Both Marvel’s Ant-Man and Universal’s Trainwreck released on July 17th. In addition to traditional forms of movie advertisement and promotion, both companies enlisted the help of top YouTube stars to bolster their reach, engagement, and buzz in hopes of eliciting consumer ticket sales from each YouTuber’s massive subscriber fan base. As more and more major brands give precedence to creating branded or sponsored content specifically for YouTube, companies are seeking out top YouTube stars are for both their creative collaboration and social media publishing distribution channels.
As opposed to simply repurposing TV ad content, many companies are becoming increasingly digitally-savvy — opting to create custom branded content tailored around top YouTuber stars, organically integrating movie themes and characters into existing YouTube storylines, and specifically for YouTube consumption (utilizing short form web-series; i.e. the Terminator Genisys YouTube Chronicles with Lilly Singh and Toby Turner).
For Ant-Man and Trainwreck, movie stars Paul Rudd and Amy Schumer partner with YouTube stars/channels Dude Perfect, The Fine Bros., Rhett and Link, and Flula.
The channel Dude Perfect is known for the “trick shot” genre on YouTube. For Ant-Man, main actor Paul Rudd joins the five best friends of Dude Perfect for a second video of “Dizzy Sports Battle.” Their first Dizzy Sports Battle garnered over 7.5+M views in two months. Ant-Man’s promotion with Dude Perfect organically integrates Rudd into a familiar game format but with an Ant-Man twist: battling for the smallest trophy.
As can be expected from all of Dude Perfect’s videos, hilarity ensues:
No stranger to rude humor, Amy Schumer and co-star Bill Hader partner with YouTuber Flula to create, “Not Sex Questions.” The video, loaded with sexual innuendos, is a prime example of a properly executed brand-YouTuber integration: Flula’s existing content and subscriber base meshes incredibly well with Trainwreck’s movie nature ultimately serving to entice Flula’s followers (over 600K+) towards seeing the movie.
Furthermore, both Universal promoted Trainwreck on Rhett & Link’s daily web series, “Good Mythical Morning” and “Interviews with Milly” with The Fine Bros.
What started with beauty and fashion companies looking to promote their products with YouTube makeup gurus has now skyrocketed into expansive YouTube marketing campaigns for some of the largest companies. Though many companies and certain traditional TV entities (like Jimmy Fallon or Comedy Central) have begun to proactively grow and scale their own YouTube channels, partnering with top YouTube stars in a way similar to Terminator, and now Ant-Man and Trainwreck, represents a quickly growing trend to significantly increase visibility and cultivate affinity with consumers. For marketers and brands it’s important to note that companies like Paramount, Universal, and Marvel, who inherently boast impressive means of distribution and advertising, are choosing today to market their product on YouTube and with top YouTube stars.