Six-year-old YouTuber is the face of Walmart’s new toy line
A big part of influencer marketing is about tapping into younger audiences through figures they connect with. So, Walmart has partnered with a six-year-old YouTube star to court the post-toddler toy-buying set.
The six-year-old YouTuber stars on a channel called Ryan ToysReview, Reuters reported. The channel has received billions of views. Starting August 8, Walmart will begin selling a line of toys under the banner, Ryan’s World. The toys will include slime, stuffed animals and other items and will be sold both online and in stores exclusively by Walmart. The deal was negotiated through the child’s toy company, pocket.watch, which intends to bring additional YouTube influencer-related products to market in the future.
A video on his YouTube page shows Ryan and his mother announcing the unboxing of the Ryan’s World toys “he helped create.” Ryan then unboxes and plays with the toys while enthusiastically explaining their features.
While taking product advice from media sensations who have only recently gotten the training wheels off of their bikes may seem quaint, kids with social followings are big business. A Forbes list of the top 10 youngest influencers of 2017 calculates those stars’ aggregate total reach at more than 77 million people. Ryan’s World is listed as the most lucrative, having made $11 million the previous year.
Walmart has made other recent dips into influencer marketing, as an article on Digiday explores. On some product pages, Walmart has been adding images and videos showing influencers using the items being sold. Since Walmart doesn’t link to the individual influencers’ webpages or identify them by name, however, these product pages don’t seem to take advantage of the synergy that influencer marketing is supposed to create between brand and audience.
Other big retailers that have also been pursuing ways to leverage the social reach of fans of their products. Macy’s, for instance, launched its Style Crew program last year, which invites and incentivizes employees to share short, Macy’s-produced video clips of themselves using and endorsing specific products. The program began with 20 brand ambassadors and now has 300 members.
- Six-year-old YouTube star brings his own toy line to Walmart – Reuters
- Ryan’s World Giant Surprise Toys Delivery from Superhero Ryan Red Titian!!! – YouTube
- Walmart is cozying up to influencers – Digiday
- Macy’s taps staff for their influencer clout – RetailWire
- Top Influencers: Kids – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it a good idea for Walmart to partner with influencers as young as six? What might the advantages and pitfalls be of such a brand partnership?