How i-D’s “Model Mother Tongue” Series Became Successful

i-D Magazine’s YouTube channel began its “Model Mother Tongue” series in 2014; since then, it has become increasingly more popular, with some videos reaching more than 2 million views. Each video consists of a multilingual famous model teaching the audience a few phrases of her maternal language (or dialect); the videos often include aesthetically pleasing subtitles, beautiful sets, and high fashion wardrobes.

The “Model Mother Tongue” series is popular for many reasons. Here are some things YouTubers can learn from this series:

1. Show diversity.

One of the most compelling things about this series is its ability to showcase diversity and other cultures through language. In fact, it is entirely dedicated to doing just that.

If you have the opportunity to authentically and respectfully showcase another language, dialect, or culture, do not hesitate to do so.

2. Title your video: “How to….”  

YouTube videos entitled, “How to…” instantly appeal to YouTubers because they offer to teach a lesson. Many viewers look to YouTube as an educational resource.

If there is any possibility of your video teaching something to your audience, make sure to advertise that in the title.

3. Teach something.

The videos in this series are actually educational. Every “Model Mother Tongue” video contains phrases in other languages that are very useful to know.

If you have a skill or a specific type of knowledge that your viewers might be interested in, go ahead and teach it to them.

4. Be dramatic.

Many of the lessons within this series are broken up by beautiful imagery or dramatic action; like Camille Rowe punctuating her points by smashing plates, or Jeneil Williams ending her sentence and then breaking into a sprint.

When creating videos, don’t be afraid to be dramatic; sometimes that’s the best way to convey your message, add an artistic touch, or simply get your viewer’s attention.

i-D’s “Model Mother Tongue” series effectively showcases different languages and cultures in artistic and dramatic ways. YouTubers can learn a lot from the unique format and style of the series.

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Jana is a Communication Studies major and French Studies minor at the University of San Francisco. She loves Mac DeMarco, Beyonce, and the ocean.

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