It’s been a hell of a ride lately for Nathan Apodaca, the skateboarding TikTok-er who rolled into the hearts and minds of legions of new fans by unexpectedly lipsyncing to the Fleetwood Mac song “Dreams” while drinking from a jug of Ocean Spray cranberry juice. Not only has his viral video racked him up literally millions of online fans (2.1 million on TikTok and 1.3 million on Instagram), led to a merch drop, and earned him more than $10,000 in donations from fans, now Ocean Spray has gifted him a pickup truck filled with cranberry juice and a new branded skateboard.
While numerous outlets have reported on this recent turn of events, the Boston Globe has done a particularly good job of outlining why Apodaca’s lighthearted but decidedly random video has become an internet sensation practically overnight, and why Ocean Spray would want to execute a high-profile stunt designed to keep him in the limelight a little longer. As told to the Globe, and as we’ve written about recently ourselves, that type of organic, brand-involved, consumer-generated content is exactly the type of thing that makes TikTok a potential cash cow for brands:
“That is exposure that is worth millions of dollars,” said Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of influencer-marketing firm Obviously. “You are reaching millions of people and you have thousands of creators incorporating your juice into their videos — the beverage brand is part of that entire conversation and creative journey for these people.”
Apodaca’s new “cranberry-red” pickup truck and swimming pool’s worth of juice is comparatively less valuable. But still, it’s not a bad turn of events for Apodaca, whom the L.A. Times reports is a laborer at an Idaho potato warehouse, and who made the video as he was skateboarding to work after his car battery had died.