Bob Garfield

The most important celebrity you've never heard of

iMedia's Best 2014 Content: Who is Nash Grier? The name may not mean anything to you, but he is making a huge impact on marketing. Here's why.

iMedia's Best Content of 2014. You're seeing this article on our homepage again because it's part of iMedia's year-end best content roundup. We will return to our regular publishing schedule of original content on Jan. 5.

Nash Grier: The world's  No. 1 Vine celebrity and Generation Z spokesperson

You may not have heard of this young man, but there's a reason he should be on your radar. No, not for his popular six-second Vine videos (as an adult, I doubt they would be your thing), but because he is perhaps the most well known internet celebrity for a rising demographic that will control an incredible amount of your advertising dollars. Generation Z is emerging fast as a challenge, concern, and most importantly, a big opportunity for marketers. What makes this generation unique is the way you will have to market in order to reach it. This is the first generation raised in a world where the internet and digital are as integrated into young people's lives as television. They have grown up immersed in an environment where everyone has a smartphone and thinks Facebook is lame. How did Nash Grier get so popular? Generation Z made him that way because he simply produces Vine videos about his daily life and normal experiences. He is very authentic to his generation and highly relatable. Unlike Millennial celebrities like Justin Bieber, no one is rooting for the downfall of Nash Grier. His peers and fans love him and want to support him. Why? Not because he's a celebrity, but because he's changing the definition of what being a celebrity means. 

Brands are like celebrities. Everyone knows them (even Gen Z). But it is more rare that people love brands. As Millennials grow up and Generation Z takes over, how will you reach this new generation? Will you use your current marketing tactics? If so, good luck, but it's unlikely you'll have much effect. Brands must take a page from Nash Grier to reach members of Gen Z. You must start marketing in authentic, non-promotional ways in order to -- well, promote. It's a backwards and uncommon way for a marketer to think, but it's the strategy that will have the highest potential for success.

T.J Marchetti is as close to an expert on Generation Z as an adult can get. He is the CMO of AwesomnessTV, a YouTube channel and network that produces popular content aimed at this hard-to-reach segment of the market. Here's what he has to say about why this non-mainstream internet celebrity represents a real shift in reaching young consumers.

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Article written by senior media producer David Zaleski.

Video edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.

"Closeup portrait, unhappy, young, pretty business woman" image via Shutterstock.

 

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