Big-name brands fuel Rhett & Link’s funny videos

Rhett and Link

McLaughlin and Neal are performing a video skit in this Los Angeles suburb in front of an $800 Canon EOS Rebel camera, part of a four-minute video for their popular Rhett & Link YouTube channel. The video was financed by Procter & Gamble’s Gillette razor division, as part of its online campaign. Like many YouTube performers, the two spend their days coming up with funny videos: Theirs have pulled in more than 200 million views overall. The twist is that unlike many of their counterparts, they actively work with companies to have the videos mention or even lampoon a product. “We always tell our audience that the brands enable us to make videos that we wouldn’t be able to make without the money they provide,” says Neal. For the Gillette spot, for instance, they were able to rent a horse for $400, get some “roadkill’ for $250 and various other props. What started with cold-calling companies turned into successful partnerships with some of the biggest names in advertising, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Alka-Seltzer, Starburst, Taco Bell and Trident gum. “Consumers are subjected to so many traditional messages,” says Geir Skaaden, a senior vice president for audio firm DTS Audio, which has signed for an upcoming sponsored video. “If you want to strike a chord with them, it’s important to come at them with multiple angles.” Skaaden liked that with McLaughlin and Neal, he’d not only have their services for a funny video but also get access to their large online audience.


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