The era of the social media influencer looks like it is here to stay. It may not have been too long since stars began to rise to fame on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but it’s hard to remember a time when social media stars weren’t a major part of celebrity culture.
One of the newest internet sensations to rise to fame is Doggface, real name Nathan Apodaca, a skateboarder who recently drew attention for a viral TikTok video. Apodaca’s unlikely viral video came about after his truck broke down on the side of the highway in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Still a couple of miles away from the potato warehouse where he works, Apodaca grabbed his skateboard from the back of his truck as well as a bottle of Ocean Spray’s Cran-Raspberry juice and began to head to work.
Apodaca filmed himself making his way down a hill with the song “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac playing in the background as he mouthed the lyrics. What happened next was unexpected. Sales of the song, originally released in 1977, tripled and it ended back on the charts.
Going viral on TikTok changed Nathan Apodaca's life
Apodaca didn’t set out to film a viral video, although he has been uploading videos to TikTok for a couple years. “I was just sitting there, and I’m like, ‘OK, I’m not gonna sit here and wait for nobody to pull some jumper cables,’ ” he told NPR. ” ‘I’m not gonna flag anyone down.’ So I grab my juice, grab my longboard, started heading to work. When I heard ‘Dreams,’ that’s when I figured, ‘OK, this is it.'”
The video resonated with viewers, garnering roughly 100,000 views in the first hour it was online. Now, that number is over 35 million. Not only did the video renew interest in Fleetwood Mac, but it impacted Apodaca’s life beyond his social media presence. According to his website, Apodaca was “living in a trailer with no running water or electricity” when his video went viral. Apodaca, who is raising two teenage daughters, received more than $15,000 in donations from fans which “changed Nathan’s life.” Apodaca plans to put the money towards a down payment on a house. Ocean Spray also provided him with transportation in the form of a cranberry red truck, delivered filled with juice. Apodaca also has a publicist now and has been putting out more popular videos on his TikTok. While he has no plans to quit his job, he did take some time off.
“It’s just a video on TikTok that everyone felt a vibe with,” Apodaca told The New York Times. “I’m happy that I could chill the world out for a minute.”
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