And we're back! On the Mic with Ad Results Media is kicking off 2022 with an incredible interview with the entertaining YouTube and TikTok sensation The McFarlands. In this episode, we'll be diving into the creation of TikTok content, how to deliver a successful branded ad as an influencer, and what it means to just have fun with your family.

Podcast Transcript


That's the great thing about They grow with you.


As much fun as I had, I couldn't wait to get back to my sleep number bed.


I love my Third Love bras. They're hands down the most comfortable bras I've ever owned.


I love making Blue Apron and I love it. It's my me time.


Thank you guys so much for joining us. We are super excited to have you on the podcast for our listeners who maybe aren't familiar with you all. Would you mind introducing yourself?


Yes we are. So we're the McFarlands and we're only three of the five McFarland's. Mom's actually back here. Say, hi mom. Hi. She says, hi, we're from Louisville, Kentucky. And we just goofed around on the internet and specifically make our dad do crazy things. You don't see many dads do. Yeah, we're a, we're a family of five from Louisville, Kentucky, just having a good time on the internet and it's became a full-time business for us now. And so my life I'm calling, this is Dan Dan, and I'm Dylan. And we are .

(1m 19s):

Yeah, this is good. Cause it's like a perfect taste for listeners who maybe aren't on TikTok. I mean, obviously you've exploded. You've gotten like really popular making this, what can only be described as the most wholesome and the best sense of the word content. I'm kind of curious, what's your audience like, is there kind of a wide range of ages? How do you guys think about this? Are you creating to a specific audience or how do you think of that?

(1m 42s):

I think we've kind of like nestled ourselves into the perfect. We do have like a wide range of viewers. So on one end we can be seen as like the wholesome family that like the whole family can watch and enjoy and laugh with. But we like to think that we have like a, a great sense of humor that, you know, ranges all the way up until like the older, the older, where the youngest. So we kind of like hit on everything. And I like where we have put ourselves as far as like the broad range of videos that we can put out. And we know that we don't really have to think like this is for certain viewer because we know our, the range is just that broad. Lot of people can identify with in a family.

(2m 23s):

You know, whether the younger, older grandparents, they identify some of the crazy things we do. And I would just honestly like categorize it as like timeless comedy. Anybody can laugh at it, no matter what age you are. So we really try to go for the larger demographic and age range, but I mean, yeah, I mean, it, it really, it really does vary in range from like, I would say, I dunno, like 16 all the way up to like 65. It really it's a big, yeah. A lot of our material comes from just everyday life. Everything that we do laugh at, that's where we get a lot of our material and just kind of put a spin on it.

(3m 3s):

Dan, clearly it's working for you guys. Yeah. Like that, that broad range is working really well.

(3m 10s):

So I know that when I introduced us, we are a, an advertising agency and I saw that one of y'all's most popular videos was actually like a sponsored video by Gillette one. Is that true? And how did that happen?

(3m 26s):

So, yeah, we worked with Gillette and that video is I think our most viewed video that we have living on our page. And it was a really quick turnaround for that video and July, one of us to, you know, use our humor style and just wholesomeness, I guess we started off looking like, it's a, you know, you've been in quarantine for a while. You look kind of grubby. And so we had beards and then we jumped in like a classic Tik TOK transition we're in tuxedos, which apparently we just have here laying around. But yeah. So because we got that done so quickly and they liked it so much, they paid to promote it.

(4m 7s):

So it would be the first video that popped up when you open Tik TOK. So I had a bunch of people, I don't know, these guys did to that message on that day. And so like, you guys were the first in line, like the people were like cracking their eyes open and like getting on Tik TOK. And they're like, oh my screen, like what is going on? So yeah, that was, that was a lot of fun. We have continued to work with Julia to absolutely love working with them. Yeah.

(4m 34s):

That's awesome. How do you decide which sponsors to work with?

(4m 38s):

I mean, we really try to make sure like the brand resonates with our personal brand. So if it's a product, it's something that we use day in and day out and something that we love, we're gonna promote it and we're gonna use it. And that's really like our starting point. So like if a brand comes to us with something that they want to promote, we first are like, alright, do we like this brand? Is this something we use? Is this something that we could use in the future? And if like it checks all the boxes, you know, we're, we're willing to work with them. And so that's like really our little checklist we run through full to use that product. It comes off from the videos, you know, I'm kind of like an advertising junkie.

(5m 22s):

I've always like enjoyed commercials just to see like what brands like come up with this one that sticks out to me is like that we did one with Skittles and I love their advertising. I've just grown up watching Skittles commercials.

(5m 36s):

Classic. Like everybody remembers the Skittles commercials.

(5m 40s):

Bonnie, like they go viral on the internet and it's an app. So we did the, we got to work with Skittles and do those Skittles touch one, which Mike, we were out in like a snow storm filming Skittles until like 1230 at night. And it was like an ice storm, but that's kind of what we look for is just like, does it resonate with us? Do we use it? And like, can we put our own spin without it being an issue? Or so like if the brand has a sense of humor, does it match up with our sense of humor? And like Skittles is a perfect example because late at night we're breaking a Skittles video and I turned that into a pile of Skittles. And so it was hilarious.

(6m 19s):

Well, do you all have any words of advice for like making a great sponsored?

(6m 23s):

Oh, most definitely. Yeah. So, I mean, it's got to together with like the brand, you got to go back and forth with them to begin with. And of course, like they have what, what in their mind, what they want to see, but making a great sponsored post dad said it. It's just like, does it feel natural coming from what type of creator you are? If something doesn't match up with us, we're going to have second thoughts about it or just, I guess just flat out, say like, no, this doesn't align. So it has to feel natural. It doesn't that like, we'd love making ads that don't feel like ads. And when we get the comment that says, I didn't even think this was an ad until like I read the description. Yeah. That's when like, you know that you hit a home run.

(7m 3s):

Yeah. It was the best one. Honestly, I would add on to that. Like it's almost the same as making just a normal TikTok video. It's like, would you post this normally on your page? I don't think you're gonna see us. Like dad lips sinking out popular sound like tonight, you might. But like, is that something we're going to post? I don't know if like, if the brand's asking us to do something that wouldn't really do in our content, we might be a little hesitant and be like, I don't know about that. So think about it too. It's like, we'll be posting this naturally on our, you know, in our content.

(7m 37s):

I love that y'all approach it so authentically.

(7m 39s):

It has to be that it definitely does. Or else it feels, it feels inauthentic. And like people can see that and they can feel it. And they're like, I know you guys don't use this.

(7m 51s):

I love that because you know, y'all put so much creativity in those. I mean your normal content and you're not sponsored. Content is so creative and fun. So you're attracting brands that want that, which is awesome. So like who, who was your first sponsor? Do you guys remember? I clearly...

(8m 7s):

It was actually flex seal. So dad and Phil's, well, that's funny how it came about too, because we made a video of like dad and home Depot. And the idea was that just as a werewolf turns into the werewolf, when the full moon comes out, when a dad Lexie was like home Depot or something, he turns into Phil sweat. We posted that video just organically on our own. And then they reached out and they were like, guys, this is fricking hilarious. Let's do something. So that was actually our first like brand collaborations. Yeah. So that was, that was really cool because we went like the roundabout way. Like he made it with flex seal. They happy to see it and be like, we love this, this, like, this is great.

(8m 49s):

And they were like, let's work together. And so we've actually tried to do that a couple more times, but like, that's a good way to approach it too, because it's natural already. And they can see that, no, we had the blueberry cows cause we do robot blueberries. And then we have made a song about blueberries and apparently there's a blueberry council that sent us a Blueberry council.

(9m 14s):

I love it. So you got, I was going to say, you guys have been contacted by some really, really cool brands. You know? I mean, I saw recently you did the, the McFarlands instead of the Sopranos HBO. That is awesome. Like how, how does it feel for you guys now? Like you started off by saying like, you know,

you're just a, family's making content on the internet, having fun, basically being yourself. What is it like when a brand reaches out to you? Like kind of...

(9m 37s):

That's the best feeling ever, because I mean, we originally started doing this, you know, to have fun and that's what we still do. We still love to have fun as a family. And that's how this all started. But when a brand reaches out to us and like, Hey, we love your all's content. We love seeing you all together. Like we'd love to work with you. And like, I would say like between how many followers and fans we have between that. And like when a brand reaches out, like it's the best feeling ever because people didn't believe in you and they won't what you're doing. That's Sopranos one was pretty cool too. When they, when we heard about that, because all of us love the Sopranos. Dylan just finished it in like two weeks, which is hard to do. I was powering through these power rhinos.

(10m 19s):

And then I think like, right, as he's almost done, they're like, Hey guys, since the many saints of Newark is coming out, like, we want you to create this in your own city. And we were just like, I was out. I was like, no way, no way the Sopranos.

(10m 33s):

Yeah. You're a dedicated man. Two weeks is a, that's a fast clip.

(10m 36s):

That's a fast turnaround.

(10m 38s):

I feel like those episodes are not messing around at like 54 minutes. I wouldn't see them for a while.

(10m 47s):

So I know that y'all mentioned a couple of times that y'all really just got into this to have fun. How do you keep having fun and just avoid burnout?

(10m 56s):

Jeez, I think it's a lot of the most fun for us is literally making the video. Some, like we don't live together. A lot of people think that we just live in this house that we never moved out. There's only, it wouldn't be that bad if we didn't, but we have like ideas that we come up with where like everybody meet at home at this time and we'll film and it's like, guaranteed. That makes at least 47 bloopers of videos. So he's getting better. But that's like, what we have the most fun is like filming and we just like crack out, laugh so hard. So it's almost just like getting, we have like, just built in fun to avoid like burnout, just really get together and laugh and like that's the fun part.

(11m 37s):

And then like posting it. That's great. And then when people like the video even better, but yeah.

(11m 41s):

That's so great to hear it. Like I know that Nate and I've been doing this for a while and I think that he, and I just have fun doing this otherwise, you know, we wouldn't want to meet up weekly or whatever to, to record this podcast. So I love that y'all are just having a good time together. Do you, I'm curious, do you feel any pressure to continue to go viral? Or do you think that at this point, you're just making videos that like you guys like, and that you just kind of hope that your audience also likes?

(12m 11s):

So for me personally, like I, I shoot and edit all the videos, which is like, why you don't see my face much because I like to be behind the camera. So as far as like pressure to go viral, I don't, I mean, I would love it if every single video I posted went viral, but it does, it's kind of disheartening when I spend a lot of time on a video that I think is like hysterical for us and it just doesn't do well. It's not like, I think everything we post should go viral. Like not, you can't think that ever you just post a video if it does well great. If not like onto the next one. Yeah. We love, we love like making and posting things that we personally think are funny. And like I talked about earlier, but like that is the most rewarding that there's people out there that think like the things that we think are funny or funny.

(12m 55s):

So it's like we make these videos and we post them when people are just like thinking they're hilarious. And so like, that's great. And we're never going to stop doing that. But like, I wouldn't say, like, we feel pressure to go viral, like content. It's nice when a video really takes off and does really well. And some that we think are really funny that don't do well. It's weird how some things take off and some things don't. But yeah, I mean, that likes to hear it. He likes to hear from his high school friends, let's see the video.

(13m 24s):

I do think that TikTok has been a really interesting medium for like finding your niche. I feel like you can find almost anything that resonates with you personally on,

(13m 33s):

He really can. I mean, it's like the power of the, for you page, it literally like learns you like Netflix. It's like recommends videos. And like, we always, we always say this, but our, for you page is so much different than mom's 40 page, like sweet little animals and like cheesy bonds, just like the sweetest little for you Vegas ever. And like, that's, it just, it's amazing because it's different for literally every single person. Yeah.

(14m 2s):

Yeah. I'm one of those that got into baking over quarantine. So now my feed is just like 99% bread, which is not the worst, but at a certain point, certain extreme. Yeah.

(14m 15s):

You start liking a bunch of the same videos.

(14m 18s):

Yeah. So I'm really, really curious about the creative process for you guys, because it's really interesting your family, not, not everyone that's creating on TikTok comes together and it's already super close. It sounds like you guys have been close and had been making videos for a while, but you know, how

do you get your ideas and, you know, are you consciously targeting them to a broad range or is that something that sort of just comes with your sense of humor?

(14m 40s):

I mean, we did our ideas literally from just everyday life. Like whatever your, if you're watching something on TV or for some reason we always compare like our style of making or just coming up with ideas as like Larry David and curb your enthusiasm, or like, this is like the stuff that you seniors like, that could probably be a video. I mean, we just have, I have like hundreds of ideas in my notes that are just like little one line. There's the idea. And then like you can make a whole 32nd video based on that one idea. I know Dylan does too, but yeah, it's kind of cool because like the three brothers were in different, like what are we, you're a millennial, I'm a gen Z, I'm a gen Z and Mitch's a wallet millennial or whatever.

(15m 27s):

But so like we have like ideating and like, I just, I love listening to music and like thinking like what could we do to this song that would be like funny or cool. And then we also like call him to like pull stuff from everyday life. So I think that comes from dad too, because dad like has always, even at a young age, we were young and he like always found a way to like laugh at himself from like laugh at the situation you're in. Like, if you're in a bad situation, you can make it funny if you're in a good situation. Great. But you can still make it funny. Like it just comes from like your perspective and like your, how you perceive life. And so situational, we have five people to bounce things off of, you know, these guys might not, or vice versa.

(16m 10s):

They might bounce things off us and we won't put it together at all. It seems to work and we all kind of come together and make things laughable, I guess that is nice. And we have like a built-in team to like bounce ideas off each other and be like, well, this be funny. And some of us, like a few of us are like probably not edited or it makes us look good too. He makes it look like we can dance like...

(16m 38s):

Well, okay, let's talk about that because a lot of the content you make has to be, so bite-sized so a 32nd video, it can't take 30 seconds to film. How much time goes into the filming and the editing and everything behind the scenes.

(16m 51s):

I mean, just depending on the video, like if we're doing a short skit, if we have to have like dialogue back and forth, that takes about four hours to get three lines. No, I mean, just like a 32nd video, I'd say it takes about on average, maybe 45 minutes to shoot. And then if I sit down and really make myself do it all in that one, sitting an hour and a half to edit it, depending on the style of video, if we're using music and you'll have to talk the whole time, that makes it a little easier, but full on just 30 seconds, like sometimes I can take like two or three hours to edit brand deals can take longer though, you know, brand deals because they might want something specific.

(17m 34s):

And so, and then I go back and might send something in and you might talk about that too, because a lot of times they might not like what we did that didn't happen that often, but it seems like brand deals sometimes wants you to be specific. There's just like revision sometimes that they, you know, it's, it's just like pretty procedure standard. But I think like when we first started like making, I guess not first started, but like when we were making videos, it was like they were taking an hour or two to film. And we were trying to like tell our friends, like I have to, we have to make this video. And I'm like, what do you mean? It's 15 seconds video. That's like the hardest thing to try to get through to people is like, these take a lot longer to make than 15 seconds does not help that.

(18m 18s):

Like, I don't want to put it out if I don't think it's perfect. Which like, sometimes it seems more of a burden, but they're good. Yeah. I like to make sure it's seamless as far as like everything, the sound and everything, like make it a mini movie.

(18m 33s):

And it shows, I mean the production quality really shows. So I think it's really cool to think about how the audience only sees that clip, but, you know, imagining all the work that goes behind it, I'm curious to like blinding lights specifically. How long did that one take?

(18m 47s):

So just the filming part of it. I think we started about like 4:00 PM in the afternoon. And we wrapped up after picking dat up at like six 30. Like it had to be because I was, I was getting a little and it was getting dark outside and I was like, dear Lord, Patty, or fetal faster or something like that. One took about like two and a half hours. And like, if you're in production, like, you know, those are all obviously different shots and we don't have, we don't have multiple cameras, iPhone working with shoot one time, 10 seconds, take it to the next spot, do the next 10 seconds.

(19m 28s):

But that one, I was so excited about to get done and released. I think I finished editing that in like an hour and posted that the same day.

(19m 35s):

Awesome. Yeah. Y'all did one recently. I think it was like drunk history. And I was curious about that when I was like, some work must have gone into that.

(19m 44s):

Oh yeah. That was fun. That is fun. That's something we're starting to try to do on YouTube. We actually just recorded another one yesterday, but I'm in the editing process right now. But yeah, Dylan actually came up with this idea because we want to start posting more on YouTube and we want to use YouTube as more of like an outlet to get ourselves out there, like what our family actually does on a daily basis or just some stories from our family's past. So we have the idea that we're going to tell stories, but also act them out in segments, like drunk history where, you know, they cut back and forth to the person on the couch, urban or whatever. And then they also show the clips, but they're voicing over. So that's kind of what we're trying to do, but just with more of our like family stories.

(20m 28s):

Yeah. I guess YouTube is different because there's not the expectation that it has to be bite-sized. So do you guys, are you interested in that because of the storytelling element or is it finding another audience? What does YouTube really have that you think maybe Tik TOK or other channels don't have as much?

(20m 43s):

I think it is more like the stories telling aspect of it. Like letting people see more of like Raul, not just like here's 10 seconds of a clip and then we cut it and this next one, just like Raul storytelling and like letting people see into our actual lives and like how we interact with each other and like how we laugh together and not just the skit or the song that we sing in our kitchen, just for that quick 15 seconds. It's just more of like an outlet to see our whole family. I feel like it's more like a personal outlet that you can make longer format. And it's more like relaxed. It's like, I dunno. I feel like it's like TikTok like camera on your face. Like do something funny. Like come see who we are.

(21m 24s):

Like we're, we're a family of five from Louisville, Kentucky. And you know, we love doing this as a family. We love having fun. It's like, it's more of a place to come see who the McFarland's actually are.

(21m 33s):

I love that. So behind the scenes, is the production process similar or is there a different preparation for YouTube versus TikTok?

(21m 41s):

Yeah, there is again, like we're still trying to find out like what type of videos we are going to live on, on YouTube. And we've tried different. We've actually posted some behind the scenes footage of actually filming a Ted talk where we had to take talker. We made it look like dad flew away on a helicopter and it looked pretty real. So I was just, while we were filming that TikTok, I would just take a step back and say like, okay, here's what's going on in this shot. And like, that was fun to do. We'll probably do more of those as far as like, if we have a really intricate Tik TOK, that's only 30 seconds might as well make

like a five to 10 minute video showing what actually goes into making a 32nd high effort. But as far as like the drunk history style, that's just, we'll set up the camera, record our story for 15, 20 minutes and cut that up and then we'll go through and mark out, like, which points we want to show?

(22m 33s):

Am I going to get shot? Just make a shot. Let's out of the audio and then we'll go. And like voiceover and almost, but like mouth, I guess, like saying in the, in the video and the audio. So it's, it's fun. I hope we're to start releasing a lot more of those.

(22m 50s):

I was going to say that. So I, I definitely, I watched the behind the scenes for the helicopter one and it was so cool to see, not only because you guys are, of course having a lot of fun, you know, with the leaf blower and like just Dan cutoffs, but like in the best, best way, like watching the kind of collaboration. I mean, th th I don't remember if it was one of the, one of you guys that had the rake or, you know, making, there's a lot of cool details that go into that. Do you have any idea if the audience for YouTube is like other creators, do you see a difference between like Tik TOK or YouTube audience yet? Or is it maybe still kind of early to tell what is drawing people on YouTube versus TikTok?

(23m 29s):

As far as like, our videos are just...

(23m 31s):

Yeah, for you guys so far...

(23m 33s):

It's more of like the 25, almost like mid-twenties and up. We're getting a lot of that on YouTube. So sometimes we'll post like our meme style videos, and then no were all in like the younger viewers. But as far as YouTube, we just always clicked like this isn't made for children that I guess it could be. But yeah, we do see like the like late gen Z to early millennial viewers on YouTube. Yeah. I mean, we have started to see like a, kind of like a trickle from like Tik

TOK to YouTube, but it's hard to get people to follow you on like different platforms. I mean, it's hardly anything, but just like, I would, I don't know.

(24m 18s):

I would say right now our YouTube is like our like diehard fans just love everything that we make and we leveled, but we like would like to keep making more videos and gaining more traction on YouTube, just because it's another outlet for us to show you who the McFarlands are

(24m 37s):

Got tech talk. We've got YouTube. Would you consider hosting a podcast?

(24m 41s):

Hell yeah. Yeah. We actually just bought five rode microphones. Yeah. We just used them yesterday for the first time. And it's pretty fun. We like to sit around and tell stories and just bounce off each other because that's just how it goes. We love to just rag on dad still takes it, but yeah, we love the idea of a podcast. I mean, we just basically just don't shut up right now. We're kind of trying to frame out a podcast too. We're like structuring it. We're kind of writing it a little bit, but we want to get to the point where we can record like six to eight episodes before we start releasing anything.

(25m 29s):

Got to give it some wings. Yeah. So we're trying to do it. It's just, we had, you know, other stuff going on right now and working with brands and there's not enough time in the day. Geez.

(25m 40s):

That's a lot of creating happening.

(25m 42s):


(25m 43s):

I like to ask this question and I feel like it's so cool. Like we've talked about all these different channels and the behind the scenes to me is really fun. But I guess my parting question to you guys is for any creators out there who maybe thinking about getting started, maybe they want to start a TikTok. Maybe they want to, whatever it is on Instagram, YouTube, what advice do you have to someone who's just getting…?

(26m 4s):

Literally just go do it. Like what you think is funny. Like even if you think no one else might think it's funny or just, it doesn't have to be funny. It can be like something that you're passionate about. If you like it, just put it out there because like it's the internet, like there's endless amounts of little niches that someone can find there's someone might find you. And even if it's not that you're going to go viral, you might find a friend that you can bounce ideas off of. It just, it kinda snowballs really. Like we just started posting stuff that we thought was funny goofing around in our backyard. And then now it's snowballed into we're on a podcast talking to you. Yeah. So like, literally just go do it. Don't second.

(26m 44s):

Guess yourself. It's not time for that. I would add to that, like just getting started on social media right now. Like, I, I would be terrified, but you really can't like everybody has to start somewhere. And like, if you look back at some of our like first videos we've ever made, they are atrocious. You really just it's really like a life lesson, but like, you just can't be afraid of failure. You know, you have to like get out there and put yourself out there, make whatever content that you like, whatever you think is funny or cool or whatever it might be. But like, you have to like stay true to yourself and really make your style of content. And like your audience will grow.

(27m 24s):

And people like there are other people out there that think the same way that you do, and like the same things you do. So it's really just like rewarding to finally see that and be authentic. It comes across real.

(27m 36s):

You guys have been so great to talk to. I could talk to you for hours, but I think, you know, you probably have some content to create right now. Some TikToks to film and thank you guys so much for being on the show, keep being awesome. And you know, keep being a good sport as your sons are, you know, giving you a hard time there now…

(28m 0s):

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