If you’ve taken a ride on the New York City subway anytime in the past few weeks, you may have noticed Bethany Mota smiling down at you from one of the many ads YouTube has plastered across the city’s public transit system.
Though it’s entirely possible you’ve never heard of her before — especially if you’re an adult without children — the 18-year-old Mota has nearly 6 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where she serves as a curator of sorts for adoring teens and tweens seeking guidance on which clothes they should buy and how to decorate their bedrooms.
But while Mota’s position as a tastemaker and her loyal audience of affluent young people make her show a perfect fit for fashion advertisers, YouTube’s advertising clients have expressed the sentiment that Mota and other top YouTube creators could attract even more eyeballs if they were properly promoted to the general public.
And so, in its quest to convince brands that YouTube is a better place to advertise than television, YouTube has gone about promoting Mota and two other popular creators — Rosanna Pansino and Michelle Phan — in much the same way big networks like ABC and CBS promote their new TV stars.
The Google-owned video platform is advertising these stars with ads on national television, in print magazines like Seventeen, and on billboards, subway trains, and metro stops in Chicago and New York City.
The campaign will run until mid-May, after which YouTube will begin a new campaign touting a different batch of stars. YouTube declined to say which stars would be featured in the new ads.
But if you’re interested in learning a little bit about the people staring out at you on your morning commute in the campaign that’s running now, you’ve come to the right place.
Bethany Mota has been active on YouTube since 2009, when she turned to the platform and its beauty community as a refuge from being bullied elsewhere on the internet.
Her specialty is what is called a 'haul' video, in which Mota shows off the clothes and accessories she buys, and reviews them in front of the camera. Already, her keen eye for what's hot in youth fashion has allowed her to design her own clothing line for Aéropostale and work with retail giants like Forever 21 and JCPenney.
Mota was home-schooled throughout high school, and her role model is fashion designer and former reality television star Lauren Conrad from 'The Hills.'
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Rosanna Pansino is the host of a cooking show called Nerdy Nummies, where she shows people how to bake video-game and pop-culture related treats like Angry Birds cupcakes and Super Mario cake pops.
Prior to becoming a full-time YouTube creator, Pansino was a working actress with background appearances on 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Glee.' Unfulfilled, she decided to create her own show based on the love of baking she inherited from her grandmother.
Here, she shares a recipe for making macaroons in the shape of the video game character Kirby:
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Michelle Phan is a makeup artist whose popular series of how-to videos has allowed her to create her own cosmetics line from L'Oreal and a beauty subscription series called Ipsy.
The videos have gained traction both in the United States and Asia, where Phan is especially attuned to the latest beauty trends.
Here's her most-viewed video, which she made in 2009 to show people how to make themselves look like Barbie dolls. It has since been viewed more than 50 million times:
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