Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Star Freddie Wong Starts Slinging Taco Bell

Here’s yet another answer to the “How Do You Make Money On YouTube” question that’s currently befuddling many video makers and investors: Get famous on YouTube, and have someone pay you to be in a YouTube ad.

Here, for instance, is YouTube star Freddie Wong, along with collaborator Brandon Laatsch, going to work on behalf of Taco Bell:

This one probably won’t win a Clio — note Laatsch bragging about making this in less than a week. And the “Fiery DLT” scares me. But the logic of tying up a fast-food chain with someone so perfectly matched to a fast-food chain’s demo is undeniable.

The ad will start running on Wong’s YouTube channel today, which means that Google/YouTube will benefit from the campaign. But it’s also going to go off YouTube, to sites including ESPN, Pandora and CBS Sports.

This isn’t the first time someone who has gotten big on YouTube has been used as a corporate spokesman  — a couple of years ago, the Honey Badger even made it onto prime-time TV — but it sure looks like we’ll be seeing much more of this soon.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work