By Evan DeSimone
Some of YouTube’s most powerful influencers are teaming up to spread some holiday cheer with help from Ellen DeGeneres and mobile gaming studio Seriously.
The talk show host — who is herself a powerful presence on YouTube boasting over 13 million subscribers and 5.7 billion views on her channel — is teaming with Seriously to launching a charity mini-game within its popular mobile app Best Fiends, titled “Race Against Slime 2.” The competition will kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 19, and end on Wednesday, Dec. 23. The winning team will be announced on Twitter by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Christmas Eve.
To sweeten the deal, the queen of daytime TV has teamed up with a pack of digital stars to kick the project into high gear. Popular YouTube and Vine creators including PewDiePie, Markiplier, Hayes Grier and Rebecca Black will form teams representing a variety of worthy charitable causes, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, charity: water, Hope for Holt, Malaria No More, Oceana, SpecialEffect and War Child. Seriously will donate cash to the influencers’ causes, and fans can participate by playing special holiday courses on Best Fiends and donating their winnings to the team of their choosing. In a video released today, DeGeneres announced that she will match all donations up to $250,000.
This the most recent example of influencers using their considerable pull on social platforms for good. It’s a phenomenon that’s also gaining steam on the business side with the launch of start-ups such as Good Amplified, which helps non-profit organizations to manage their social and video channels and expand their audience. Similar movements have existed since the early days of YouTube, including Hank and John Green’s “Project For Awesome,” which harnesses the Green brothers’ substantial audience and the influence of other digital stars to raise funds for charitable causes.