Josh Ostrovsky, the comedian better known as “The Fat Jew,” found fame through Instagram and Twitter. And now he’s charging brands $US6,000 a pop for a shout-out on his social media accounts.
Speaking to The Financial Times, Ostrovsky, whose Instagram account features images unearthed from “the bowels of the web” complete with funny captions for his more than 5.2 million followers, essentially revealed that his advertising income could be as much as several hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Anyone who follows the @TheFatJewish Instagram account or the @FatJew Twitter account might be surprised to learn brands are so willing to work with the online star. His style of humour is outlandish and edgy. Sex and drug references and swearing are to be expected (sometimes all three in at once) every time he posts online.
Nevertheless, requests from brands have “snowballed recently,” Ostrovsky said, but he added that it’s not all about the money for him.
“I could be earning a lot more but I like to have complete creative control over whatever I do, so the brands aren’t as trusting yet. They know I won’t go along with their ideas. Yes, I’d like to get dirty rich and buy some exotic animals, but only if the content stays good,” he says.
Ostrovsky gives an example from earlier this year, in which he starred in a Bud Light Super Bowl campaign. He hyped up the brand’s tagline “Up for whatever” by taking his grandmother to a party and getting her to tattoo one of his friends.
“I could have taken the brand’s money and posed in a photo holding a beer. That’s the kind of thing other big Instagrammers would have done. But I was like, ‘Let’s do this for real, let’s make this memorable.’ I take time to make this sh*t really good. I’m a giver,” Ostrovsky says.
The FT piece also outlines how Ostrovsky has used his online success to build a career offline too: He’s currently starring in an outdoor ad campaign for online food ordering service Seamless; he has sold scripted TV shows to Comedy Central and Amazon; last month he signed a plus-size modelling contract with One Management; and he has a book deal with Grand Central Publishing, which will release his “Money Pizza Respect” collection of essays and photos this October.
The FT’s interview with The Fat Jew, which takes place in a strip bar, is an entertaining read that covers lots of ground including Ostrovsky’s upbringing, the time he protested being kicked off Instagram by chaining himself to the company’s offices in 2013, and his views on another big Instagram star: the actress and screenwriter Lena Dunham.
But not all the FT’s readers were impressed, judging by some of the comments left below the story:
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