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VidCon may have started as a place for fans to meet up with their favorite YouTubers, but now, in its 7th year, the annual gathering of content creators, marketers, and social media followers has become the ideal place for brands to reach, interact with, and learn more about their audiences and/or young consumers. From engaging activations to creative campaigns with the world’s biggest social influencers, here are the brands that attracted the most attention at VidCon 2016.
Livestreaming platforms like Facebook Live, Live.me, Twitch, and Musical.ly are quickly amassing large audiences, especially among teenagers and millennial audiences who grew up with “in-the-moment” social media apps like Snapchat. By sponsoring opportunities to meet the platform’s emerging stars like singer/songwriter Haily Knox, musician Nick Bean, and twin comedy duo 99 GoonSquad, streaming network YouNow continues to attract millions of creators and viewers
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With over 100 million livestreaming “sessions” per month, 150,000 live broadcasts each day, and a user engagement rate of over 70%, YouNow has emerged as a leader in the livestreaming space (YouNow). For both top content creators and the brands seeking to collaborate with social media influencers, the popularity of livestreaming apps signals a shift away from the “traditional” model of content creation in favor of a more authentic, “off-the-cuff” video experience.
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Taco Bell continued to prove why marketers consider the brand one of the most innovative on social media with a number of exciting activations. In the “Taco Bell Sauce Packet Studios,” VidCon attendees could become content creators by improvising different scenes using props (like a giant taco piñata), while those who stopped by the elaborately-decorated Taco Bell booth were given a free customized Snapchat geofilter.
“We’re at VidCon because this is where our audience is,” Taco Bell’s Social & Digital Experience Manager Jozlynn Rush told USA Today. “These are the people we want to connect with.”
One of the most active brands at VidCon 2016 was Kia. The automaker captured the attention of young audiences—many of whom will likely be purchasing their first automobiles in the next few years—by hosting the Kia Lounge (where aspiring YouTubers could learn more about creating great content), the Kia Parent’s Lounge (where chaperones could go to relax), and the Kia Main Stage (which featured VidCon’s opening and closing ceremonies).
Kia also asked both festival-goers and social media influencers to contribute to an original, collaborative music video and tag their experience #KiaVidCon. Notable influencers who participated in the #KiaVidCon campaign include Megan Batoon, SUPEReeeGO, Rebecca Zamolo, Eleventh Gorgeous (see example below), and others.
Had a blast hanging out with @Kiamotorsusa and you guys today at Vidcon! You can see me in the #KiaVidcon music video coming in July! #ad A photo posted by Tracy and Stefanie (@eleventhgorgeous) on
Hosting an exciting event is an effective way for brands to increase exposure to thousands of attendees. Twix leveraged this campaign strategy by sponsoring the “Twix Prom,” a closing-day dance party that featured dancing, glow sticks, and live music by DJ Kris Moon. Twix also enlisted YouTubers Joshua David Evans (1.3 million YouTube subscribers) and HollywireTV’s Chelsea Briggs (1.5 million YouTube subscribers) to host the “prom” and share the event on their respective social media channels.