Posts with media and interviews featuring Kaleb Nation.

Vlogging And Driving: The Dangerous Youtuber Trend That’s Killing Teens

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Top Youtubers are following a dangerous trend that’s killing teens. Almost everyone does it — years ago, when I was a daily vlogger, I did it too. A lot of people wrongly believe this is safe. The only way your favorite vloggers will stop is if YOU keep telling them (and your friends) about the enormous risks. I joined Michaela on HLN to discuss how vloggers and influencers can help put an end to this deadly habit.

It only took me 10 minutes of browsing random daily vlogs – all posted this month with millions of views – to find four influencers doing the same thing that got these teens killed (sans the driver’s reported BAC). They probably have no idea that this is so dangerous because they’ve also seen many top vloggers doing it before them.

“We do it all the time – all the time. Trust me, it’s like a reflex. Like I haven’t crashed, you know?”

Sound familiar? Vloggers tend to make these same excuses when this topic is brought up. Those words are actually from Obdulia Sanchez on a phone call from jail, trying to explain why she live streamed the deaths of her two teenage passengers.

No Youtuber is at fault for what happened. People make their own choices. But teens see their favorite vloggers doing this every day without dying, so why should they worry? This way of thinking will keep leading to more deaths until top Youtubers step up and say it has to stop.

Your life is worth more than anything you’ll say into the camera while you’re on the road. Don’t take the risk. Vlog when you’re vlogging, drive when you’re driving.

How Chicken Nuggets Go Viral: The Rise Of The Micro-Influencer

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This week I was a translator between CNN and the interwebs, explaining how chicken nuggets can go viral. Welcome to 2017.

There’s a new type of celebrity in town and they’re famous for not being famous. We’ve been inundated with Photoshopped perfection and publicist-approved statements so much that we’ve stopped trusting everything we see. Does Kim Kardashian actually like the flavor of that coconut water or was she paid $500,000 to take a selfie with a plastic bottle and post some pre-approved text? Did that photo of the Labrador delivering pizza to the homeless go viral because it was wholesomely cute or because he’s holding a box with a prominent Dominos logo and a marketing department pushed it to the top of Imgur with bots? As they say on Reddit… /r/HailCorporate!

Sponsor? What sponsor? I see only a cute puppy.

The old way of celebrity promotion doesn’t work anymore. When brands first started to experiment with online influencer marketing, numbers ruled everything: the people with the most followers got the biggest deals. Brands are starting to figure out that the quality of a star’s fans means more than the quantity of their fans. If a company pays $100,000 to sponsor a post from a TV celebrity with 1,000,000 followers, it usually doesn’t bring as much return on investment as it would if they paid $10,000 to 10 Youtube channels with 100,000 fans each.

Micro Influencer

An online personality who reaches between 30,000 and 150,000 followers.

“We see micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.”

– Chris Gonzalez, CEO of Gnack, on

A celebrity with a million fans is a professional business with lots of other sponsors, while a personality with 100,000 fans is the leader of a dedicated niche who is excited that a brand likes them enough to help pay their bills (something their fans will definitely recognize).

Brands will always need big channels and celebrities to grow awareness but they need micro-influencers to grow a following. Smart brands are realizing how important it is to find genuine, authentic personalities whose love can’t be bought.

Internet users have gotten smarter and can smell insincerity right away. Celebrities don’t drive as many clicks as before because their followers see a dozen #spon posts a month and have realized that many celebs will promote anything for money without actually verifying its reliability (see: #FyreFestival). This is why people such as the #NuggsForCarter guy and Alex From Target are a brand’s viral marketing dream. There’s nothing more authentic than a random, unpaid, non-famous person going viral because they declared their love for your products.

Taco Bell was really at the forefront of finding authentic voices to boost their online image. On the Internet, Taco Bell puts relationships first, business second. Years ago, I randomly started tweeting funny things to @TacoBell to see their snarky replies. They didn’t need to pay me anything: I love Taco Bell, their tweets are hilarious, and anytime they’d reply to me I’d get a bunch of new followers.

As time went on, our relationship deepened — just as naturally as an offline, IRL friendship – with an invite to Friendsgiving at Taco Bell headquarters, house parties, and even a trip to New York for the MTV VMAs. They sent a DM encouraging me to audition for their TV commercial (I got a small part and bought an engagement ring with the money). They flew me to Florida to speak at their franchisee convention and put me and my wife up in the same hotel where we first met. In June, they’re bringing us to Vegas to host a livestream of the first wedding in their new Taco Bell Chapel.

Happy Anniversary from Taco Bell

I think they like us.

It’s worth noting that Taco Bell doesn’t know I’m writing this or that I’d mention them on CNN. I think that’s the key. I’d promote Taco Bell even if they never paid me because we’re Internet friends. We do nice things for each other and it all evens out in the end.

Right now, the online influencer community is reeling from an #Adpocalypse as analysts predict nearly $750m in ad buys were pulled from YouTube after brands found their ads running against upsetting and offensive content. Setting aside questions about the validity of their concerns and Google’s response, it is obviously no longer viable to simply be a “YouTuber” and expect your bills to get paid.

I felt this coming back in 2010. Years ago, when I was a full time YouTuber filming 5 days a week, it became a struggle to keep my content clean when I was desperate for views to pay my rent and watched many others getting massive exposure for being provocative and offensive. I can understand the struggle of an emerging YouTuber stuck in the loop of needing money to make videos to get views to pay their rent so they can keep making videos and getting views. I posted my share of MyLikes links back when I needed surgery and didn’t have insurance. But anytime I considered reinventing my videos with a fabricated, edgier persona, I thought about my little group who followed me specifically because I was a break from the Internet’s norm. Apparently they wanted positivity and clean humor mixed with wackiness and gnomes. They just wanted me to be me.

Staying PG slowed the growth of my channel back then but it’s paid off over time. Because all 700+ of my 10 years of videos are family-friendly, none of my old videos lost their advertisers in the #Adpocalypse. Not one. In fact, even though I’ve been on a YouTube break for a while, I still landed my biggest brand deal a few months ago.

Every creator’s career can’t be gauged on my choices. It goes both ways. I haven’t succeeded because I create things that tend to be PG — it’s because everything I make is authentically mine, and my voice just happens to be PG. If Stephen King published a children’s Bible coloring book because Christians buy a ton of books, it’d feel phony since that’s not the King we know (though I admit this is a terrible example because I’d still preorder it).

Pray: A Biblical Coloring Book by Stephen King

Or should it be called “Prey”?

The Internet needs provocateurs and outspoken voices to start controversial discussions that big brands may not want to be a part of. But for every big brand that wants to play it safe for middle America, there are a hundred smaller brands who want to reach people outside of the mainstream demographic. If you want to vlog about the genetic history of North American pelicans, enjoy those inoffensive Adsense checks. But if McDonald’s doesn’t want to advertise on your channel about sex tips… don’t worry, you’ll still sell 300,000 copies of your sex-ed book to the dedicated fans you’ve made just by saying what you want the world to hear. Relationships first, business second.

That’s the real secret to being a successful influencer. Don’t chase the money. Be honest. Be genuine. Be yourself. Fans and brands will find you on their own.

Any major young-adult brand that isn’t following in the footsteps of Taco Bell and Wendy’s will fade into Internet obscurity. Anyone who still doubts the influence of social media marketing should take a look at what #NuggsForCarter did for Wendy’s stock.

Wendy's Stock after #NuggsForCarter

The last time Wendy’s stock was this high was in 2007. That’s the same year I started my YouTube channel. Back then, a lot of people told me I should “get a real job.”

Nobody tells me that anymore.

Kaleb Nation and bfftaylor on Good Morning America

Good Morning America!

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They bumped our mini-interview on Good Morning America a day earlier!

That's me and bfftaylor on Good Morning America! Thanks YouTube for helping me meet the love of my life 🙂

Posted by Kaleb Nation on Monday, June 22, 2015

Thanks to TheWayWeMet for thinking of us for the show. And thanks YouTube for helping me meet the love of my life.

Watch Us On Good Morning America!

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Kaleb And Taylor Good Morning America Interview

Long story short, Taylor and I will be on Good Morning America this Tuesday June 23! They interviewed us as part of a feature on an awesome new Instagram account called TheWayWeMet. To hear our story, make sure you watch GMA this week!

Kaleb Nation and Bfftaylor on Dr. Drew On Call

DigiProposal On Dr. Drew On Call

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Taylor and I just did our first national TV show together! Watch it below or click here to see it on CNN.

Of course our first interview was with HLN’s Dr. Drew On Call because they are my favorites and Dr. Drew is a boss. We talked about the Digifest proposal, what it was like going down on one knee in front of 12,000 people… and gave them an exclusive on the wedding date!

I know it LOOKS like I hogged all of the talking time. This was Taylor’s first TV interview since she was 13 (on The Tyra Banks Show) and I didn’t want to make her speak up too much in case she was nervous.

She was awesome though — I’m so proud of her! We have more TV stuff on the way so next time she’ll do the talking… and I’LL wear the engagement ring. 😉

Watch our Twitter accounts @KalebNation and @bfftaylor to keep up with the wedding plans, and don’t forget to watch our new reality show at every week!

The DigiProposal On Ryan Seacrest!

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Ryan Seacrest’s team filmed the entire Digifest event… and captured the proposal!

This is a video I’ll keep for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Here’s the original article on Ryan’s website. And you can watch my proposal video from the stage at

Kaleb Nation proposes to Taylor on stage at Digifest NYC 2014

Surprise Digifest Proposal (In Front Of 12,000 People)

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I met Taylor at the YouTube convention Playlist Live. At Vidcon, she said “date me!” So at Digifest, on stage in front of 12,000 people, I said “marry me?”

I filmed everything. Watch the surprise proposal:

Both of us have been making YouTube videos for 7 years — Taylor at and me at When I started my channel, I had no idea that marrying a YouTuber was in my future.

Thanks for changing our lives, YouTube. Thanks Nationeers for watching my videos and convincing the people at Playlist Live to invite me all those years ago. Thanks Chris, Meridith, and the entire team for making my Digifest proposal possible.

And thanks to Ryan Seacrest for the awesome article about our engagement!

Be sure to subscribe to our new show — the wedding will be here soon!

I’m In A National Taco Bell TV Commercial

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After days of painful waiting and secret-keeping… I can finally announce…

I’m in a national Taco Bell TV commercial!

Yes. It’s 100% true. I love Taco Bell so much I got a job eating Taco Bell on TV.

There are so many secrets surrounding this shoot that “I was cast in a national Taco Bell commercial!” is literally all I can say about it. But don’t worry. I have lots more as soon as the bosses say go. The commercial was just filmed yesterday so it’ll show up sometime in the next few weeks!

Watch for me to pop up on your TV! This time… don’t skip any commercials 😉

Getting Wisdomlicious On Dr. Drew On Call!

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Did you see me on TV two weeks ago? I’m back!


Obviously I was the most poised and professional guest that Dr. Drew On Call has ever had, as seen in some of the photos you tweeted that feature my dazzling delivery of Wisdomlicious™ Wisdom Nuggets™. Photos like this one:

Kaleb Nation On Dr. Drew On Call

Move over Robert Pattinson, there’s a new hearthrob in town.

Watch me on Dr. Drew On Call at 9PM ET on HLN, Wednesday February 12!

This time, I’m told I’ll be discussing topics a little more serious than Justin Bieber, so it should get VERY interesting.

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably seen me talking about a new secret project that I call #NotABook because it is absolutely not a book. If you watch Dr. Drew On Call closely… you might see what my secret project is. 

Time for a contest?

Because so many of you took such lovely photos of me on your TV last time, let’s make this even more fun. Just watch me on Dr. Drew On Call at 9PM ET, take photos of my weird faces, and tweet them with the hashtag #KalebNationOnDrDrew. I’ll contact a bunch of you after the show and send you signed merch… and even a leftover Christmas Card!

Since the show is live, if you also tag @DrDrewHLN at the end of your tweets, you might be featured on the show!

See you on TV!

Watch Me On Dr. Drew On Call!

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Kaleb Nation On Dr. Drew On Call

I have some BIG NEWS… I’ll be on your TV tonight!

On Thursday, January 30, I’m a guest on Dr. Drew On Call, which is broadcast live on HLN at 9PM ET (6PM PT). Find out more here.

Right now, HLN is airing a commercial that features me and some of my friends! Yes, I’ve been making that weird face on national TV all week… see it in my latest video:

It’d be awesome if you could tweet about me being on the show tonight! Tweet with the hashtag #KalebNationOnDrDrew… and tweet me a screenshot if we get it on Twitter’s Trending Topics!

I’ll be replying to your tweets all day. After the show, I’ll call one person on the phone who was tweeting #KalebNationOnDrDrew. Will that person be YOU?

See you on TV!

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