It was only a couple of weeks ago that Retina Burn posted an article on how large companies can aid their viral endeavours by sponsoring a popular, and established YouTube creator. The poster-boy for the article Go viral using Social Video, was Ubisoft who supercharged their marketing efforts for Assassin’s Creed 3 by appealing to YouTube talent such as Freddie Wong, Corridor Digital, DevinSuperTramp and FPSRussia. This strategy was later appended to their Far Cry 3 launch with equal success and as other companies sit up and take note, the number of game-sponsored content shows no sign of abating.
Just Dance 4 from YouTuber Lindsey Stirling is the latest production influenced by Ubisoft sponsorship, and while it marks a departure from the masculine, gender-biased approach adopted thus far for action-packed fare such as Battlefield, Call of Duty and Resident Evil, the video is a noticeable evolution of Lindsey Stirling’s style which has thus far, eschewed CGI or VFX.
It’s an interesting and visually arresting production, but with the added vocals and SFX one could argue that it detracts from Lindsey Stirling’s talents which are often front and centre. Regardless, as a one-off (we hope) it’s vital that YouTube creators flex their creativity from time to time to avoid stagnation and to win over new fans. Tapping in to the video game market is likely to be of great benefit to Lindsey Stirling, however some of her more loyal subscribers have voiced concern over this radical departure. While corporate sponsorship is beneficial (and perhaps vital) for all sorts of reasons, YouTube creators must try to avoid letting it drive their content – something I feel has afflicted much of the Epic Meal Time programming of late.