Matt Harding was a guy that lived for producing and playing videogames only. However, in 2003 he decided that there was more to life than working, and started travelling around the world. Together with his friend, they thought it would be funny if Matt would do ‘his dance’ in front of the camera, a dance that could best be described as a kid on a sugar rush. When they saw the result, Matt thought it looked funny and decided to do this everywhere he went.
He uploaded a video of his dance across the world on his blog, and noticed that in 2005 someone had uploaded it on YouTube. From that point on, he became increasingly more famous and his video went quite viral.
It was due to the nature of social media that his videos started spreading and became viral. Without all these people sharing it on their social networking profiles, Matt would probably not have become as famous as he is now.
However, later down the path, Matt received a call from a chewing gum company called Stride, and they asked him if he would be willing to make a dancing video for them. Furthermore, Visa hired him to feature in several advertisements in which he appeared dancing. Now you can even buy T-shirts, a book, the videos, and the soundtracks to the videos on his website http://www.wherethehellismatt.com.
I really like the core idea of how it all started; Matt dancing a silly dance around the globe and uploading a funny video on the Internet. However, what quite disappoints me now is that it has gone way beyond just a viral video but has been turned into merchandise. Even though there is the possibility that Matt provides all the content on his website himself, it seems less authentic to me now that there are sponsors and a webshop.
I was wondering, what do you think? Did this go over the top and should it have stayed a viral video on social media, or is Matt smart to obtain sponsors and start a website?