TikTok dance sensation Jacob Fletcher-Johnson is one of the lucky content creators at the center of a social media marketing boom. For years the only option for dancers and performers wanting to make a career out of their craft was to perform professionally. The performing arts industries remained closed off to thousands of young, talented, individuals who couldn’t break into the cut throat entertainment industry. But now, dancers are a hot commodity for brands looking to show their authentic connection to places, communities and movements.
18-year-old Fletcher-Johnson is finally seeing the fruits of his labor pay off as he is regularly being offered brand collaboration opportunities. The street dancer was the creator of the Spaz Challenge, a viral dance challenge that took the UK by storm during their first lockdown in March 2020. The challenge inspired more than 2.7 million videos including those from top influencers such as Jason Derulo, Addison Rae, James Charles and Derek Hough.
Fletcher-Johnson is no stranger to social media and the art of viral content creation. He began creating YouTube videos when he was 12 years old. After building an audience for three years, he had his first viral hit at the age of 15. The video, (Ayo & Teo in London), racked up eight million views and is still being watched all over the world. As Fletcher-Johnson’s audience began to grow, he ventured into other endeavors such as modeling campaigns and videography. He’s since worked on promotions for the likes of Swae Lee, B.O.B., Chris Brown and Aitch, even collaborating with his dance inspirations Ayo & Teo and French duo Les Twins.
His latest passion project saw him partner with plant-based urban eatery KOJO. The London-based cafe wanted a performer who could capture their passion for “Kommunity”, making Fletcher-Johnson the perfect fit, who performed his slick moves outside the restaurant. The creator has more collaborative content in the works that will showcase fashion, music and art that the plant based community connects through.
This isn’t the TikTok creator’s first food-related collaboration, having won a huge creator search organized by Flipz pretzels, which not only landed him a three months contract as a content creator for the brand, but a £10,000 prize. “This experience allowed me to practice making food related content which enhanced my filmmaking skills and spiked my creativity,” he explains. The young creative has demonstrated real versatility in his recent projects, having also collaborated with big fashion names like Bershka, the clothing retailer that’s part of Inditex fashion group, which includes the likes of ZARA and Pull&Bear. The teen was tasked with promoting #BershkaStyle, using dance to showcase their new looks.
We’re a long way from the days of dancers having to choose between just two career options: performing or teaching. Dance and content creation is moving into the mainstream and offering smaller and up-and-coming creators opportunities that were once reserved for only top athletes and world-famous performers. Brand collaborations are now attainable for the dancers that can strike a chord with online audiences and say something through their moves, even if it is for just 60 seconds.