Fame is more fragmented than ever and online influencers have become some of young European consumers’ favorite celebrities. Here are four brands should definitely know…
In YPulse’s recent WE celebrities and influencers behavioral report, we found that 42% of 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe follow an online celebrity or creator—and that number is even higher among the younger generation: 50% of Gen Z say they follow online celebrities and creators compared to 39% of Millennials. What’s more, both generations say online celebrities are the most relatable type of celebrity and 48% say they’ve purchased a product recommended by an online creator, highlighting the power online influencers hold for brands targeting Western Europe young consumers. In fact, spending on influencer marketing has reached $27.5 billion combined in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. And with 13-39-year-olds saying online celebrities are the most trustworthy type of celeb, an increasing number of young consumers across Western Europe are listening to what these creators have to say.
At the same time, the rise of online celebrities has caused the very nature of fame to fragment. As we’ve said in the past, the days of a handful of megastars are gone. Now, TikTok stars are mainstream, with more emerging on the daily, and micro-influencers have emerged as a force. With more kinds of young online creators than ever before, young consumers have a huge pool of celebrities from which to find their favorite. When we asked 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe the open-end question. “Who is your favorite famous person? A famous person could be a movie star, YouTuber, athlete, musician, Instagrammer, TV star, etc,” we received over 750 individual answers, the majority of which had just one mention. And while you will find the likes of Ariana Grande and Dwyane Johnson on top of that list, it’s also populated with a wide range of Western European online content creators and influencers that may not be so well-known beyond their tight fandoms. Here are four online creators that young consumers named as their favorite famous person in our recent survey that brands should definitely know about:
With 16.2 million subscribers on YouTube and 3 million on Twitch, French gamer and influencer Squeezie is one of France’s top online content creators—and one of young European consumers’ favorite celebs, landing at number six on the list and beating out the likes of Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and Will Smith. Squeezie specializes in Let’s Play commentaries and other video-game-related content, including edited videos of his gaming, which he posts on his Twitch channel, Squeezie Gaming. He also collaborates with fellow French influencer Cyprien on their channel Bigorneaux & Coquillages, which touts 6.3 million subscribers. Squeezie started his current YouTube channel in 2011 when he was just 15 and quickly became the youngest French person to gain over one million subscribers two years later. Now, he’s entered more traditional realms of fame, releasing a handful of songs since 2017 and a full-length album in 2020, titled Onyx. He now has more than 250,000 monthly subscribers on Spotify. He’s also voiced several characters in animated films, including a seagull in the 2015 SpongeBob Squarepants movie, Sponge Out of Water. The majority of survey respondents that mentioned Squeezie cited his humor as a reason for liking him, with one 30-year-old male saying, “He is funny, he is friendly and kind.” YPulse WE data shows that 15% of 13-39-year-olds and 20% of 13-39-year-old males follow gamers on social media—and Squeezie is a top gaming influencer to keep in mind.
Bianca Heinicke—better known as BibisBeautyPalace, or simply Bibi—is a German fashion and beauty influencer with 5.9 million subscribers on YouTube and 7.7 million followers on Instagram. Bibi got her start in 2012 when she launched her YouTube channel with vlogs on hair, makeup, fashion, travel, lifestyle, and the occasional challenge. She grew in popularity quickly, and in 2015 launched her own cosmetics brand, Bilou. The same year she also collaborated with German Telekom and Sony on a limited-edition mobile phone that was released in Germany. Since then she’s partnered with the likes of Daniel Wellington and Michael Kors. Now married with kids, Bibi’s focuses on parenting lifestyle content in addition to beauty and fashion. Her TikTok channel, Julianca, is in collaboration with her husband and has 3.2 million followers. She’s now considered one of the highest-paid beauty influencers, and is estimated to make nearly €26K per sponsored Instagram post. A 19-year-old female respondent said she likes Bibi because she’s “authentic” and “fun,” and a 30-year-old female parent said it’s “because she leads a happy life with 2 children.”
With 16.3 million TikTok followers and 1.3 million Instagram followers, Holly H is one of the internet’s hottest creators and the top TikTok influencer in the U.K. Her feel-good lip-sync, dance challenge, and glow-up videos have received more than 2 billion views and landed her partnerships with brands such as Disney and WE’s popular fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing. She also collaborated with British fashion lifestyle brand Skinnydip London to create her own fashion line, Skinny Dip x Holly H, a collection of tie-dye and pastel-colored athleisure wear, and Maroon5 tapped her to debut one of their recent singles on her channel. Holly H is also using her online stardom for good, recently launching a campaign with Instagram and Cybersmile to call out and raise awareness around cyberbullying. YPulse’s WE data shows that 46% of young people in Western Europe use TikTok, and the popularity of young TikTok creators is only continuing to grow.
Getting her start as a fashion blogger, Spanish influencer Dulceida now has 2.9 million followers on Instagram, 2.1 million on YouTube, and 722K on TikTok, where she specializes in beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and travel content. In 2016, she wrote a book, Dulceida. Style Guide, and she recently collaborated with Primark Spain on an exclusive collection of glammed-up statement pieces, including leather jumpsuits, fringe jackets, and sequined dresses. Dulceida has also been a brand ambassador for popular brands such as Havaianas or Rimmel London. In addition to being a style icon in Spain, she’s also an LGBTQ advocate, coming out as bisexual in a YouTube video in 2015 and marrying her wife, Alba Paul, in 2016.
YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full WE celebrities and influencers behavioral report and data here.
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