Ever wondered what Mamaroneck native Kevin Dillon would look like if played by an internet celebrity? Or rather, ever wondered what Dillon’s “Entourage” character — the can’t-get-no-respect Johnny “Drama” Chase — would resort to if he was trying to get an agent’s attention through YouTube?
Meet Shmuel Tennenhaus.
After writing about Tennenhaus’s bizarre website, Paging Ari Gold, this morning, he reached out to Suburbarazzi. Much to my surprise, when I Googled him I saw that this wasn’t even his first bid for online celebrity status. The New York Times published a story in February about another of his recent ventures, Ask a Jew (meant to play off the success of Ask a Ninja, another breakout YouTube star).
While he’s hardly achieved the fame of, say, Numa Numa boy, his Ari Gold site has gotten traffic from dozens of studios and agencies, including Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Vivendi Universal, United Talent Agency, Endeavor Agency, Wenner Media, and E!
I spoke with Tennenhaus this afternoon to figure out whether he’s (a) the biggest “Entourage” fan EVER, (b) seriously in need of help, or (c ) an oddly savvy viral marketer. Turns out, all three.
When did you start the Paging Ari Gold site?
<blockquote><div>About a month ago. It was linked to on Defamer. AdRants also wrote something, saying it was clearly some ploy by HBO. Then of course HBO flat-out denied that. </div></blockquote>
Has it gotten a lot of traffic?
<blockquote><div>It got a lot of hits when it got picked up by Defamer and some other industry sites. The first Ari Gold clip has been seen about 5,000 times on YouTube.
Rex Lee, who plays Lloyd on the show, also left a comment on the site, which was pretty cool.
I also bought keyword searches for Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ari GoldÃ¢â‚¬? and some of the showÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s writers. If you search for Ari Gold and Entourage, you’ll see my ad on Google. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s paid search, and I think thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why some people assumed this was an HBO viral campaign.
More after the break …