Why Chewbacca and Candace Payne were Destined for Stardom, and the Real Content Marketing Takeaways Behind this Success


Just in case you haven’t already watched this live streamed Facebook video of a woman trying on a Chewbacca mask here it is. The video already has over 130 million views in under 3 days, eclipsing the last Facebook Live viewing record of 10,701,998 held by a BuzzFeed video.

Go ahead and watch it, I’ll wait.

Finished wiping away your tears? Good, let’s discuss.

In the coming week the marketing pundits will dissect the viral success of this video in order to advise you on how your brand can be at the center of the next “overnight” sensation. They will call this an amazing example of content marketing for the Kohl’s department store and look for ways to re-engineer why Candace and Chewbacca so effectively pulled at our heartstrings, making us want to share this clip of pure joy with our friends and family.

  • Infectious, genuine laugh…check
  • Self-deprecating joke about weight and onlookers thinking she’s crazy…check
  • Adult acting serious about a toy being for her, and not her kids… check
  • Charming mispronunciation of a word…check

What many may overlook, however, is how Candace was destined for stardom, and how having an appreciation for her backstory can put your content marketing on the path to more big wins.

Here are the three real reasons I believe this video took over the internet.

1. Talent is Paramount

Candace is not just an average woman expressing genuine delight for a Chewbacca mask. She is a hilarious performer expressing genuine delight for a Chewbacca mask.

Her comfort on camera and ability to easily crack jokes is a talent she’s cultivated her entire life. She majored in musical theater, and was the homecoming queen of her alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University.

Real content marketing takeaway:

  • Humor and comfort level on screen matter. You need to hire for this or cultivate this talent within your company.

2. Community Matters

Candace is very active on Facebook. She gives as much love as she gets. Here’s her sharing a video and GoFundMe link for someone about to go into open heart surgery.



Candace shares the good with the bad. Her transparency about things going on in her life pulls her community in closer, and one could argue that her community is stronger because it is rooted in her religious faith.



Real content marketing takeaway

  • Everything that goes viral starts at 1. If you’re not investing time and resources into growing a community of people who care about what you produce, the likelihood of achieving critical mass will always be lower.

3. Do or Do Not. There is No Try

I’m certain Yoda would approve of Candace’s content creation behavior.

She’s published 47 videos on her facebook page. Here’s my favorite. Arguably even funnier than Chewbacca, because who among us hasn’t had fun making up lyrics to Lion King’s Circle of Life. 161,547 views!

The last 4 videos Candace posted each received over 60,000 views. From her community engagement mentioned above to her consistent production of content, she’s built an audience that is excited to share what she’s creating.

Here’s a picture of Candace wearing a different Chewbacca mask on April 16th



Here’s Candace taking a selfie with a Lama



She’s even got a photo album called “Memes by Me”



The description of her meme album says it all: “Sometimes you see an image and have to caption it”. She’s not trying to make people laugh. She’s just doing it, because it’s in her blood.

You may have missed it because of her hilarious use of “internet webs”, but this line in the video is the most important for the content marketer to hear.

“Stay patient, stay patient, this is going to be worth it…maybe not, maybe not, but it’s worth it to me…and I had to share it with my friends on the internet webs.”

Candace has been consistently making people laugh for years, because it’s what she does. She get’s real enjoyment out of the creation process and genuinely wants to share funny things with her friends.

Real content marketing takeaway

  • Great content comes from the passion of the creator. Foster an environment where people create great stuff because it’s what they do.

In conclusion

While Candace’s infectious laugh, genuine delight, and relatable style of humor may seem like the reasons for this video’s success, the real actionable takeaways for the marketer go deeper into her backstory.

Talent, community, and the behavior of consistently creating content because it’s what you do, are the real reasons Candace Payne and Chewbacca were destined to take over the internet webs.

Instead of trying to re-engineer this specific video, look at the culture you are building within your team, and lay the framework that will lead to great content marketing success over time.

Congratulations Candace! The content marketing force is strong with you!

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