Interview: Creator of “Annoying Orange” Viral Sensation Talks Going from YouTube to TVBy: Abby Johnson - March 2, 2012
Aside from hilarious cat videos and other memes, YouTube is known for helping to create numerous Web celebrities including Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager, Fred Figglehorn, and Rebecca Black. Another phenomenon to add to this list is the popular Annoying Orange video show that involves the adventures of several pieces of fruit, namely an orange.
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The show was created by Dane Boedigheimer who, ironically, has a history of creating content about talking food. In the above interview with WebProNews, Boedigheimer, more commonly known as “Daneboe,” told us that his past talking food videos were all one-offs about different foods being killed at the end. When he created Annoying Orange, he had the same intention; but, fortunately for him, it became a hit.
“For some reason, the character resonated, and people wanted more,” he said.
Although talking food seemed to be his “forte,” Boedigheimer had no idea it would reach the level of success it has. At this point, the Annoying Orange YouTube channel has well over 1 billion views and more than 2 million subscribers.
Check out the latest episode:
Boedigheimer credits much of the success of the show to Facebook and Twitter. The Annoying Orange Facebook page has over 10 million “likes” and the pages for the individual characters have hundreds of thousands of fans as well.
Also on Twitter, Annoying Orange has over 200,000 followers and the individual character’s accounts show a similar popularity.
“A lot of times, I can push almost just as much traffic… via Facebook and Twitter as I can through YouTube,” said Boedigheimer.
He told us that they utilize these platforms to also create mini episodes, which results in a very high level of engagement with fans.
In addition to the show’s success on YouTube, Annoying Orange has landed a deal with the Cartoon Network. They are currently in the writing process and plan to air the show in June, if all goes well.
In the early days of Annoying Orange, Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove, who wrote the show, were the solely responsible for the work that went into it. However, now with its excessive growth and entrance into television, the team has expanded.
Boedigheimer said that while they are very excited about the transition into TV, they are also excited about the future of the Web series.
“What I really want to be able to do is take both things and have them work in tandem,” he said.
Ideally, he wants the Web show and the TV show to promote each other and push traffic back and forth. In other words, he doesn’t want viewers to feel like they can watch one without watching the other. Often times, it seems as though Internet stars forget about their start once they’ve gone mainstream. Boedigheimer does not want this to happen, and instead, wants viewers to feel a need to watch both programs in order to get the full experience.
“If we can make that happen and be successful, I think it’s kind of setting a standard,” said Boedigheimer.
TV, incidentally, is not the only area that Annoying Orange has made an entrance in of late. It has also caught the attention of the film industry. No, there’s not a film about the Annoying Orange in the works yet, but the show did partner with Relativity Media in an effort to promote the upcoming film Mirror, Mirror.
One of the big challenges of viral sensations such as Annoying Orange is the issue of sustainability. Boedigheimer, though, believes consistency is the key to overcoming this difficulty.
“With YouTube or any online video site, you have to stay consistent because the audience expects it,” he pointed out.
With Annoying Orange, they post a new video every Friday. Even if something falls through and they aren’t able to have a new episode, they post a video explaining that there isn’t anything new, but they offer a contest, game, or something to keep the audience engaged.
If the numbers are any indication of the effectiveness of Boedigheimer’s method, it appears that he’s on the right track.
Are you a fan of Annoying Orange? If so, do you plan to watch the TV version as well? Let us know.