Why Featuring “Real” Individuals Is Key

Many cosmetic companies take advantage of the popular YouTube beauty “gurus” and send them products to test and review on their channels. This is immensely successful, and a great way to get your company’s name out there. What if magazines did the same?

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images

I have seen a few YouTube videos where girls have said “Oh! I’m in Glamour this month!” and then shown a sneak peek of the specific page they are featured on….this is sort of what I am getting at here. We trust our friends, and we all know that milennials trust strangers online like we would our friends. So if your friend was in a popular magazine and she said you should buy it… would you? Probably.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Kandee Johnson in Glamour. Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images

Blair Fowler (@juicystar07) in Seventeen Magazine. Image courtesy of Google Images

“The magazine medium’s essential strength lies in the active way in which readers choose and use their magazines. Magazines are an active medium, with the reader in control.

First of all, purchasing the magazine is a simple way to show your support of that featured individual.
Second of all, you purchased the magazine (the goal of Glamour, etc.).

By allowing the featured individual to tease the magazine online to their audience, you have connected the two, without the consumer even thinking about it. Featuring fabulous celebrities sort of does the same thing, but I think the difference is that people see the YouTube gurus as “real” and “genuine”, unlike some celebs.

Image courtesy of Glamour.com

Image courtesy of Glamour.com


For example, Michelle Phan (read about her here), an extremely successful YouTuber who has been featured by multiple magazines, still manages her own community communication, reviewing and replying to YouTube and Instagram comments, Facebook posts and tweets herself. ‘No one does it better than me because I’ve known them for six years,’ says Phan.” The little things, like keeping true to yourself, have created a brand for Phan. I truly believe that readers of magazines want to see these types of individuals featured, and that this can be a strong, driving force in their purchase decision.


4 thoughts on “Why Featuring “Real” Individuals Is Key

  1. Ah! This is so big for me! While I may not be buying makeup or clothing like readers of Glamour, having genuine people who consumers look up to is so crucial for a purchase (or in this case reading) decision. Sneaking in those little pitches and mentions about a product or a magazine that a celebrity, athlete, YouTube personality can be wildly influential on a purchase behavior. For example, after going to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Convocation Center last spring, a magazine that I would have never purchased did an excellent feature article on them. M & RL mentioned this article on their social media accounts and I was persuaded to go out and buy the magazine. It was a small, subtle mention…but I went out and bought a six dollar magazine that I would have passed over with the endorsement. It’s not in your face like a normal endorsement for a product or service, and it works.

  2. Magazine’s featuring YouTube beauty “gurus” is a tremendously smart move. They are somewhat of a semi-celebrity, having many subscribers and followers on social media, and are able to gain such loyalty and trust from their fans because they are so relate-able as a “real” girl or woman. I trust the YouTuber Megan Parken, aka Meganheartsmakeup, because she seems genuine, and proves her credibility through maintaining such a strong fanbase. She’s been the reason I still will buy a Seventeen magazine once a while, even though I’ve grown out of the teen audience it is primarily marketed towards. I’d much rather copy a hairstyle from someone who I could consider a peer, rather than a famous celebrity that didn’t have to lift a finger for their flawless hair, thanks to a hair stylist. I love the quotes that you incorporated into this post. It was a great way to break up the blog into easily readable sections!

  3. I definitely agree with the point that magazines should depict real people as opposed to celebrities all the time. I feel as if I can connect more to someone who is not used to the celebrity lifestyle, because I am not used to the celebrity lifestyle. I also agree with Alex, who commented above me, it’s much more likely for me to connect to someone who I could see myself working with or being friends with over a celebrity, who I can relate to very minimally. While it’s fun to read about the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous, it’s really refreshing to hear from a girl that’s more my speed.

  4. I agree with Jessica, that there is a lot of authenticity when it comes from an average person than compared to a celebrity endorsement. I think by publishing beauty guru’s from Youtube, is a great start for magazines to gain credibility and a wider audience. As Jessica mentioned, I also agree that I would much rather trust a similar individual like myself than a celebrity. Celebrity’s aren’t considered normal, nor do they obtain an average lifestyle. I think by allowing those from Youtube be published in the magazine, gains authenticity and pushes their brand out into the digital world without having to pay big capital for it. Do you think this is smart strategy as well? Would you trust a Youtuber over a celebrity?

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