Meet the Greatest Modern Marketer

How Jimmy Donaldson Changed the Game

Jimmy Donaldson is the market’s most innovative, provocative, and effective marketer. He’s also one of the top YouTubers in the world.

Better known by his moniker Mr. Beast, Donaldson has grown from an emerging content creator to a full-fledged YouTube star, known for outlandish videos where he sells cars and houses for $1, launched his own bank that gave out free money, and even ate a $70,000 pizza covered in gold.

But if you think Mr. Beast is just another clickbait, shock-tactic YouTuber, you are sorely mistaken. Because while he’s been busy racking up subscribers, Mr. Beast has also been putting on a masterclass in modern marketing.

Here’s just a few reasons why…

Modern Marketers Protect the Brand, but not the Logo

His online merch store has transcended from traditional swag to near-cult-like streetwear by combining limited edition and short-run prints with highly original and adaptable design. While you and I are busy protecting our logos, Mr. Beast has been busy blowing his up.

Tackle Trends Early, but Make Them Your Own

While much of our industry was rightfully heralding last year’s McDonalds and Travis Scott brand partnership, Mr. Beast was busy building his own international restaurant chain.

Launched in December, Mr. Beast Burger is a wildly original brand extension strategy that utilized ghost kitchens to quickly scale to over 400+ locations across the U.S. and Canada.

The Greatest Content Is Doing Good

Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Beast is living proof that doing good is the greatest marketing. While he gained early traction as a shock-jock-style content creator, he has quickly evolved his brand to have a more focused and philanthropic presence.

Whether it was last year’s Team Trees initiative, or the myriad of videos he’s created giving back to the community, he has found his footing as a brand that does good - further proof that doing good is the greatest marketing.

The Flywheel Effect

Finally, Mr. Beast is actively underway with one of his most ambitious efforts ever - opening his own food bank that he intends to fund with a YouTube-fueled flywheel.

Here’s how it works:

  • Donaldson setup his own nonprofit food bank, investing $500,000

  • He then created a custom YouTube channel - Beast Philanthropy

  • He intends to create content about the food bank and monetize the videos on YouTube

  • He then plans to reinvest all the ad revenue back into the food bank, creating a bigger impact and even better content

  • The better content will then attract more views, generating increased ad revenue, and further improving the impact of the food bank

If you’ve read Jim Collins’ Turning the Flywheel you know just how big of a deal this will be if it works.

Conclusion

If you’ve previously written off Mr. Beast as just another YouTuber, you’d be forgiven. But you’d also be wrong.

He owns more restaurants than In-n-Out, gets more views than the Super Bowl, and did I mention he’s just 22 years old?

Don’t be fooled, there is something seriously special happening here…

Marketing is changing before our eyes and we best slow down and look.


Editor’s Note

As many of you know, since launching Kanahoma last November I have had the pleasure of working again with UCLA.

Most recently, the university has posted two extremely exciting new positions that they are actively recruiting for: Chief Brand Officer and Chief Officer of The UCLA Content Studio (You can find both jobs posted here).

If joining the nation’s #1 public university sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, feel free to shoot me a note and I can share a few more details and perhaps put in a good word for you.

Hope you’re well,

Seth