss!