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Tanya Burr’s return to YouTube after a five-year hiatus is a persuasive argument for long-form content

Posted by Sara McCorquodale in Comment

3 weeks ago

Tanya Burr has returned to YouTube after a five-year hiatus and her first video is a persuasive argument for long-form content.

The vlog, which is just over 40 minutes long, combines chatting with unboxing, “come with me” segments and a makeup tutorial. There are cameos from Burr’s parents and her 18-month-old son Sage, but mostly this is a window into her life as a creator now.

So, what can we say about this new era? The main observation is that it will showcase an evolution rather than a transformation. Burr has maintained a lot of consistency, which her core audience will love. Her gentle tone, slight self-deprecation and accessible styling. She talks about being a mother but is not relaunching herself as a parenting YouTuber. This is an elevated and considered lifestyle channel.

Her piano is in the background and as ever, she feels like an open book which has always been her strength. This time round though, there are clear boundaries. Her partner does not appear, nor does her son’s face.

She explains that her return to YouTube is borne out of a desire for long-form after years of shorter content. The need for calm and a deeper connection. She talks about her focus on Substack and her book club. Both are passion projects which ultimately aim to create a deeper connection with the most like-minded segment of her larger audience.

The one topical element of the video is her new initiative working with primary schools to help educate children about social media. However, all of this is explained in the back of a cab and is very much from a personal point of view. There’s no judgement or instruction, it’s just another part of the story. In fact, there is no call to action in any part of the video and in many ways, this is what makes it such pleasant viewing.

Brands featured signal Burr is very much focused on premium mid-market with a dash of affordable high street thrown in. There’s Hush, Sezane, Shiseido, Me + Em, Philosophy, Pandora, Agolde, Samsoe and Lancôme to name a few. A Zara and Mango unboxing segment is particularly refreshing as viewers get Burr’s honest reactions which are mixed and relatable.

Overall, watching this first video is a reminder of how powerful YouTube is as a context for brands. All of those featured sit comfortably together and are representative of how Burr’s demographic may shop. An independent piece here and there, a bit of high street, a slight investment when it comes to everyday pieces that have to last. It’s unlikely she’ll be hopping on trends – she talks about buying clothes which are “reliable” and a wardrobe that works as a whole.

The commercial opportunity for brands in Burr’s new era lies in her Substack and book club, both of which I assume will be documented on YouTube. Brands looking to connect with a creator community on longer projects through content and events should investigate, particularly if you are keen to drive repeat purchase though affiliate activity, exclusive benefits and perks.

All in all, I like this new chapter of Burr’s YouTube career. There is an elegance in its honesty and an empathy for her audience. No shouting, no demands, just easy viewing to relax in front of. It’s a very good context for brands and combines nicely with her Instagram and Substack. In a world of noise, trends and algorithms, it feels almost counter-culture.

A welcome return, this is a fresh start worth watching.

PREFER VIDEO? See our TikTok analysis here.

By Sara McCorquodale, CEO and founder of CORQ. Picture credit: Tanya Burr via YouTube.