youtube.com/zoella / 11.3M+ subscribers


Driven, warm-hearted and impeccably polite, Zoe Sugg has become one of YouTube’s most recognizable and popular personalities ever. Even after considering her appealingly down-to-earth, middle-class British image, the extent of Sugg’s success is stunning. With more subscribers than the total populations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined, her channel has certainly attracted a lot of attention, to say the least! But just how good is her Zoella-channel content? Read on to find out…

   The first thing that hits you when you land on Sugg’s channel page is her incredibly-pretty range of video thumbnails. It’s clear every attention has been paid to detail, even down to the video titles: ‘| Zoella’ neatly marks the end of each. Yet although her channel styling may be very uniform, her video themes are surprisingly diverse. There are Q&As, collabs, how-to DIY guides, hauls, monthly favourites videos, themed makeup guides, book club picks… the list goes on!

There are Q&As, collabs, how-to DIY guides, hauls, monthly favourites videos, themed makeup guides, book club picks…

  Another thing that’s immediately surprising is the length of her videos: it’s very rare to see a Zoella video lasting less than 10 minutes, and 20-minute plus instalments are a fairly common occurence. That’s considerably longer than many of her rivals’, and it gives strength to the argument that a unique draw of Zoella content is it’s the type of thing you’d watch whilst snuggled up in bed, eating popcorn, late at night – rather than something you’d glance through quickly during the day, like you might with Facebook viral videos.

Sugg’s videos always seem to have a sophisticated quality to them, and this inevitably comes down to two things that are executed well: styling and editing. In Sugg’s ‘Apple Crumble Cupcakes’ cooking video, everything from her clothes to the backdrop to the video’s colour filtering has been selected to bring out autumnal hues, while mixing up the angles, from close up shots of the oven to distant shots of kitchen equipment, using smooth transitions, delivers a sense of richness.

Sugg’s videos always seem to have a sophisticated quality to them, and this inevitably comes down to two things that are executed well: styling and editing.

      Another area Sugg truly excels in is advice-giving. From discussing tips for dealing with social anxiety and sleeping better at night to following recipes and making DIY gifts, her typically-calm demeanor always seems to allow her to relay information to her viewers without coming across as erratic, disingenuous or contrived. Her ability to articulate things clearly and precisely also helps her to avoid overstating the obvious, and instead offer tips and warnings relevant to her online audience.

All-in-all, Sugg comes across as a sensitive but bubbly, silly but business-savvy, self-assured voice and role model for her incredibly-large audience and following. She’s not exactly the loudest voice on the YouTube scene, but her content is polished, well-edited and organised, and this has helped her cut through the noise and command and maintain longstanding attention and interest in her endeavours.

‘So why the 4-star rating, and not 5?’, you may be wondering… Well, Sugg’s channel is a little more beauty-orientated than some of her rivals’, which just so happens to be less my cup of tea. But skipping the hauls and how-to makeup videos is hardly a problem and, overall, her videos are consistently high quality, highly entertaining and engaging. Perfect, I’m sure, for those with a slightly-different taste from mine.

Ultimately, you won’t know for certain whether this is the type of YouTube channel for you until you take a look. I did, and never looked back since!

So, what are you waiting for?!


Autumn Lookbook 2016 | Zoella

Everything about this lookbook is simply stunning. There is a groovy background track and sophisticated opening title, a seamless transition between different locations and angles, and a range of beautiful pastel-coloured and greyscale outfits. But best of all, Sugg beams at the camera throughout, which helps elevate this already aesthetically-pleasing autumn lookbook to sky-high, feel-good levels.

The Perfect Picnic Party | Zoella

In true Pinterest style, Sugg goes all-out in this video to put on a decorative weekend picnic party. If there was a Great British Picnic contest, this entry would definitely be a winner… As Sugg admits in the video’s fifteen-minute after-party segment, “myself and Poppy went to town.” She goes on to explain how she managed to take her picnic extravaganza to the next level, and how her viewers can host their own similarly-stylish picnics for themselves and their friends.

The Boyfriend Tag | Zoella 

It was a long time coming, but Sugg finally sits down in this video with her boyfriend Alfie Deyes to discuss their relationship beginnings. Testing how well they know each other through no less than 30 questions, their contagious chemistry makes this 24-minute-long video fly by. Featuring never-before-seen pictures, as well as a Vine-worthy “Courgette” gaffe from Deyes, Zalfie manage to light up the screen themselves as much as their bedroom-light backdrop.

Ultimate Friendship Test with Mark | Zoella 


The pressure is on in this ultimate friendship test video. Sugg and her friend Mark Ferris ask each other questions with extremely messy consequences for whoever provides an incorrect answer or allows the other to get one right. Featuring eggs, flour, brown sauce, ketchup and a very shaken, mascara-run Sugg and condiment-piled Ferris by the end, this Zoella challenge proves you don’t always 100% know a person even after a year of close friendship!



Words and Design by Matthew Nolan

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This article was printed in the December 2016 issue of THE STAG.