"Viral Video Genius" Nalts, well known in the online video world as one of YouTube's most prolific viral video creators and YouTube comedians, led two separate lives until last week, when the two worlds recently collided and he was outed as a Consumer Product Director at Merck, where he marketed Propecia. Kevin Nalty had kept his day job private from his viral video fame offering only a vague reference in his online bio that he was a "Consumer Product Director at a Fortune 100 company."
But as Liz Gaines noted on Thursday in her scoop on Nalts, "he thought he could keep the viral video world and the day job separate," she said. "However, a recent MediaWeek story about product placement on YouTube mentioned Nalty's employer, and that garnered some attention in the pharma blogging world. So on Thursday of last week, he quit his job and became a full-time online video marketer."
Nalts made the following announcement on Twitter:
Nalts has left his job as Marketing Director of Merck to pursue his passion for online video and social media with FULL force! :)
However, Nalts told NewTeeVee via email,
"Merck knew about Nalts before they hired me. But as Nalts grew, it became harder to keep 'low profile.' I went to great lengths to keep them separate because I didn't want my goofball antics to reflect poorly on a company focused on health and medication…The fact that Merck was recently being unfairly linked to me and fart videos was the 'straw that broke the camel's back.'"
He posted the above video on his blog which helps explain the inspiration behind his decision.
"Last night Katrina Darrell sang Mariah Carey's 'Treated Me Kind' on American Idol 2009. Her song inspired me to quit the full-time job as a Product Director at Merck", he said. "Now it's full-time to follow my passion: making videos, working with Hitviews, and starting my own consulting practice that will help brands engage in social media, especially the most visceral kind: online video. Stay tuned next week for more details."
A top-10 "most subscribed" YouTube comedian Nalts has created more than 800 short videos that have been viewed on online-video sites more than 73 million times, and include the popular "Farting in Public," which was featured by YouTube has been viewed more than 7 million times. He and his online videos have won numerous awards, and have appeared on CNN, ABC, BBC, Fox and CBS News. He speaks, writes and consults in the area of online marketing and viral video and has a page in his web site for information if you'd like to hire Nalts.
Nalts also just turned 40 a few weeks ago and as he makes this change from a dual identity to a full-time online video and marketing practice he offered these reflections,
"Gotta do what you love, and trust the money to follow. Should have listened to that advice right out of school. Not too late for some of you. Full steam ahead in video "entertaining," and helping brands engage in social media and video… via Hitviews and via my own consulting firm to be announced next week! Seriously- thanks so much for watching and subscribing, since I couldn't afford to do this without some income from the ads you watch."
While many have commented that this may just be stunt pulled off by a master comedian, like doing a prat fall at a Streaming Media conference panel session just to gain attention, I think he's playing for keeps. Like anyone in the public eye he has his fans and detractors but from his friends and fans in the online video community there's been an outpouring of support.
All the best to you Kevin "Nalts" Nalty! We're all rooting for you!
This post was written by our friend – Larry Kless… Thanks Larry!
Note from Publisher ;-) Maybe Nalts has it right – time to start thinking seriously 'bout that.
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