Ever since the Numa Numa Guy took the world wide web by storm, individuals and businesses alike have been clawing, hand and foot, to reach the pinnacle at the top of the mountain: to go viral.
While this online lottery seems nearly impossible to cash in on, in 2017, the year of our fathers, we. fuggin’. did it.
Our story, like most, is a tale old as time, boy meets internet media Goliath, boy and internet media Goliath fall in love, their child goes on to rack up millions of views and shares, a true love story.
It started like any good E.L. James novel, with an email. “What’s up Shinesty, we love your Christmas suits and want to make a hot little internet baby with you” they said (this may or may not be heavily paraphrased if not entirely fabricated)…and the rest is history.
So who is this superstar in the viral industry? They go by the name VT a.k.a. The Broadband Bangers & Mash and if you aren’t already following them, then you’re using the internet wrong.
We got an exclusive interview with the minds behind VT who helped mold us into the viral sensation that we are:
Why the name VT and what’s the story behind the company?
The idea is that we’re flipping television – TV – on its head. We’re based in Shoreditch, in the UK (if you haven’t heard of Shoreditch, it’s basically London’s answer to Williamsburg) but we’ve got offices in New York and LA too. Our Founder and CEO started off our flagship Facebook page, VT, in his mum’s spare room at the age of 23 and has since grown that into a huge media business.
Tell us the best product you’ve created a video for and why was it the Christmas suit?
For us, it was the juxtaposition of a smart suit and Christmas wrapping paper. With a sprinkling of VT magic and a tablespoon of Christmas spirit, it was sure to be a hit.
What is the weirdest product you’ve seen?
Imagine a wand, weighted at either end, with a round protrusion in the middle. You put the protrusion in your mouth – holding it with your lips – and then pivot your head left and right. You look a bit like a propellor plane but it helps strengthen the muscles in your face. The video’s coming out next week.
What’s one ridiculous product you could use every day?
We have a bagel slicer in the kitchen and when people see it for the first time, the British cynicism comes out in full force. Obviously, these have been a mainstay of American kitchens for decades. But British people love tradition and what’s more traditional than butchering a bagel with a table knife? Needless to say, everyone comes round to the bagel slicer eventually. Not least because the guillotine mechanism reminds us of mediaeval beheadings. We’re a proud nation.
What’s the craziest comment you’ve gotten on a video?
We can’t quote anyone here but some of the best ones are when people are entirely new to Facebook and think they’re sending a direct message. Something like “Jennifer, can you remind Adam to bring the flan when you come over on Saturday?” under a video of a dog falling down a hill. Classic.
What’s the special sauce that keeps VT on top of the competition?
We’re extremely reactive to our audience’s content preferences, which means we generate the highest engagement rates. As long as everything you produce has the audience in mind, you can’t go far wrong. If we’re talking literally, it’s mainly wholegrain mustard with a little fajita spice mix and some vanilla extract. Then maybe some Christmas spirit, depending on the season.
Why are English people polite to the level of putting themselves in harm’s way?
“Okay” is the most commonly spoken word in the English language but in the UK, it has to be “sorry”. It’s ingrained into us. On the London Underground, you will hear a chorus of commuters apologizing to each other merely for occupying space. The more I think about it, the less I understand it. I don’t know why we’re so polite. Sorry.
Who’s going to win the Premier League?
What’s going on with dentistry in England?
We have some of the best dentists in the world but we spend so long apologizing to each other that we seldom find time for dental maintenance.
Can we agree that Canada ranks #3 among English speaking countries?
We can, but only because you guys invented the hamburger.
Speed round (keeping in mind English as a whole is a bastard language):
Math or Maths?
Pulp or Juicy Bits?
Tea or Crumpets
Lift or Elevator?
Petrol or Gas?
Wanker or Dick?
Our head of communications sadly forbade us from answering this question.
Jeremy Clarkson or Matt LeBlanc?
Jeremy Clarkson, of course.