Who knew a rat could cause a revolution?
Don’t know what I’m TikTok-ing about?
Let me catch you up, my over 40-something friend.
The latest social media platform to hit the e-waves goes by the name TikTok. It made a name for itself by doing two things:
- Allowing users to post 15-second clips of themselves doing crazy dance moves.
- Getting accused of espionage by our ex-administration (sorry but not sorry if that “ex” part was a spoiler for anyone).
And now it’s getting a new rep . . . for making musicals.
A few MONTHS ago, a TikTok-er posted a made-up melody for a hypothetical musical based on the Disney film, Ratatouille.
And then, a few weeks ago, another Tok-er added orchestrations like you’d hear in an Act II finale.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
See TikTok isn’t about viewing content. It’s about MAKING content. So people didn’t just view the video. They added to the theoretical musical by making up songs of their own. Some added choreography. Makeup.
An entire musical, created by its fans, is coming together right before our virtual eyes.
(And, I might add, much faster than “real” ones get made!)
So now you’re up to date.
But what does all this mean? It means a ton, actually, but here are 3 Takeaways from The Ratatouille Musical on TikTok (and a special surprise too).
The “kids” make social media sites. Adults break them.
See, like new musicals, young people can only get a social site so far. Unless the site finds an older audience (i.e. the moms of those early adopting kids), the sites ends up as another MySpace. (Ironically, the kids find the NEW social-site because their moms found the old social-site. And like fleas on a dog, they jump to the new one.)
This is why Facebook went beyond its “college-only” membership model, and why it tipped into the big-billionaire-boys-club. I remember when Twitter tipped in 2008, which I predicted and wrote about here (the Arab Springs had something to do with it).
And, this musical is drawing the adults to TikTok, like, well, like a rat to the subway.
I’ve gotten at least seven emails in the last few days from people my age asking me “Did you see that rat musical on “The TickTock?”
Yep, TikTok is now officially a thing.
What does this mean for you? Get ready to start focusing your promotional efforts on this new platform.
(But don’t worry, Twitter is just about dead so you won’t have to manage that one for much longer.)
2. TikTok is a great place for TheaterMakers to get discovered.
And in this one video (not to mention his previous “Grocery Store” the musical) he’s gotten more attention in a few months than in his entire career. (I don’t think he’d mind me saying that – and if he does, I’ll apologize to him directly, because I’d love to meet this guy.)
It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube was the place for musical theater writers to break out (Pasek and Paul talked about their success being tied to YouTube’s birth here). Now, TikTok looks to be the next place that song writers can get discovered.
(IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE LOOKING TO EMULATE THEIR SUCCESS): They used a big brand to get a spotlight on their stuff. I call this strategy “brand-jacking” and it’s awesome.)
3. People effin’ miss musicals.
If you EVER thought musicals were losing their relevancy, take a look at the 10 million views these videos have gotten. And take a look at how major media has gotten involved. And Playbill.com. And even Tony-nominated composers.
People all over the world are banding together to write a musical. Would this be happening if they could see one? No. That first video never would have been posted in the first place.
And our audience has kept Broadway and musicals top of mind better than any marketing agency could ever dream of doing.
Now the question is . . . will Ratatouille The Musical actually get produced??? Will Ratatouille make it to Broadway?
I don’t know. But I know this . . .
See my appeal to the writers of Ratatouille The Musical to give me the rights to produce it on TikTok here: