If you have even browsed social media platforms in the past year, there is a good chance you’ve seen the likeness of Claire Saffitz or Brad Leone across your feeds. These two charismatic people are part of the cast of Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen, best known for their upbeat, informative YouTube videos that regularly go viral.
It’s no secret that the Bon Appetit brand is alive and well, but I’m here to tell you why you love watching the cast interact and create incredible recipes. The brand didn’t start out as what most younger people know.
Bon Appetit has caught the attention of younger viewers as of late, but they have been around since 1956. The magazine brands itself as a “highly opinionated food brand” that focuses on local produce, recipes that anyone can follow, and a strong bond between their editors and readers. Since they’re based in New York City, a lot of their shorter stories center around the five boroughs. They’re extremely successful in keeping their reputation as the gold standard for food publications, and the staff at Bon Appetit likes to hold high-brow conversations about food. They’re the kind of people who look at a $14 breakfast sandwich and think, “That’s reasonable.”
But the creation and maturation of their YouTube channel brought the brand to a new level of relatability. The channel has formed into a multitude of series and stand-alone videos featuring an approachable, fun-loving cast of editors who produce content across platforms and turn the magazine’s opinionated, sometimes high-brow articles into digestible and relatable content for viewers of all ages.
The channel generally attracts a viewership between ages 18 and 35, bringing the average consumer of Bon Appetit media down significantly. With their YouTube channel reaching over 122 million video views as of the beginning of 2020, Bon Appetit has become one of the most beloved brands on social media.
They have cracked the code on what can keep a magazine alive in the digital age. Bon Appetit transformed into a multi-platform brand that successfully produces content their viewers want to see. They’re also doing something not many brands can do these days, which is attract new viewership. It also helps that viewers regularly see familiar faces like Claire, Brad, or Chris Morocco on the YouTube channel and then see their bylines on recipes or articles across other mediums. It creates brand loyalty; you’ll want to find out more and explore other platforms of their brand if you trust the people you watch on YouTube. The brand has even reached out past their world of food and has brought in celebrities from Hollywood and the internet in a series called “Back to Back,” where the famous have to keep up with professional chef Carla Lalli Music.
The brains behind Bon Appetit’s branding are genius; they realize that showing their audience the personalities behind the content they read and follow will likely keep them engaged longer. And with such a diverse, charismatic cast, it’s easy for anyone to fall in love with the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. I appreciate what the brand is doing, and I’m going to keep watching and reading because I love to see a magazine that takes strides toward keeping up with the times.