Published on: January 9, 2018by Michael Sansolo
It was the middle of the night on Black Friday and a business contact of mine got a call from his daughter who was at a shopping mall. Obviously, he was alarmed and as a dad myself, the story had me on edge at this point. He and I were both completely wrong.
His daughter was fine, in fact she was beyond excited. It turned out that she had just run into David Dobrik and got a selfie taken with him. It was a moment worth both waking and shaking up her father.
At this point in the story I had the same question as my colleague: who in the world is David Dobrik and why does he elicit this kind of reaction? If you agree, you join me once again in being behind the times.
David Dobrik, I have since learned is HUGE! He is a celebrity of the new age thanks to his video blog or Vlog. His videos, which I could generously describe as inane, are quick glimpses into his incredibly unproductive days along with his equally sophomoric friends. Yet they regularly draw more than 5 million views or more people than regularly tune into the “Today Show,” for example.
Like it or not, this is the new world. I’ve now watched a series of Dobrik’s videos and I still cannot fathom his popularity except for this: the videos are clearly very authentic. He and his friends aren’t putting on airs. There’s no make-up, clearly no script and it’s hard to imagine they’ve put tremendous thought into whatever message they might be sending.
Rather, they are just behaving foolishly and running a camera to capture their silliness. And the fans eat it up, helping make Dobrik and his crew fairly wealthy in the process thanks to the strange economics of You Tube videos.
There’s a reason I share this and it’s certainly not to get more people doing Google searches on Dobrik’s name and adding themselves to his impressive viewership numbers. It’s about something we need to understand about what connects in this new and strange age.
Today, celebrity and expertise are weird things. More than ever, we know that the misinformed opinion of an actor on dietary or scientific issues will carry more weight than a panel of esteemed scientists or dietitians. It makes no sense, but it’s the current reality.
Plus, these are realities we all need to understand because these same viewers of David Dobrik’s videos are shoppers that you need win over in the next few years. It reminds us that the new media, flush with authenticity, warts, mistakes and all, is overwhelming traditional advertising.
And that’s why it is somehow important that we all know about David Dobrik, with or without a 2 am phone call.
Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . His book, “THE BIG PICTURE: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available on Amazon by clicking here. And, his book "Business Rules!" is available from Amazon by clicking here.
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