YouTube Brandcast 2015: Grace Helbig, Host, YouTube | YouTube Advertisers


Hello, my name is Grace Helbig, and I have
been polarizing audiences since 1985. Twenty-nine feeling fine. I am so happy to be here tonight
as your host. Growing up I always dreamed of performing on a stage like this in front
of a few hundred upper-class advertisers. But the closest I got was competing in the
Miss New Jersey Pageant in 2005. Yeah, Jersey! This is where I hold for the over enthusiastic
pride screams from the people in the audience with neck tattoos. Jersey! The weekend that
I competed, I struggled in heels. Adults openly judged me, and I watched girls glue a wide
variety of fabrics to their butts. Yeah, it’s actually very similar to this experience.
In fact, I saw Robert Kyncl backstage doing some light ab shading. Get ready. Yeah, man
on a mission. To give you a little bit of my backstory,
I was like many people who go to college and have absolutely no idea what they want to
do. The only clarity I had in those four years was the simple idea that I wanted to make
people laugh, that’s it. So when I graduated in 2007, I did what every ambitious communications
major does. I worked at an Olive Garden. I was serving endless pasta bowls and unlimited
breadsticks to the Rutgers football team. Wow! Yeah, you don’t have to clap for that.
That was not the best time. Eventually, though my parents’ prayers were answered, and I got
a nine to five at MTV in project management, very cool. And at this time, I had also become
an active performer at The People’s Improv Theater and found myself making people laugh
onstage once a week. And I got addicted to that sensation. So eventually, I 86ed, restaurant
reference, I 86ed my job at MTV for the stable opportunity-filled life of a Manhattan waitress.
Anyone need a pilot written? Got one for you. My life became waiting tables, doing improv,
and auditioning for TV shows, films, and commercials. I used my hospitaliano summer savings to buy
an iMac computer and for fun started making videos or vlogs with my roommate, Michelle.
That’s her right there, yeah. You can clap because she’s a real human being. Yeah, not
lying. Yeah, not made up. We would make videos about our experiences living in Brooklyn and
after almost a year of casual vlogging, a website called, My Damned Channel got in touch
with me about creating original content for them. And before I knew it my hobby became
a career, and I was making comedy videos for a series called Daily Grace. And for two years
I was making five videos a week but for My Damn Channels website only. Until we finally
decided to share the content in a place where the real audience seemed to be, YouTube. There
I found a community, and I found my voice. I learned things from my audience like One
Direction is a thing. And my audience learned about irritable bowels from me. Education
was abounding and our relationship was blossoming. I was falling in love with the new media industry
until I found out that, “Uh oh, I was doing it completely wrong.” You see, unlike most YouTubers at the time,
my reality was that I worked for a company. I didn’t own my content. I didn’t have full
control over what I was creating and because of that, the relationship that I was developing
with my audience wasn’t my own. So I did one of the scariest things that I’ve ever done
in my life to date. At the end of 2013, I decided to leave My Damned Channel and Daily
Grace and start a new channel on my own. I abandoned over 2 million subscribers and I
left over 200 million video views, and I started again from scratch. Like baking a cake except
I really like the boxed stuff. I was terrified. I had no idea if my audience was truly loyal.
Would they follow me? Would they want to see my videos giving passive-aggressive Christmas
gift suggestions? Or my insightful thoughts on how condescending babies are going to be
very trendy for spring 2015. Write it down. But, thankfully, the community caught wind
of my situation and, within a month, thanks to messages of support from some of my favorite
YouTube influencers and the pure devotion of my audience I had over a million subscribers
on my new channel and today over two million. Crazy, a huge thank you! It’s you guys! Yeah,
you get a car, you get a car, you get a car! Do it, Google! Thank you very much to all of you that are
here tonight that have shown so much support to me. And you advertisers are probably thinking,
“Hey, cool job. You started a new YouTube channel. This doesn’t matter to me. I want
a bajillion views on my diet soda ad.” Okay, if all you care about is passive awareness,
there are some three-legged dogs on Instagram that can get that job done for you. I follow
a lot of French Bulldogs on Instagram you guys. Also, I highly recommend Beanz Hart
on Instagram if you’re looking for a role model. But the reason that you’re sitting
here I hope, I sincerely hope, is because you want more. You want to know that the audience is actively
choosing to watch my video and your ad and not just passively seeing it as they scroll
by. Because people come to my channel, because these people watch my channel to watch my
videos, your ad resonates a whole lot more because these people are engaged. And how
do I know this? Well, this is where I get really self-serving. In the last year, I’ve
experienced firsthand how engaged this audience is. They’ve made my book number on the New
York Times Best Seller List. Yeah, you guys. This writing, what? You guys did that. My
podcast debuted at number one on iTunes. They went to Netflix to watch movie, Camp Dakota,
and thousands came to over 20 cities to watch the No Filter Comedy Tour that I do with my
best friends and fellow content creators, Hannah Hart and Amy Hart. It’s all been extremely humbling. And the
audience has told me that I am like an awkward older sister to them. They support me and,
most importantly, I think they trust me. It’s weird. And that’s a huge part of the reason
that E has recently giving me my own television show. And they said it is not because they
lost a bet. They said it. We’ll find out. But instead they’re betting on the bond that
I have with my audience to entertain E’s audience and to make their advertisers happy. And as
excited as I am about E, or the book, or the podcast, my YouTube community is my core.
It is the space that has allowed me to grow in a creative, collaborative, and professional
personal way. My two favorite feelings in life are laughter and being inspired. And
I am so grateful that my YouTube world allows me to provide those feelings to others on
a daily basis. So advertisers, the power of this fan community is real. It is honest,
and it is extremely special. And I feel very blessed to be a part of it. So all of you
out there if you don’t join this community, you’re missing out on connecting with the
best audience, fans, subscribers, viewers, friends, consumers, whatever you want to call
them, in the world. Thank you.


  1. That was so beautiful… I love how she always keeps it real, she's always herself… thank you Grace for being awesome.

  2. Grace getting deep and being sincere is literally one of my favorite things in the world <3 

    Also her saying "You get a car! You get a car! Do it Google!" is also one of my favorite things.

    I HOPE SHE NEVER CHANGES within reason because we all know that human beings can change and in a recent podcast with Kevin Pereira Grace revealed that she was in fact a human being BUT I HOPE SHE NEVER CHANGES <3

  3. Such a honest and moving speech, Grace. I grant you every little milestone, you've reached on your journey. You seem so happy and grateful with the place you're in right now, I wish you only the best for the future and all your ongoing projects:) Thanks for making me laugh with every single video! xx


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