Deviating from the white themes and manicured captions, Charlotte Tan and Michelle Lee are not your conventional influencers/content creators, to say the least. Known for their satirical pop culture references and commentary, the duo occasionally pokes fun at the influencer community as well.
Having recently graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts, the design graduates are carving a name for themselves in the industry having started just two years ago.
Currently, the duo is on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, focused on pushing out bite-sized content. This ranges from their signature lip-sync videos to video collaborations which comment on current issues which people talking about.
Cameos in their videos often include local talents including Nathan Hartono, Gentle Bones, Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali and Narelle Kheng from The Sam Willows, to name a few. Some clients the internet personalities have worked with so far include Maybelline, MAC Cosmetics, Urban Decay, NYX Cosmetics, McDonald’s, Air Asia, Circles.Life, Sentosa, foodpanda, Lazada and Uriage.
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In this edition of "Now following", Marketing sits down for a chat with the dynamic duo for a chat on their journey with brands so far and how brands are responding to their offbeat style of content.
Marketing: When and how did you start out as an influencer?
We started Youtiao666 at some time around October 2015, when we were still pursuing our design degree at Lasalle College of the Arts. But we took up commissioned work after we graduated in mid-2016.
We started out with simple lip-sync videos created off the app “Dubsmash”. We compiled them and it became a series of viral FB videos. After that, we started using the app “Musical.ly”. For a period of time, we just kept sending our funny videos to our friends over WhatsApp which annoyed them overtime. So we created an Instagram account to host our nonsense.
In November 2015, our Siren video went viral on Facebook where we hit 103 million views and 1 million+ shares. That was crazy. Mothership picked up on it and we blew up in Singapore from there.
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Posted by Youtiao666 on Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Marketing: How did you carve a niche for yourself?
Nobody was doing funny lip sync videos, so it wasn’t difficult for us to be noticed. But we were just always doing our own thing.
Being relatable, humorous and having an open mind helped us strike a connection with our followers as well.
Our videos are always humorous and witty so that’s why people enjoy watching them. We also don’t take things too seriously and aren’t afraid to make fun of ourselves.
Marketing: What inspired you to incorporate satire and comedy into your brand assignments?
It has always been in our nature to be insult comics and we both enjoy high brow humour so it naturally translated into our work.
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Marketing: How have clients responded to this style of brand content?
They have responded positively. Clients come to us because they want our perspective on handling the brief. Take our recent campaign with Circles.Life for example, we suggested being vandals for the campaign and they were immediately accepting of the idea.
We love working with new age companies that understand the youth market.
Marketing: With the constant fear of social media backlash that brands face, how do you give assurance to clients to get them on board?
It has never been an issue to get clients on board as they already know what to expect when they hire us. With the recent Circles.Life campaign, brands come to us and give us free reign to suggest anything that comes to our mind on how to make their campaign more interesting.
In addition, we always ensure that we are well-informed, so we do our research if we are ever unsure about anything.
Marketing: How do you handle difficult clients?
We were raised right, so there are no difficult clients, only miscommunication.
Marketing: What should clients take note of when it comes to working with influencers?
A lot of influencers don’t have as much of an impact even though their numbers might seem high. Do your research on who to engage before investing in an ad that no one responds to.
Marketing: Any fellow local influencers you look up to?
We look up to anyone who has made waves in the news regardless of what they do. We love it when people are truly being themselves even if it makes others question them.