If YouTube views are an accurate measure of success, the team from How Ridiculous are chronic overachievers. With 75 million views, and counting, the group, who perform stunts in exotic locations, are firmly established within the minds of a mostly male audience as a collective social media wunderkind.
The team of world-record holding twenty-somethings who make up How Ridiculous travel the world to perform their stunts, which are typically awe-inspiring displays of physical skill and focus, all the while filming them and loading the videos onto their YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. Stunts include shooting a basketball hoop from a height of 180 metres, achieving a Guinness World record for the longest golf putt ever and, curiously, catching a fish with an iPhone.
It’s not all boys-messing-around-being-boys, however. Riding on the coattails of the global fervour for extreme sports, How Ridiculous has worked out how to monetise its crazy stunts and is now a serious business working with national and international brands such as Disney, Mattel, HBF, Subway and iinet.
It’s the kind of larger-than-life existence that physiotherapy alumnus, Brett Stanford, who graduated from a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) in 2009, and is a founding member of How Ridiculous, revels in.
“We help brands and agencies reach audiences by creating premium sporting based content that pushes the limits and tells the story of each brand creatively,” Brett said.
“As a private practice physio my mindset was always to just do my best job I possibly could with each patient, and I had confidence that if I could do that my client base would grow and people would improve as a result of my interventions.
I think we’ve taken that into our pursuit of How Ridiculous in that we just want to make the best, most creative and interesting videos that we can, and if we can do that we’re confident that our brand and following will grow. I can look back and confidently say that that’s been the case!”
While How Ridiculous is now a thriving enterprise, with each member of the team responsible for different aspects of the business, its humble beginnings are rooted in friendship, sport and the ubiquitous suburban backyard. And while the stunts may look easy, they’re not, requiring extensive thought and preparation, and lots of trial and error, before they’re perfectly executed for the camera.
“How Ridiculous simply came out of a group of friends mucking around the backyard with basketballs and digital cameras back in 2009. We all have different roles amongst the team, although there’s a lot of crossover. We are all involved in the filming of stunts, as this is our core business and what we enjoy most about what we do. The business side is a great challenge and we’re all involved in this too,” Brett said.
“The most rewarding part is when we have set big goals and dreams for ourselves and we achieve them. An example of this was our world record basketball shot in Switzerland last year, what an experience! Definitely the most challenging part of what we do is putting in all the time and effort required to achieve those sort of goals, it’s really tough but really rewarding.”
Surprisingly for some people, there is more to How Ridiculous than how to master the latest and craziest stunt. The team is committed to reducing the poverty of children in developing countries, by empowering them through education, and are ambassadors for Christian organisation, Compassion.
“When we first started out back in 2009 we really wanted to use How Ridiculous to make a positive difference in the world and not merely be a source of entertainment,” said Brett.
“I already had a sponsor child with Compassion, which is a Christian organisation, and so we decided to try and use our platform to see more children sponsored. We really believe that the best way to break the cycle of poverty is through educating children to enable them to thrive in every way as they grow up.
From visiting the Philippines and meeting our sponsor children, we’ve seen firsthand that it works and we’re proud to be Compassion advocates. We use our videos and our platform to encourage people to play their part in eradicating poverty, and especially child poverty, by sponsoring a child with Compassion.
Poverty is a huge issue and it can be frustrating not knowing what to do or where to start, but we feel that this gives people something real and effective to do if they want to be involved.”
The greater good aside, the public’s appetite for bigger and better stunts from the How Ridiculous team is voracious, and Brett is aware that all those YouTube subscribers and Facebook friends are impatiently awaiting the team’s next instalment.
“It’s been really positive. We’ve had so much media attention, from international TV to local newspapers and everything in between, and it’s all been great. I think people have really enjoyed seeing some Perth guys put their heart and soul into something, and see it become well known all over the world,” he said.
“We want to keep raising the bar with more ridiculous stunts, and hopefully that includes more overseas travel! If there’s one thing our story shows people, it’s that anything is possible.”