Sunday, March 8, 2020

Under the influence

My latest obsession is YouTube (yes, I realize I am late to this game, but I'm a GenXer so it's OK). It started with watching videos by "makeup gurus" and lately has evolved into watching home decor videos. 

I had no idea that so many people recorded and shared videos of themselves doing housework, or that there was such a large demand for this content, but here we are. To be honest, I don't always watch the speed-cleaning videos because it mostly makes me feel like reminds I'm not doing enough cleaning around my own home. I also don't usually watch the "day in the life" videos, since those tend to be geared toward stay at home moms, and that's not relatable for me. I like the decorating videos (usually called "decorate with me") and the typical prequel to those, the "haul" videos, where the influencer shares her purchases that will lead into the decorating. I also sometimes like the pre-prequel, the "shop with me" content, in which the influencer literally records herself shopping. I actually find this handy because I know what's where if I'm looking to shop, and it satisfies my urge to shop without the risk of adding to cart.

I have made several observations about the influencers I've found so far. A few to share:

  • Not all influencers are created equal. Some definitely have a more natural ability to engage and share, and are just more enjoyable to watch. The way I know I really like an influencer? If I actually watch the cleaning content, or the stay at home mom stuff. 
  • Along those lines, I am a lot more likely to watch the content if the influencer has a pet.
  • Even though they are not all the same - the homes often are. Most of the influencers I've found decorate their homes in a "modern farmhouse" style. I'm not sure how to describe the style exactly, other than the colors of the home are likely gray, white, and brown / wood tone, and most of the decor comes from Hobby Lobby or Kirklands with occasional bits of Amazon and Walmart.
  • That's not a knock; I do love the style. While I'm not about giving my money to Hobby Lobby, there are other stores with similar merchandise and watching is more about the ideas than the exact stuff.
  • I've never seen an ad from any of these places - ir any home decor retailer - on any YouTube video, and I think they may be missing the mark.
  • Since they all shop in the same places, they often have the same items. I've seen the same "Farmouse" sign in a dining room, an entryway, and a bedroom - so far.
  • "Agreeable Gray" seems to be the most popular wall color.
  • Rae Dunn is incredibly popular among this "modern farmhouse" group, though the appeal does seem to stretch across to other styles as well. You've probably seen Rae Dunn items in stores, and just had no idea what you were looking - I know I didn't, and now I see it everywhere
Like I mentioned, I see some items over and over, but I also see different ways to use that same item, which is actually pretty helpful. It's honestly an interesting way to share an interest in home decor tips and tricks, and engage with others who have different ideas and influences. 

It's also interesting that I have so much interest in how others keep and care for their homes. That probably says something about me, but I feel like that's a separate post.