Pandemic was a time when we all discovered completely unseen talents. We also spent a lot of time on the internet viewing memes. So, a young Italian man quickly became a viral social media sensation. If you like memes, you’re probably familiar with Khabane Lame. He’s amassed a tremendous fan base of hundreds of thousands of people who watch him on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram every day.
In this case study, we will get to know who Khabane Lame is. How did he become a comedy TikToker? And how brands are approaching Khabane Lame to create content for their promotions and marketing. Let’s get into details.
Part 1. Khabane’s Background and How He Started
When the pandemic broke out, a 21-year-old boy employed as a factory worker in Chivasso, a northern Italian industrial town, was unexpectedly laid off. Losing a job during the early stages of the pandemic was a nightmare. All businesses were either shutting down or not operating due to the global lockdown. He returned to his family after losing his job. While he was eagerly looking for a job, he was also uploading content on TikTok under the name of Khaby Lame.
He had no idea, and neither had the audience, that his content could become so famous in such a short period. His content got viral. Almost immediately, he became a social media sensation. According to reports, Khabane Lame began with a small number of followers in March and surpassed 25 million in April 2021. Today, Khabane Lame, also known as @khaby Lame, is a well-known Italian TikTok star, Instagram personality, social media influencer, gaming video developer, model, and entrepreneur. How did he become so famous? Simply by expressing honest and valid expressions!
Let’s talk about his background. Khaby, although having lived in Italy since the age of one and attending an Italian school, nevertheless lacks citizenship and is not officially an Italian.
Most of the early posts on Khabane Lame’s account were in Italian with Italian subtitles.
Having said that, the content of Khaby does not require the use of words. It’s not his words that make people laugh, but instead, his expressions. In this day and age, we see a lot of content that uses unique and enjoyable methods to gain traction. Khaby has just turned his muted reaction into a global language. Even if you don’t speak Italian, you will like Khaby’s content since we all have the same reaction to things that irritate us.
His success is hidden behind his face. Khaby’s content exposes and debunks the overproduction practices that appear to be commonplace. Khabane Lame, unlike other content creators, demonstrates authenticity overproduction, which is why his content is so popular. He’s not just making comedy TikTok, but he’s also instilling in people a sense of not having to work too hard for simple and easy tasks. His information appeals to the audience because it is authentic.
Khabane is still stuck to the type of content from where he started initially. His content appears to be straightforward, relatable, and unpolished. It made him grow organically; he did not rely on paid growth.
Part 2. How Khabane became a Comedy TikToker
If we talk about Khabane Lame comedy style, it is simply without any word. One of his expressions and hand gestures made his video viral because they were actually so relatable. He stares into the camera with a peculiar expression on his face or sarcastically offers a simple answer to problems that aren’t really problems in the first place. He begins by absurdly demonstrating the life hack made unreasonably hard.
Let’s have a look at the stuff that Khaby created and how amusing it is for the viewers.
Khaby’s first video was made in March of 2020 when he began making content on TikTok. Khaby imitated a DJ by sopping his hand with a chess set piece.
Khabane Lame performed this funny skit in his early videos. In this video, he also plays an angry mother and illustrates, in a funny manner, how his mother beats his son with a croc while the son cleverly catches the croc—seeing this infuriated Mom even more. As a result, mum (khaby) grabs another mop stick and beats his kid. Because capturing their beating weapons makes moms angrier.
After a time, Khaby’s Content shifted gears and started ridiculing life hacks by sarcastically offering a solution. His hand gesture also conveys how simple the work is compared to how tough the life hack has made it.
Do you know how to unwrap food off a platter in the simplest way possible? You probably know it, but in this hack, a guy is trying to get the banana wrapped on a plate’s plastic sheet. He started by attempting to remove it with a spoon, then demonstrated the method by shattering the plate and removing the banana. Khaby sarcastically responds by demonstrating how simple it was to unwrap a banana, as well as how pointless the hack was. The expression on Khaby’s face says it all!
In this video, a life hack is demonstrated for opening a milk carton by cutting the opening with a very complex and tricky cut. Spending so much effort cutting such details resulted in dumping milk all over the self. Khaby mockingly answers by demonstrating the proper technique to open a milk pack, something we have all done at some point in our lives. He also shows a clean pour in the cup. So, how was that life hack time-saving?
Khaby was enjoying his leisure time on his couch. He reached for a drink of water when he noticed an oil bottle. He quickly poured the oil into the water to observe the oil floats. With this logic in mind, he poured a large amount of oil into his feet, believing that he could walk on water because oil floats on water and hence cannot drown. Well, scientifically he wasn’t wrong.
Khaby’s mocking is not limited to life hacks. He also shows the true picture behind the videos, which creates an illusion. In this video, a lady is lying down on her bed and trying to drink milk from a glass, but the milk is neither falling nor coming out of the glass. Khaby recreated the same by showing himself lying, eating cereal, and the cereal is still in the bowl. He mockingly showed that it was not him that was lying, but the mattress that was standing.
Part 3. How Can Businesses Use Khabane’s Style In Marketing?
When Khabane Lame became a viral sensation, many businesses approached him for their marketing campaigns. Marketing professionals state that you can’t just sell to Gen Z; you have to entertain them first. Khaby’s distinct personality added a humorous and sarcastic edge to the brand’s campaign, and consumers adored him. The hashtag #learnfromkhaby was used for all of these marketing campaigns and Khaby’s viral content.
Here are some of the marketing campaigns that Khaby was a part of. The best part is that the brands entirely shifted their campaign to Khaby’s global language style.
On the 20th anniversary and the launch of Xbox, the brand partnered with Khabane Lame for their marketing campaign. Khaby is known for producing content that demonstrates simple solutions. Khaby demonstrated a more straightforward path to becoming a hero in this video. It starts with a man transforming himself into a superhero by manually building a costume and then fighting. Khaby, on the other hand, demonstrates an easy solution by turning on his Xbox and playing a game on it. It’s that simple!
Khabane Lame’s collaboration went across the borders, and here, he collaborated with an Indian leading fantasy sports platform, Dream 11. He made a short skit with the Indian content creator. Here he also continued to show his trademark style and signature hand gesture. He further calls upon people to complete their day-to-day tasks easily by using their brains to lay on dream 11.
Khaby also joined hands with Meta and made a promotional video for the Metaverse. The collaboration also stated the caption, “No one makes jumping around the metaverse look easier than @KhabyLame.” Here is a look at the campaign.
Khabane Lame was one of those fortunate persons who became renowned overnight and stuck to what they were famous for. The audience adores meme culture and Khaby’s unique manner of demonstrating simple and uncomplicated tasks. Specifically, he highlighted those pointless life hacks that we’ve all seen and wondered why someone would think that way. Khabane Lame’s expressions and gestures made him famous. He continues to be adored by the audience since he demonstrated the authentic and right thing that we all undoubtedly wanted to say. Isn’t that so?