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Celebrity and Youth

Mediated Audiences, Fame Aspirations, and Identity Formation

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Edited By Spring-Serenity Duvall

Celebrity and Youth: Mediated Audiences, Fame Aspirations, and Identity Formation makes an examination of contemporary celebrity culture with an emphasis on how young celebrities are manufactured, how fan communities are cultivated, and how young audiences consume and aspire to fame. This book foregrounds considerations of diversity within celebrity and fan cultures, and takes an international perspective on the production of stardom. Chapters include interviews with professional athletes in the United States about their experiences with stardom after coming out as gay, and interviews with young people in Europe about their consumption of celebrity and aspirations of achieving fame via social media. Other chapters include interviews with young Canadian women that illuminate the potential influence of famous feminists on audience political engagement, and critical analysis of media narratives about race, happiness, cultural appropriation, and popular feminisms. The current anthology brings together scholarship from Canada, the United States, Spain, and Portugal to demonstrate the pervasive reach of global celebrity, as well as the commonality of youth experiences with celebrity in diverse cultural settings.

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Chapter 2: WTF: Digital Ambassadors for the Young Generation? (Ana Jorge / Thays Nunes)

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CHAPTER TWO

WTF

Digital Ambassadors for the Young Generation?

ANA JORGE AND THAYS NUNES



Introduction

In 2013, two of the three major telecommunication corporations in Portugal (Optimus & ZON) were merged as NOS and launched WTF as a service especially targeted at teenagers and young people up to 25 years old, with cheap mobile internet access and unlimited use of communication apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Facetime, Skype and Snapchat. The launching campaign, Everyone is freakin’ out, involved popular young vloggers endorsing traditional media advertising and social media campaigns that elicited young internet users’ votes and interactions. Ten teenagers who had gained some popularity with their vlogs on YouTube or posts on Twitter and were included in the Everyone is freakin’ out campaign were: Nurb, Kiko is Hot, Conguito, Anny’s Candy, Diogo Sena, Rita Listing, Peperan, MrPakistan, Djubsu and The Remedy. Now young adults, most of them still maintain their association with WTF.

To date, the videos produced by these ten microcelebrities have more than 82 million cumulative views. Unlike English-speaking social media stars who have greater chances of becoming global celebrities, these digital creators know that their audience is likely to be mostly speakers of Portugese (the fifth largest world language community) from Portugal and Brazil. We analyzed ten videos from each of the vloggers (sorting by channel history and choosing the videos that ← 37 | 38 → represented a new...

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