One day, many years ago, two best friends decided to pull some pranks in Paris and dropped their pants in public. A while later, they were stopped by the authorities. “You are Kloons!” the French policeman proclaimed. And the name stuck.
Mitch Lewis, Nik Kazoura and Greg Washburn are The Kloons – a charismatic trio of best friends and artists who have over 56,000 YouTube subscribers tuning in to their channel. Natives of California and Williamsburg, Brooklyn transplants, The Kloons are writers, comedians, actors, cinematographers, videographers, fools…the list goes on. Here’s a group who thrives in a creative sketch comedy world and weaves a network of collaboration. With over 7 million video views under their belts, they are preparing to be the next Internet sensation. How, you ask?
The Kloons traveled to Los Angeles back in the spring to film Internet Icon Season 2, an Internet reality show presented by YouTube network, YOMYOMF and founded by YouTube giants nigahiga, KevJumba, Chester See and Justin Lin. Think American Idol for the Internet. After being chosen from a pool of, oh THOUSANDS of contestants, The Kloons made it first to the Top 100, and then to the Top 10. The competition is heating up.
Some facts for you. The Top 10 from Internet Icon Season 1 averaged a 522% subscriber increase on their respective YouTube channels. As is the case with American Idol, ultimately the audience will vote to choose their Icon, which will be presented live (on the Internet) later this summer. Last year’s winners, The Brothers Riedell, have leveraged their success into major projects, including directing a commercial for NASCAR. In what has quickly become the world’s leading entertainment and information source, YouTube continues to be the place where investors and brands actively seek the next online celebrity. With their 3-year anniversary approaching on July 12th, The Kloons are headed toward an intergalactic speedway of success.
The mission of The Kloons is to create imaginative media and kaleidoscopic experiences by providing a collaborative platform through film, live performance, and social experimentation. Well before competing on Internet Icon, The Kloons began their “Faithful Friday” video series, setting themselves up with a deadline to produce, film, edit and release a new video every Friday. The only break they’ve taken is their annual escape to the high Nevada deserts for Burning Man.
Consistent creative branding and team-oriented processes has contributed to The Kloons devoted following. Their video narratives exhibit a clear idea in a silly bubble, with concepts evolving not only into various comedic landscapes, but ideas that push the standard white envelope for mass entertainment. This recipe for demurely testing the waters is increasing their audience appeal. Some Kloons videos are outlandishly funny, some are dry, others are trippy and just plain audacious. Kloonies – as their fans are known – are up for anything. Whatever the notion, this Brooklyn troupe has the talent and capacity to direct for a larger audience, i.e. film and television.
“Tit For Tat,” their first viral hit, made the homepage of Reddit and now has over 2 million views. Check it out below.
The Kloons’ work ethic is also business savvy. Part of the Millenial generation, The Kloons are using social media to their advantage. Behind-the-scenes photos and #KloonsKuotes are frequently seen on their brand pages, which also works to trend their off-camera experiences and idealisms. Kloons fans look forward to their public stunts and zainy yet professional perspectives, happily connecting and clicking to a world that’s being created with them in mind. A tribe.
“This YouTube game is still in a Wild Wild West phase,” says Mitch Lewis, co-founder and brand manager. “Hollywood is starting to move in and advertisers are beginning to understand just how powerful it is, but we feel it still has a massive amount of untapped potential. YouTube in its nature is collaborative, and we aim to promote this asset and use it as a tool to promote great people, companies and ideas.”