When brand strategist Jeremy Schumann saw that Carole Baskin, one of the controversial subjects of Netflix’s much-memed hit documentary Tiger King, was offering to record custom video messages through the Cameo app for only $120, he knew he had to jump at the chance.
Schumann, who’s done agency work for brands like Nike, Airbnb and Uber (as well as work for Adweek’s Inside the Brand program), was having conversations with TikTok at the time about working there and thought securing an appearance from Baskin on his behalf would be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the social media app that he understood what makes its user base’s youth-oriented viral culture tick.
But the stunt would only work if he could have Baskin ask TikTok to “confess” his talent—alluding to the claims leveled in the Netflix show that the big cat enthusiast killed her husband. And Schumnan figured Baskin would opt to steer clear of that topic.
“There’s so much controversy around her. I know everyone’s probably going ask her to say something like, ‘Oh, she killed her husband.’ But like, of course, she’s not going to say that. So I just saw the opportunity. And my mind just started spinning,” Schumann told Adweek. “Then I was like, ‘What if I could have Carole Baskin ask them to confess that they should hire me already?”
Schumann sent Baskin his 200-character brief through the Cameo app and was surprised when the video message he received back explicitly used the exact wording. “It was perfect,” he said. “I can’t believe she literally said that.”
“I need you guys to confess that you should probably hire this guy already,” Baskin says in the video.
The video has seen significant traction on Twitter, and Schumann said the stunt has already paid off—he recently heard that he had secured an interview with TikTok for a marketing job.
“It was my way of shooting for the fences. It was super, super scary. It was kind of risky. It could have blown up; it could have fallen flat. They could have hated it,” Schumann said. “But it would show them that I get culture, I get that brand. And I’m doing what I can to stand out in a really competitive job market right now.”
TikTok is currently expanding its marketing efforts to bring more advertisers onto the platform with initiatives like its first-ever NewFront presentation this year.