Forget football. The world was far more captivated by Katy Perry’s backup dancers this past weekend at the Super Bowl. Specifically, a dancer now known as “Left Shark.”
If you missed it, the memorable Perry performed an incredible showcase full of glamour, suspense, music and of course, fireworks.
The high-energy performance to the song “Teenage Dream,” which mentions California and the beach, was going pretty well until people on the Internet noticed that one of her backup dancers, who was clothed in a shark costume for the song, seemed a little… off. At least, “Left Shark,” as he came to be called, wasn’t exactly as coordinated as “Right Shark.” You can see what I mean here:
Although Perry’s choreographer insists the dancers were supposed to be freestyling, as opposed to performing the exact same moves, Left Shark has caused a media frenzy simply because he seemed a little unprepared for his Super Bowl debut (and it is a “he,” as was later revealed).
It might seem like a bizarre or silly news story, but smart entrepreneurs know that when a something like this goes viral, there is money to be made. From Left Shark videos to T-shirts to a custom flipbook, business-minded creatives are pulling out all the stops to profit off this bizarre and admittedly hilarious gaffe before the frenzy dies down.
Want to get in on the Left Shark action? Here are a few examples of how to earn a few bucks from this trend:
Create Themed YouTube Videos
People have already watched videos of Left Shark hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, and it has only been a few days. In fact, if you search “Left Shark” on YouTube, there are 140,000 results, although some of them are from obvious spam accounts. Some are unique, though, like this video that teaches you how to make a Left Shark emblem for the Advanced Warfare game.
YouTube channels make money from advertising like Google Ads, which pay based on the number of views and clicks. By creating a popular Left Shark video, you could potentially earn high advertising profits over the next few days while the story rides its viral wave.
Offer Left Shark Outfits
If you want your own Left Shark outfit, it’s going to cost you. One website in particular charges nearly $1,500 for a costume that resembles Left Shark. I smell an opportunity to offer one in a more affordable price range…
Let’s be honest; this could make for a really awesome Halloween costume or just your average everyday outfit for going to a job fair. Or, imagine showing up at your college frat party dressed like a shark. The ladies will dig it. Just make sure to practice your moves a bit, a la Right Shark.
Create Custom FlipBooks
Custom flipbooks from The Flippist start at $395. It makes a really unique gift, so we’re hoping Perry reads this and decides to purchase a few for her dancers.
Write Adorable Love Notes
Everyone’s looking for a romantic way to show their love this Valentine’s Day… and Left Shark is the perfect way to express those emotions.
Two smart twenty-somethings are selling a Left Shark card for just $5. The message inside says just what your lover wants to hear: “You’re the Left Shark to my Katy Perry.”
Other Left Shark Merchandise
You never know what people will find funny or why certain videos go viral, but it just takes one person to start a viral reaction. Who knew that when Left Shark decided to shake his money maker in that special way that only he could, that all of these people would be inspired to create products? These items are sure to brighten the day for all Left Shark fans out there, and that — along with earning a nice chunk of change — is what this is all about.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite Left Shark item? Will you try to cash in on the hype?
Please do your own homework before creating and selling any products on the internet. Before creating a listing, do a search on Uspto.gov to ensure that your creation doesn’t run afoul of any trademark laws and if necessary, consult an attorney.
Catherine Alford is an award winning personal finance writer, full-time blogger, and mom of boy/girl twins. She writes about how to balance life and a budget all across the web including her own site, Budget Blonde.