When President Obama addresses the nation, we take note. But when the Kid President gives us a pep talk, we stop, watch, share, and then dance. And that's lucky for Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake, which took the No. 1 spot on Ad Age's YouTube Original Channel Tracker this week, unseating stalwarts like Mondo and The Warner Sound.
The channel garnered 8.45 million views last week -- up 5,944% from the week prior.
SoulPancake owes almost all of this growth, which more than doubled the channel's all-time views, to one video: "A Pep Talk from Kid President to You." The video took Facebook and Twitter by storm last week and this morning had more than 8 million views on SoulPancake's YouTube channel.
The video stars a young man known as Kid President dressed in a suit and red power tie, urging all of us to do something meaningful with our lives. "In high school, what if [Michael Jordan] had quit if he didn't make the [basketball] team?" he says. "He would have never made Space Jam. And I love Space Jam. What would be your Space Jam? What would you create that would make the world awesome? Nothin' if you keep sitting there."
A new Kid President video is released each week on SoulPancake, a channel dedicated to big topics that involve spirituality, philosophy, and creativity. Usually filmed at his desk in front of a hand drawn presidential seal, Kid President likes to conduct interviews with friends (like Dave Coulier of "Full House") over a tin can telephone. He often ends his broadcasts by dancing, something he thinks we should all do more of.
Kid President also has a website where he blogs and shares nuggets of wisdom like, "Don't be in a party. Be a party." He also maintains a Twitter account where he interacts with some of his more famous fans like Josh Groban and Jessica Biel.
The Jackson Sun has identified Kid President as 9-year-old Robbie Novak, a third-grader from Tennessee. And while SoulPancake distributes the series, the article also notes that the videos are produced by Robbie's brother-in-law, who manages the social media for Freed-Hardeman University.
SoulPancake was founded in 2008 by Wilson of The Office and friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry. What was then a concept for a video series called "Metaphysical Milkshake" expanded into a full website by 2010. The same year, it signed with OWN to develop a series of SoulPancake-themed short interstitials. SoulPancake launched its YouTube Original Channel last July.