While many Pizza Hutters (Huttians?) were at SXSW to learn about the latest trends in digital and tech, our very own Chief Digital Officer Baron Concors took to the stage for a panel discussion on “The Changing Face of Influence,” along with some major YouTube stars and digital influencers, moderated by Moj Mahdara, CEO + Founder of Made with Elastic, a digital entertainment agency.
The premise of the panel focused on a new generation of online media stars, those with astronomical follower counts and untold internet influence. Social media has changed the concept of what it means to be a celebrity, in turn changing the way marketers, managers, and the media have approached their brand strategy. Fans are more powerful than ever before, meaning traditional talent casting and media outlets no longer hold the power they used to.
At Pizza Hut, we make an effort to work with internet sensations, such as Dude Perfect (on our stuffed crust promo), as well as Jack and Jack, iJustine, Rooster Teeth, Andrea Russet for the Flavor of Now launch last fall. No longer is Pizza Hut limited to working with celebrity athletes, actors, and musical talent.
The most interesting part of the panel for Baron? The fandom of the other members of his panel, and the YouTube generation more generally. Digital influencers are the new rockstars, complete with an entourage and millions of fans, many of whom are willing to line up at venues at 3AM just for a glimpse of their favorite YouTube sensation. The face of influence is certainly changing, and Pizza Hut is well positioned to be a part of the evolution of content.