Influential Collaborations

Signature product lines tied to social media influencers have become standard practice in many categories. A half dozen recent deals provide an illustration of the wide variety of influencers and partners involved in such collaborations in 2022:

  • On December 6, MeganPlays, a leading video gaming content creator, paired with retailer Claire’s for a 23-piece line of accessories including pom-pom headbands, clip-on hair extensions, stick-on nails, and plushies, with a focus on self-expression. MeganPlays is known for her colorful virtual world on Roblox, as well as for her video gaming content. Twelve of the collection’s items are available digitally on ShimmerVille, the retailer’s new Roblox world, and another six for users in other parts of Roblox; the full physical line is sold exclusively through Claire’s.
  • Just a day before the announcement between Claire’s and MeganPlays, MrBeast, the top-viewed personality on YouTube, announced the launch of his signature NERF Pro Gelfire x MrBeast blaster with Hasbro. This is the first product in a two-year partnership between Hasbro and MrBeast, announced in October. Social content campaigns are part of the deal as well. MrBeast is known for his stunt-comedy videos, his new restaurant chain MrBeast Burger, and his fundraising for environmental causes.
  • In November, Meredith Duxbury paired with lash specialist KISS for a holiday collection of 1970s disco-influenced false eyelashes, marking the first influencer lash collaboration for KISS. Duxbury, with a following of 17 million, is one of the most popular beauty influencers on TikTok and Instagram and is known for her glam style. Beauty is one of the premier categories for influencer product collaborations.
  • In May, inspirational and encouraging social media star Tabitha Brown, who is a top-10 TikTok creator and also a bestselling author, vegan food expert, and actress, announced a partnership with Target encompassing four limited-edition collections from summer 2022 through spring 2023. The emphasis is on home goods including food and kitchenware, entertaining, and home office, but apparel and swimwear are also included and were the focus of the first collection in June. The partnership is part of Target’s Racial Equity Action and Change commitment to support Black creators, designers, and talent.
  • Also in May, Nella Rose, a fashion and lifestyle influencer, announced she was collaborating with online fashion label PrettyLittleThing on a 40-piece, size-inclusive collection debuting in June in the U.K. The tropical-inspired and brightly colored assortment includes bikinis, coverups, and two-piece sets, as well as evening dresses.
  • Nickmercs, an e-sports player with Faze Clan and a gaming content creator on Twitch, teamed with Apple’s Beats by Dr. Dre brand for audio products, with the first drop, consisting of earbuds, coming out last July. More merchandise collections are anticipated in the future under the deal, which was first announced in November of 2021. Fan giveaways are also part of the collaboration.

This handful of examples represents just a smattering of the wide world of influencer collaborations, of course, but it demonstrates how social media celebrities from all areas of expertise are pairing with marketers ranging in size from niche players to some of the biggest companies out there, working in a variety of product categories.

It should be noted that it wasn’t that long ago that influencer collaborations were considered viable mainly for small efforts targeting the personalities’ narrow but loyal fan followings. While those kinds of partnerships are still abundant, more and more influencers have earned a wide enough appeal to attract the major brands and their mainstream consumer bases.

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