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Things of Internet: Quality sponsor plugs by YouTubers (Part 1)
Let’s face it - nobody wants to see ads.
Sure, marketers can do all they want to make them more #relatable and #engaging but given a choice (and the surfeit of great content out there), we would prefer a world without ads. Even those working in advertising. (Especially those working in advertising). This might make life tough for content creators who kinda depend on ads and sponsor plugs to keep the lights and cameras on. How do you add a sponsor plug, but do so in a way that don’t have people skipping ahead by 10 seconds?
Some YouTubers do a brilliant job of seamless sponsor plugs. So much so that my wife and I actually look forward to these and even applaud a quality plug. Some examples below (and if nothing else, you’ll find a great bunch of channels to follow).
Two examples this week, two next week.
Ze Frank x CuriosityStream
Ze Frank is one of the internet's oldest creators, and his "True Facts" series on YouTube is a doped-up Planet Earth. It will leave you more knowledgeable about kangaroos and venus fly traps, as well as give you a good cardio workout from all that laughter (seriously - I've never been able to watch a Ze Frank video without pausing at least once to catch my breath). Anyway, his surreal nerdy comedy means his audience is naturally attuned to fun forms of learning, making him the ideal spokesperson for sites such as CuriosityStream. Here, watch from 4:10 here (or really, the whole video so you get a sense of his style of humour, which transitions seamlessly into the sponsor plug).
Here's another example where he plugs a Marvel game in a video about cats (while focusing on a cat-based character).
Oversimplified x NordVPN
Oversimplified is a channel with just a few videos, but each is a gem. 20 minute videos that break down complex historical events with humour, animations and well, oversimplification. The sponsor plugs hit you when you least expect it, and they are wonderfully done. You'll find an example at the very end of this video breaking down the French Revolution (forward if you're in a hurry, but I'd highly recommend watching the whole thing).
A couple of musical examples
I follow a bunch of rock/metal YouTubers and given their audience is likely to consist of a good number of musicians, it's an ideal place for instrument / music tool brands to collab. Below is an example where guitar pedal company Neural sponsored Anthony Vincent, a genius who is known for his "songs in other musician styles" videos.
But the craziest example is when a guitar company called 10S guitar custom-made a 20-string (!!!) guitar for the eccentric Stevie T. His style is incredible playing blended with a... erm, annoying personality (he's an acquired taste really). In terms of collab, it was perfect.
I hope you enjoyed that selection! I have a few more examples - which I'll send your way next week. Yes I know, two weeks with repeated themes but at the end of the day I am sending you to some very good YouTube channels so hopefully you will forgive me (Also, I'll be traveling on work so will have limited time to think and write).
If you have an example, let me know - would love to include it here!
The updates section
In one of the best spin moves in tech, Meta is trying to leverage its 60% stock plummet by saying its no long "big tech". LOL.
Equally interesting is the approach taken by a company that hopes to be acquired by Meta - Giphy - who say that GIFs aren't cool anymore, therefore please don't do antitrust and all. Wat! (seriously though, the kids think GIFs are cringe)
To be fair to Meta, it is trying. They're running an experiment on Facebook to see how users can help govern the platform - especially dealing with misinformation.
A Bangalore bakery took on Amazon... And won.
You've no doubt heard about this by now - Adnan Syed, the protagonist of the enthralling Serial podcast - has now been freed.
Spotify's gotten into audiobooks. Another example of all tech players slowly getting into each other's turf.
Slack getting some SF features
Ethereum's upgrade thingy somehow led to the SEC wanting to regulate it, so it promptly crashed. Crypto - the gift that keeps on giving.
How YouTube's trying to challenge TikTok: Give Shorts creators more rev-share money.
Things are so bad Inc42 has a startup layoff tracker (leading the pack is Ola with 2100).
Whatsapp is releasing a *check notes again to be sure* an original film to debut on Prime Video.
Getty Images bans AI-generated art. One of the many implications of DALLE2 and the likes.
The reads section
This is not digital per se, but one of the advantages of having a strong brand is being able to monetise in other ways - including merch. The latest case in point: Parle G!
Meet LoRa - an alternative to Bluetooth and 5G that also uses much lower power. An Indian is at the helm of a company pushing it.
Happy 40th anniversary to the emoticon (kids - that's what we old people used before emoji was a thing).
Forget what Elon Musk says - bots can be a good thing if done well instead of peddling cryptoscam.
The recommendations section
All those channels up top, of course!
Tweets & threads
Python is so last year.
See you next week!
And if you have an example of a good sponsor plug in a YouTube video, lemme know - will include it in next week's edition.
Have a good week,