Rhett & Link: Geniuses of local American branded content

Rhett & Link. Photo courtesy of RaulRubiera.com

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are qualified engineers who earn six figure pay checks in the USA. But their earnings have nothing to do with their engineering qualifications. Rather, the money they make comes from their partnership with YouTube. It’s on Google’s video sharing website that they do work for a number of American brands.

The duo has a YouTube channel where they share video content – including commercials they produce, Rhett & Link style, for local businesses. According to video marketing company TubeMogul, Rhett & Link’s YouTube channel generates content that attracts a daily average of almost 120,000 views.

These two guys have worked with huge brands that include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Sanyo and Taco Bell; and their work with these and many other brands has received creativity awards in the US such as Advertising Age Awards, Webby Awards and People’s Voice Awards. Their video content now includes other material other than commercials, but their ‘claim to fame’ was eccentric local commercials.

Rhett and Link started off by looking for small businesses that cannot afford above the line advertising. Once they’ve found their targets they offer the concern a platform to promote the small brand.

The style is quirky, raw and the punch lines are meant to be memorable and funny. The whole idea is to draw people’s attention to local commercials and this has resulted in channelling a lot of attention to people who really need it – entrepreneurs.

The concept includes a community engagement angle where the duo involves people across the country in nominating other companies to take part in this series. The phenomenon, which is now called I Love Local Commercials, has gone viral.

The innovative YouTube marketing machine has also captured the media’s attention, and has been featured in Advertising Age, AdWeek, CNN, The New York Times, Forbes and TMZ. The couple were the focus of a television series in 2011, called Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings that centred on a countrywide tour of the I Love Local Commercials phenomenon. The pair’s advertising business has grown and now they offer branded content to bigger brands. They also create music and still stay true to their roots by continuing to work with small brands and championing local brands.

I think these two guys are really cool. They have managed to drive communities to pay more attention to small businesses and that in my book, is a game changer. More so it’s a major boon to entrepreneurs in a recessionary environment.

Although the execution could be done differently, the fact that some of their work has millions of hits means they are reaching an attentive audience. It would be great to know if the businesses they worked with increased their turnover or not after their work with Rhett & Link. I am thinking that for a small business whose one ad has over 3.6 million hits within 3 months of upload, turnover would improve.

Here’s some of the ads Rhet & Link have created:

A carwash called Presidential Carwash whose carwashes are named after American Presidents. Quite cheesy.


Mormon Haircuts was done for a Church of Latter Day Saints college that trains hair stylists.


This one is my favourites, a small vehicle repair workshop called Shift It, where they fix gearbox transmission.


Say “no” to crack, say yes to “roller skating” was done for a rollerskating arcade called Roller Kingdom.


The Rhett & Link channel.