Forget the rickety fir, the log too heavy or even the song of Mariah Carey: the most beautiful Christmas tradition are the “vlogmas”. Each year, thousands of youtubers publish, from 1st as of December 25, a video every day, like an advent calendar. Less fat than chocolate, but just as addictive. We follow the videographers in their daily lives, choosing their gifts, decorating their tree, but also in activities that have nothing to do with Christmas.
In the 2019 advent calendar of Léna Situations, one of the rising stars of YouTube in France, we watch her, for example, talking about “morning routine” with her father. The latter tries to put on eyeliner and fails. He then promotes a brand of cosmetics for men “Too nice for Christmas”.
For content creators, especially on YouTube and Instagram, the holiday season is a critical time. Each year, the same formats are demanded by their audience: vlogmas (contraction of “vlog”, a video blog, and “Christmas”); ideas of things to offer to loved ones; the “Christmas Haul”, where we list (sometimes very, very long) the gifts received on December 25 … Other great YouTube classics are also remixed in Christmas sauce. Party makeup tutorials, Christmas recipes, unboxing (unpacking) advent calendars and, of course, toys.
Some creators also take advantage of the holidays to promote derivative products bearing their effigy. Looking for Enjoy Phoenix stamped glasses, or maybe a Swan and Neo mini-calendar under the tree?
Enter (a little) into the privacy of youtubers
Vlogma maternity is claimed by the American blogger Ingrid Nilsen. His very first video of its kind, published in 2011, shows behind the scenes of his move. We see her boyfriend there, the pizza she ate at noon, we hear her joking that she hasn't bought any toilet paper yet. In short, everything that she did not usually show in her videos, mostly makeup tutorials.
It’s this spirit that many youtubers claim, who continue to publish vlogmas every day in December: show the backside. “I started making vlogmas because my community asked me to”, explains the French videographer Jenesuispasjolie, who has been designing it for five years.
“It's a format that I like, it's much more believable than a very worked photo on Instagram, for example. When you see a person’s daily life, it’s easier to integrate them into their own daily life. “
In her December videos, Enjoy Phoenix, one of the most influential youtubers in France (3.61 million subscribers on its main channel, 4.8 million on Instagram), films itself without makeup, talks about her acne, suffers on his account and complains of the pangs of his romantic relationship from a distance. Vlogmas maintain this illusion of intimacy that has made the success of many professional online creators. Sometimes trendsetters, sometimes best friends of their audience.
A chestnut tree for brands
This mixture of genres is particularly attractive for brands. “There are many chestnut trees [événement récurrent] in communication, but nothing is as strong as Christmas “, underlines Caroline Luby, deputy director in charge of marketing and influence at Golden, a subsidiary of the M6 group, which represents several large French online creators, such as Enjoy Phoenix and the blogger Horia.
“Brands are very demanding of partnerships with online creators, because they allow to target an audience, which will be more captive and engaged. We have more than doubled our activities around the influence between Christmas 2018 and Christmas 2019. “
Golden, for example, recently organized treasure hunts with creators (Pierre Croce, Benjamin Verrecchia) in several Fnacs, to promote the chain of stores before the holidays. All, of course, filmed and relayed on social networks.
At Cheerz, a French company specializing in photo printing, we prepare for the Christmas period at the start of the year. A team of six takes care of identifying influencers who could become partners of the brand. Cheerz is targeting diverse profiles, from the beauty youtuber to the popular reality star on Instagram and Snapchat.
However, even if the company invests a lot in the area of influence, it is impossible to guess in advance the success of this kind of operation. “From one influencer to another, many things will vary, their way of working, compliance with instructions, their power to prescribe …”, explains Antoine Le Conte, co-founder and director of Cheerz.
“Sometimes we realize that a videographer with quality content and a committed audience will cause far fewer purchases than a person who will promote our products via a quick Instagram story. “
“It takes a lot of work”
In all cases, this interest from brands often means an increase in income for creators, at the end of the year. In question: the multiplication of partnerships before Christmas, but also the increase in CPM (the cost per thousand, the price charged to an advertiser to display a thousand times its advertising on an online platform) due to the increase in asks for marks at the end of the year. On YouTube, videographers receive a percentage of this amount. Creators who post more videos over the holidays logically increase their income compared to quieter times.
However, rather than talking about money, online creators prefer to emphasize that the end of the year is especially a period much awaited by their fans. Some are proud to take advantage of their Christmas videos to promote values such as ecology, made in France or the fight against overconsumption, subjects that were still rare on YouTube and Instagram a few years ago, particularly in holiday season.
Finally, everyone recalls that making content online is sometimes hard work. “I sincerely think that later I will die while editing”, tweeted, on December 10, Léna Situations, very open to his anxiety and to mental health topics in general. “It takes a lot of work to film, edit and publish twenty-four videos for a month, concludes Jenesuispasjolie. If the goal is money, it's not worth going into vlogmas! “