Earlier this week, I wrote about "Pasta Grannies" and how it was a great way to understand the modern attention economy. In keeping with the food tradition, we'll take a look at @stalekracker whose ascent to TikTok stardom has been nothing short of meteoric and look at how he's monetizing his newfound fame.
Justin Chiasson, better known by his TikTok handle @stalekracker, posted his first TikTok video back in June 2020. Since then, he amassed 4.3 million followers who tune in to see his hilarious-yet-instructive cooking videos.
Hailing from Louisiana, Chiasson's videos tend to focus on cajun cooking. Each video opens with Chiasson telling the viewer what he's about to teach: "Today, I'm about to learn y'all how to [pick crab meat/boil shrimp right/...]. Let's get it dude!!" Each video closes with him putting whatever he's cooked on a cracker: "Put that on a cracker. That's money dude!!"
Chaisson has been able to monetize these videos directly through sales of crawfish and official merchandise such as t-shirts, his two-step spice blend and his official cookbook. He's also been able to monetize indirectly through affiliate links to everything from the Yeetz Sunglasses he wears to the Kong Beer Bong he uses to hydrate.
As the WSJ reported, Chiasson started posting his crawfish videos online, crawfish sales at Frugé Aquafarms, where he worked as a social media manager, skyrocketed.
However, selling crawfish is only the first way that Chaisson has been able to convert eyeballs to dollars. Given his unique turns of phrase such as "While we wait, we HYDRATE", "Put DAT on a cracker dude!", and "Dat's money dude!" he's been able to start selling physical merchandise emblazoned with these phrases via a fairly barebones Wordpress site. He's also selling "two step" which is some kind of spice blend that I can't say I've ever tried.
In his TikTok bio, he's got an outlink to linktr.ee which serves to route people to the various online properties where you can buy his merchandise as well as merchandise that he's affiliated with.
Here you can see that he's got a cookbook "Da Cajun Two Step" that he co-authored with his wife, a spice blend called "Cajun Two Step!", as well as affiliate links to Louisiana Pepper Exchange which sells pepper puree, Yeetz Sunglasses, and of course his famous Kong Beer Bong.
Like "Pasta Grannies", @stalekracker has been able to use his cooking videos to get attention and then monetize that attention through the sale of various goods. However, he has been more aggressive about monetization. Not only did his videos dramatically increase the sales of crawfish, he's been able to sell official merchandise including cookbooks, the two step spice blend, and t-shirts. On top of this he's got affiliate links to things he frequently uses in his videos like sunglasses and his beer bong AND he was able to use this as a way of opening a franchise location of the Jambalaya Shoppe.
Pretty amazing for one year...Put that on a cracker, dude!!