Brands & YouTube Stars: Balancing Promotion and Entertainment Value

When it comes to branded content, maintaining the balance between entertainment value and promotion isn’t always easy. Brands tend to either produce videos with entertaining, emotional storylines that only showcase their product once or twice, or create purely promotional spots flaunting new product features and capabilities.

Online video viewers prefer the former and are more apt to share these kinds of spots— but in these commercials, brands often take a back seat. So how are companies able to balance promotion and entertainment value in online video? They’re partnering with influential YouTube stars.

Take Dude Perfect, for instance. This group of Texas A&M buddies is known as one of the most popular and talented trick shot crews on YouTube. Using everything from basketballs to footballs to ping pong balls, Dude Perfect has mastered the art of performing and filming insane trick shots.

With over two million subscribers and millions of views on most videos, Dude Perfect has attracted several brands interested in video collaborations. Fiat, Pringles, Dick’s Sporting Goods and NERF are only a few of the companies Dude Perfect has worked with to create entertaining, promotional videos.

Fiat USA hooked up Dude Perfect with a couple Fiat Abarth Cabrio 500’s, and the guys went wild with trick shots in their Stunt Driving Edition. The video has earned over four million YouTube views and 81,000 social shares.

In Dude Perfect’s latest video, Pringles cans and Mr. Pringles himself make an appearance. This video, which features the group performing trick shots with predominately ping pong balls, was uploaded one day ago and already has over 474,000 views and 31,000 social shares.

Dick’s Sporting Goods gave Dude Perfect free roam of one of its stores to execute an array of sports related trick shots. One of the guys even ended up kayaking down an escalator. The video has earned 1.6 million YouTube views and 43,500 social shares.

Dude Perfect has created a couple of videos featuring NERF products. The spots have over 7.6 million combined YouTube views and 78,000 social shares.

Other brands Dude Perfect has worked with include Southwest Airlines, AT&T, GMC, Allstate, ESPN, Pizza Hut and Hyundai. The trick shot group has made it extremely easy for brands to reach out, with a convenient section on its website dedicated to clients.

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Dude Perfect’s videos are incredibly entertaining. They’re also effective at showcasing brands’ products—often they are front and center throughout the spots. Though viewers may immediately recognize the marketing ploy, the entertainment value keeps them hooked. The viewership and social engagement generated by Dude Perfect videos have made it an ideal advertising tool for a number of brands.

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