In the fourth episode of our 'Behind The Reel' series, a show that spotlights YouTube superstars, we talk to Nikki and John, the couple behind the Pranksters in Love web series. They started pranking each other way back in high school and have rolled that into nearly 5 years worth of pranks, 182 million views, 702 thousand subscribers, and a career centered around pranking each other on a daily basis. Please welcome to the show, YouTube's biggest and most ruthless pranksters, Nikki and John, of Pranksters in Love:
ReelSEO: Let’s get to the important things first. What would you say are your top tips for marketers and video creators in general?
John: I think some of like the biggest tips I can think of is you really have to be passionate about what you do and love of what you do. Like we really enjoy entertaining people, we just love to do it.
Nikki: Have fun with what you’re doing and be consistent, don’t give up. When you’re first starting out maybe set a day and tell your viewers you’re going to post a video every Tuesday, every Wednesday and be posting on that day so people know when to come back so you can maximize your views.
ReelSEO: You guys are living the YouTube dream, making a living doing what you love on YouTube, but every creator wants to know, how much of your strategy is YouTube and how much of it is outside of YouTube so you can support yourselves with your work?
John: 50% of what we do is YouTube and 50% of what we do is licensing our videos off of YouTube and we’ve been fortunate enough over the last 4 years to kind of work less and less and kinda leave our actual daytime jobs. After college our YouTube channel took off organically, it was an accident. It was really really cool how it started. We uploaded a video, it went viral unexpectedly, we weren’t really thinking about having a YouTube channel, that’s why our main channel’s name is nikitabananna88.
ReelSEO: You guys have done a great job finding different places to put your content, whether that’s break.com or MTV, do you guys work with an agency or do you do all that work yourself?
John: We do have a manager who helps us kind of manage all of everything outside of YouTube, but as far as everything inside YouTube, our YouTube channels, we have a couple different channels, we manage pretty much everything ourselves. we do all our editing, do all of our uploading, all of our filming, everything ourselves. And we think it’s really really really important to stay independent as YouTubers.
Nikki: For other YouTubers it can definitely help some people who can benefit from being with a network but we just think it’s not really for us. We think that we’re doing just fine on our own so we decided not to sign our channel with a network.
John: However I recently signed my game channel over with Fullscreen just to be a little more protective with video game stuff and I don’t have a problem with that because it’s not my creative content, I’m using their video games to make my videos. And it’s been a great experience, I love Fullscreen, they are really really great, I have somebody that I can e-mail and I get an answer back really quick. They let me see how much money I’m making on YouTube and how much money I’m making from them so I can see that my contract terms are being met and stuff like that. But that is a very big choice for a lot of people to make whether to go for a network contract or not and it’s different for everybody like Nikki said.
ReelSEO: You guys have pulled some amazing pranks on each other, does that ever cause a real issue or is the result always forget it, I’ll just prank him right back?
John: Well you know, revenge is always a dish best served in Nikki’s hair. So I guess I don’t know, why get mad when you can get even. And it really like it’s a way for us to keep our relationship fun, which is hard for a lot of people to believe you know, it’s like how can I get her back and how can I laugh at her like she laughed at me, and in the end, it’s you know, it’s always, we’re the type of people that kinda like get upset for like 5 or 10 minutes and then we’re happy. I will say that Nikki got very upset when I proposed to her and I dumped green slime all over her because she thought she was going out for her anniversary dinner, like a makeup dinner, and she was like pissed and it was hilarious.
ReelSEO: I know you two pride yourselves on original ideas, what have been your favorite pranks you guys have pulled on each other recently?
John: One of my favorite pranks is the gorilla trunk prank and let me tell you what Andy, it was pretty simple, you know, I just went and hid in the trunk and popped out and scared the crap out of Nikki and a bystander actually came over and was like, is everything ok here? And of course we’re like yea, everything is ok here, I’m just a gorilla in a trunk, beat it
ReelSEO: Nikki, John, you guys can only be so cruel to each other for so long, do you have any career changes in the future, any plans for something to do aside from pranking each other?
John: You know Andy, we’ll always prank each other. It’s been a part of our lives, it’s been a part of our friendship, for as long as we’ve known each other, so we’ll always prank each other, we’ll always vlog, we’ll always play video games, we’ll always make fishing videos, but we do want to branch out and do other forms of media and entertainment and always grow and take the next big step to whatever that might be so we’re always working hard on growing. We never want to stop changing and growing and entertaining more people.
Recently we’ve kind of reached out to a lot of different charities, you know we want to help out with, there’s a couple animal shelters and charities and wounded warrior projects, stuff like that, that we’d love to get involved with simply because we really want to give back to people who watch our videos. Without viewers such as yourselves, you know like Andy, I mean that’s why we have what we have is because of you guys and we’re super appreciate of it.
ReelSEO: You guys have a vocal group of commenters on your channel who think everything you do is fake and staged. Once and for all let’s hear it right from you guys, are your pranks staged?
Nikki: No we do not stage our pranks. And don’t listen to what commenters say Andy, look at any video on the internet, every single video on the internet there is some one saying that’s fake. People just like to think there’s this huge conspiracy out there, but we’re just doing this to have fun with each other, we love it, it’s been a part of our lives forever and I mean, faking pranks would be kind of boring on our end.
John: But we really appreciate everyone that comments on our videos, good or bad, you’re watching, we’re just happy that you guys are out there and you’re taking the time to watch our video.
Nikki: My favorite thing is actually a lot of commenters nit pick irrelevant things to call a video fake. Like one time John didn’t wash his toothbrush with water first which he never does, he doesn’t rinse off his toothbrush with water first and someone was like, “No, John didn’t put his toothbrush under the faucet first, therefore this prank is fake”.
That's it for the fourth episode of 'Behind The Reel'. A huge thank you to Pranksters in Love for their time and our viewers for watching. You can subscribe to the Pranksters YouTube Channel below: