This is a tale of two brothers, Dante and Colle. Born in Cornwall, UK, in 1998, and raised in the US, their personalities couldn’t be more opposite. While Dante is soft-spoken and rather passive, Colle is loud and excitable. It is this combination of quirks that has resulted in a viral hit on YouTube: the dog dancing challenge. You can check it out for yourself and see just how well these two can coordinate their dance moves.
In the beginning, the video merely served as an excuse for Dante to dance with his dog, Whiskey. The original version of the video, posted in December 2017, has since accumulated over a million views. But as the weeks turned into months and months turned into years, Dante and Colle began to work together to create a series of dance videos. Their first collaboration, posted in January 2019, has over 400,000 views, and its popularity continues to grow.
The Power of Social Media
The success of these videos is in no small part thanks to the video platform, TikTok. Launched in early 2018, TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 500 million active monthly users. What makes this platform special is that, unlike other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, it doesn’t require users to have a significant number of followers in order to populate their feeds with content.
This is important because as much as we in the media like to think that traditional advertising on social media platforms works like a charm, the truth is that a significant number of users avoid most ads, including political ads. One study from TikTok found that users have an easy way to skip ads, with 28% stating that they often forget to watch them. It also emerged that 19% of users had stopped watching ads completely, while 12% of users had turned off the auto-played videos to avoid the interruptions.
The Merits of a Collision
Why do Dante and Colle enjoy dancing together? It’s a question that they have been asked countless times and one that they have been unable to answer. They have, however, articulated the reasons for their success on TikTok. First, the dog dancing challenge resonates with people because it’s funny.
“Dancing with our dog is one of the most fun activities we can do together,” Dante says in the intro to their first video. What is perhaps most interesting about their answer is that, in a world full of increasingly creative content, they have managed to stand out. It’s not that the content is exceptional; it’s that, for some reason, people find it funny.
Dante and Colle’s videos are a testament to the platform’s power. Launching a streaming service devoted to comedy in the United States, Comedy Central is one of the most well-known brands within the entertainment industry, having pioneered the late-night talk show format. A prime example of this is the network’s Daily Show, which features prominent comedians in interviews with prominent guests. This approach obviously works because it’s funny, whether the viewer knows it or not.
The other factor that makes the videos so special is that they are incredibly well-executed. From the way that the actors are dressed to the choreography, everything about the videos is on point. It’s only when you stop and examine the details that you realize how well-planned and well-executed these videos are. For instance, when Colle’s dog, Bella, suddenly sits down in the middle of their dance routine, it not only serves as a hilarious punchline, but it also highlights the fact that the two dogs were not actually trained to dance together. The dogs just happened to be wearing matching outfits that day.
Another example of effective comedy comes in the form of a sketch where the two play characters who are trying to escape from a talking tiger. In this scene, the tiger’s dialogue is rather clunky and the sketch as a whole feels rather amateurish. It doesn’t take long for the sketch to fall apart, but even before that happens, you can already see that it doesn’t live up to the standards of a professional sketch comedy troupe. Still, it’s interesting to note that even though this content is arguably less polished than their dog dancing videos, it receives more views on TikTok, with over half a million views.
The Influence of Viral Content
To this point, we’ve discussed why, as comedy content creators, Dante and Colle enjoy success on TikTok, but how did this happen? It’s a question that they have been asked countless times, and one that they have yet to fully answer. What they can say is that, in 2019, content that goes viral has exponentially increased in popularity, and they weren’t exactly missing out. Not only did they begin to collaborate on creative projects, such as their dog dancing videos, but they also started receiving offers from prominent brands and entertainment companies that wanted to work with them. So far, they have turned down all of these offers, citing a desire to maintain their independence and creative control.
TikTok’s influence is difficult to overstate. The platform is now available in over 200 countries around the globe and has been credited with changing the way that people communicate and engage with one another online. Not only can people find comedic content on TikTok, but they can also discover creative and innovative projects that, in many cases, wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the platform.
The rise of TikTok is just one of the many phenomena that can be attributed to the influence of social media in 2019. In terms of marketing and brand awareness, social media monitoring and analytics firm Merkle published a report stating that in 2019, social media will drive 66% of all digital marketing activity. Additionally, the report notes that in 2019, consumers will turn to social media to discover products and brands, with 62% stating that they use social media to learn about products and brands. Most notably, the report forecasts that by next year, social media will serve as the primary source of information for 48% of all consumers.
In this realm, it’s important to note that, though social media is powerful, it can also be extremely influential. Just look at how TikTok was able to shift the comedy landscape in 2019. Even established comedians were unable to imitate the success of the once little-known platform.
In some respects, the platform was able to gain such a large audience because there is a genuine lack of comedic talent on the platform. While there are thousands of funny videos on TikTok, the majority of them are rather unfunny, with a significant number falling into the “cringe” category. These videos, which are often filled with bad acting, overly sentimental scenes, and bizarre dialogue, can often go viral, garnering millions of views.
The Influences of YouTube
Though he is now 29 years old, Charlie Pattinson, the younger brother of Colin, first gained recognition for his comedic skills when he began making YouTube videos in 2015. In the years since, he has gone from strength to strength, amassing a whopping 7.6 million subscribers and approaching a billion views across his channel, “Mr. Beastly”. Like many successful YouTubers, Charlie builds his audience through organic growth, primarily using his own videos to attract supporters and gain subscribers.
Even more impressively, Charlie has been able to build a dedicated following, particularly among a certain demographic, through a combination of clever marketing and interesting content. On his channel, Charlie sometimes discusses the influence of pop culture, film, and music in shaping his comedic style. In addition to this, he covers a variety of topics, including fashion, lifestyle, and family dynamics. What binds these various topics together, aside from Charlie’s signature blend of humor and fashion, is a common interest in human behavior and how to better understand and relate to the people around us.
Though the videos on his channel are mostly comedy, they aren’t entirely. “Mr. Beastly” has, on more than one occasion, covered a trending topic, such as the Black Mirror episode, “Nosedive,” which examines the effects of social media on society. In this episode, each member of a social media-obsessed couple’s “following” list begins to drop in status, leading to a descent into madness as the members of the audience begin to feel the effects as well.
The power of social media is not only limited to driving audience growth. In addition to attracting fans, many top YouTubers, such as Mike Chen, use the platform to grow their brands. In 2019 alone, these creators earned a collective total of $30.6 million from brand deals and product integrations alone.