Looking back through the history of Youtube to its modern state, it is impossible to overlook the creative genius that is Philip DeFranco. The 30 year-old New York native started when he was just 21 in his dorm room at East Carolina University. Talking about “newsie-type stuff and things that mattered to him today” quickly resonated with audience viewers and formed what he now considers DeFranco Nation; almost 4 million subscribers. Covering topics such as viral videos, politics, sports, entertainment, and everything in between, Defranco discussed his beliefs in front of a camera for years, garnishing a heavily tight group of followers and eventually catching the attention of corporate sponsors. Discovery network, the multi-million dollar conglomerate, purchased a stake in the Defranco network and has launched it into something Defranco could never have imagined once in his dorm room. Talking at conventions like Comic-con and hosting segments during Shark Week, Philip has found a niche and has ran with it.
While he has continued to cover topics that matter to him on a daily basis through his Youtube Channel SxePhil (Monday-Thursday), he has also become a advertiser for products he enjoys or has invested interests in. When talking about advertising, many tend to think in terms of effectiveness; however, with traditional marketing becoming less effective and more expensive many sponsors have turned to other channels including DeFranco to reach targeted audiences. Evangelist consumers of the DeFranco nation have grown their trust for DeFranco and his beliefs. This level of trust is something that companies can struggle with developing, so instead of pushing it through traditional marketing campaigns, they have turned to Phil to explore their products and promote them. This garnishes sales for the company, followers for Phil, and more importantly- a steady flow of income for DeFranco which has resulted in a full time job. Through his sponsored Youtube videos and social media profiles, DeFranco has become a full time influence on both news stories and products. DeFranco himself could be considered all of these categories: Reporter, Consumer, Explorer, and a Communicator. A master marketer, a trusted influence, an entertaining reporter, a father, husband, and a beloved human being- Philip DeFranco has grown from a person with not too much, to a person with a little more. His charisma and ability to relate to much of his audience as just another guy, not a corporate voice, is exactly why he has found and continues to find success. As a consumer and voice in DeFranco Nation, he has influenced me to voice my own opinion and cover a wide range of topics- exactly what WickedMillennial is today.