Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 2.40.56 PMNinety-three percent of retailers in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail have a YouTube channel, understanding the magnitude of the the video platform’s influence on younger consumers. YouTube reaches more 18 to 34-year-olds than any cable network, and brand channel viewers often become consumers. In a survey, 73% of respondents said YouTube had influenced a Beauty purchase and 78% of respondents said it influenced an Auto purchase.

Featured as a Flash of Genius in L2’s Specialty Retail study, Old Navy has leveraged YouTube’s influence by partnering with a celebrity cast. It released “Unlimited” with young, up-and-coming talents Hunter March, ThatsSoJack, and JennXPenn, which led video views to increase from about 9.5 million to 16. The celebrities made cameos to create a “digital style Easter egg hunt” for viewers who spotted them (according to the Gap press release), and the cross-sharing contributed to the spike in views.

Subsequently, Old Navy created a series with Amy Poehler (cast as different comedic characters) that kept views at a high level despite the brand’s purging of older titles from the channel.

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