Will Smith has been a star since the 1990s, but the Hollywood actor still knows how to stay trendy and use the digital medium to keep his fans entertained. Here's looking at his digital success on his 53rd birthday.
With over 9.5 million subscribers, Hollywood star Will Smith is one of the most popular YouTubers and, of course, a lot of his audience initially visits his channel because he is the Will Smith. But what accounts for the repeat visits? Because Will genuinely creates unique content for his online platform. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Will’s channel isn’t just about promoting his movies. He obviously does share his new trailers but he also creates specialised content, with really high production value, which is designed for the digital medium.
Out of the top five videos on Will’s channel, four have nothing to do with his film career but are essentially vlogs featuring his family members. Will taking vacations with his family, dating a robot or trying to check off things from his bucket list – the Will Smith channel has content curated like any other YouTuber, but with better quality and a certainly better personality. When Will collaborated with a comparatively smaller channel called Yes Theory, it resulted in one of the biggest internet events of the year.
For those who don’t know, Yes Theory challenged Will for a heli-bungee challenge. Will accepted and mounted it on the biggest scale possible. The event turned out to be massive as one of the guys from the Yes Theory channel and Will performed the adventure at Grand Canyon on his 50th birthday after wrapping the shoot for Bad Boys For Life. By experimenting with new formats, the channel seems to be quite aware of the changing content habits of Will’s core fan base.
Unlike other Hollywood mainstream personalities, Will is using YouTube like other digital content creators. Him taking up a fitness challenge, surprising unsuspecting customers in supermarkets, recording a day in his life, the channel has Will in different setups and still maintaining relatability despite him being a huge movie star.
A large part of Will’s appeal has always been the way he imparts life lessons and the channel realises that. In most of the videos, Will is spouting life mantras as if he is reading them from a book, yet they feel organic and not preachy. To maintain a healthy balance of fun to serious content, he also has a storytime section which basically has him sharing anecdotes.
Not just YouTube, Will is quite active on Facebook as well with over 110 million followers. One of his Facebook series had him going around the world and vlogging his adventures. It also featured an episode where he came to India to shoot for Student of the Year 2.
It’s the need of the hour for celebrities to go digital to stay in touch with their audience and even though most relevant celebrities have a social media handle on every possible platform, most of them just use it to promote their brands or movies. From an audience’s point of view, it just feels forced, manufactured and offers nothing new, but that is not the case with Will Smith’s channel.
Looks like after music and movies, Will has cracked the code for YouTube as well!
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