How family who posted hilarious 'Charlie bit my finger' video are reaping rich rewards thanks to the power of YouTube
01:44 GMT, 12 March 2012
The video of one-year-old Charlie biting his brother’s finger has become an internet sensation, earning his parents a six-figure sum.
And it seems that with the help of an internet agent, the boys could soon be at the centre of a global brand – with everything from an iPhone app to a book series based on their antics.
Their father, Howard Davies-Carr, is one of hundreds of home movie makers taken on by management company Viral Spiral, which aims to maximise profits made from popular video clips posted online.
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Ouch! This video of one-year-old Charlie biting his brother Harry's finger is being used to launch a lucrative global business
The company’s portfolio also includes a
video of Fenton, a dog who was filmed chasing deer in Richmond Park,
London, which became a hit in November and has now been viewed more than
six million times.
Mr Davies-Carr’s 56-second film of
Charlie and his older brother Harry was posted on YouTube in 2007 for
friends and family to enjoy.
But after it was featured on a U.S. TV show it become an internet phenomenon and has now been viewed more than 400million times.
A ‘partnership’ agreed between Mr
Davies-Carr, who works for a U.S. software company, and YouTube has
already earned the family more than 100,000, which the father of four
plans to use to pay for his children’s education. And Viral Spiral owner
Damian Collier, 35, said he was confident that there were many ways to
expand ‘brand Charlie’.
They include an official ‘Charlie bit
my finger’ app for the iPhone, with interactive features that allow
users to upload a picture of themselves having their finger bitten by
Internet sensations: The boys, pictured with their family three years on in 2010, have inspired a 'Charlie bit my finger' app due to be released in the next few months
There are also plans for a series of
children’s books – including one stressing the importance of not biting –
and an animated television series.
Mr Collier, who has previously
produced Hollywood films and hit musicals, said: ‘It all started after I
had a meeting with Charlie’s father and was very surprised to learn
that he was handling the hundreds of requests from media companies
himself. It’s a very tough when you already have a full time job. I come
from a background of working with brands, so I know all the various way
you can expand a brand.’
Mr Collier has negotiated deals for
his clients’ content to feature in advertisements for Coca-Cola,
Samsung, T-Mobile and Sony PlayStation.
He licenses video content to
television shows across the globe and works with publishing, TV and film
executives to promote the clips.
Hilarious: Other videos on the books of management company Viral Spiral include this footage of a dog chasing deer through Richmond Park in London, which attracted more than six million hits
He added: ‘None of my clients want to exploit their children. If any of them did we would have something to say about it.
‘I don’t push things where kids are involved.’
Speaking from his home in Marlow,
Buckinghamshire, yesterday, Mr Davies-Carr, 42, denied that he had hired
an agent in the conventional sense.
He said: ‘The boys aren’t in an agency
where they say “we want him for this or that job”. We don’t publicise
them or market them. We turn a lot of offers down.
‘Advertisers want to use the clip in
adverts and TV want them on shows. They will send contracts to me and I
forward them to Damian and he will make sure the contracts are