10 "Unknown" YouTube Stars Advertisers Should Hire Immediately

Last Updated Jun 27, 2011 3:00 PM EDT

A recent survey ranking celebrities in terms of their appeal for use in advertising showed that some of the more interesting names were not mega-stars like Sandra Bullock or Will Smith but lesser known lights such as Alexander Skarsgard of HBO's True Blood and Kirsten Vangsness of Criminal Minds: They have low awareness among the general public but high appeal -- making them cheap to hire for commercials yet highly effective in terms of getting into consumer brains. (Think about Progressive's Flo -- an unknown before she was cast in the insurer's campaign but now the backbone of that brand.)

In that vein, YouTube provides a proving ground for fresh new stars to show they can command an audience and hold your attention for 30 seconds or more. These 10 YouTube favorites are relative "unknowns," but only in the sense that they don't regularly appear on TV or in the tabloids. Some of them have tens of millions of fans online -- far more than many TV shows.

They're ready to be co-opted by Madison Avenue, and probably come a lot cheaper than Jennifer Aniston or Brooke Shields.

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