Thu. Jul 25th, 2024


Hailey Welch speaking in a YouTube video

Hailey Welch only said a few words in a YouTube video and she’s become an overnight sensation. Her fame has become so big that she’s teamed up with Flathead Threads to sell merchandise of her infamous phrase. (Source: YouTube)

A woman in the US could be in for a huge payday after saying a few words. Nashville resident Hailey Welch was asked by a YouTuber what was “one move in bed that makes a man go crazy every time”.

Her response has caused her to go viral all around the world. Talent manager Taylor Reilly told Yahoo Finance the reaction to this short clip has been nothing short of incredible.

“Something like this is like winning the lottery,” he said.

Welch didn’t hold back when she was asked for bedroom advice and it didn’t take long for that 5-second snippet, where she said ‘hawk tuah’, to be reposted everywhere.

“I guarantee you wouldn’t be able to even fathom the full scope of how viral this is,” Reilly explained to Yahoo Finance. “If, when you take every platform on social media, and you add up all the views, it’ll be in the billions.

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“Like, this woman would probably be more viral than some of the biggest celebrities right now.”

It appears she’s capitalising on her 15 seconds of fame. Welch has teamed up with clothing brand Flathead Threads to sell merchandise, some of which she has personally signed.

Brand owner Jason Poteete told Rolling Stone he wanted to make sure Welch was a part of the process, but didn’t reveal how much of a cut she was getting from the sales.

“Of course, she hasn’t gotten a dime from the first viral video that went out,” Poteete said. “Nobody was asking permission for her to do nothing, neither. I just wanted her to get some profit off of this deal.”

There’s a hat on sale with the now-infamous words ‘hawk tuah’, emblazoned across the front. The hat will set you back nearly AUD$50 for a plain one and there’s a sold-out version going for AUD$75 because it’s signed.

At least 2,000 hats have already been sold, and while Poteete hasn’t shared the exact amount earned so far, that’s close to AUD$100,000. Even if Welch got a 5 per cent cut, that’s AUD$5,000 in her pocket just for uttering a few words.

There are thousands of content creators around the world who are posting clips to social media every day to build up their followers in the hope they’ll be famous one day.

Then, there are those who upload just one clip or say just one thing and they are on everyone’s lips.

Take New York-based TikToker Megan Boni for example.

She dropped a short clip about “looking for a man in finance” on TikTok and it absolutely blew up. At the time of writing, the video has been watched nearly 52 million times.

“I have calls with major companies,” she told PEOPLE. “I have all these DJs who want to release the first single with me, so I’m suddenly navigating the music industry.”

After a lot of anticipation, Boni teamed up with legendary DJ David Guetta for an official remix of her song. The viral success of her 19-second video has seen her quit her day job, sign a deal with Universal Music Group NV and also sign with United Talent Agency.

A few years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing people say, “Cash me ousside, how bout dat.”

Those were the words spoken by Danielle Bregoli on Dr Phil during a segment about her being a rowdy and difficult-to-manage daughter. She was able to turn those few seconds into a rap career, where she uses the stage name Bhad Bhabie, and she now has close to two million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Not only that, but she branched out into OnlyFans and made a jaw-dropping $18.1 million in her first month. All of that for just six words.

Poteete claimed Welch is looking into trademarking the ‘hawk tuah’ phrase so others can’t capitalise off it.

Reilly explained to Yahoo Finance that people who go viral like this have an incredibly small window before they become irrelevant.

“Attention is hard to secure, and, most importantly, knowing what to do with it is even harder,” he said. “By the time it takes this woman to not be overwhelmed and think, ‘What should I be doing with this?’ It’s probably done and gone.”

Ian Aldridge, principal lawyer and director at Progressive Legal, told Yahoo Finance that trademarks for viral content are only becoming more popular these days.

“The more money at stake, the more you’ll see this stuff really start to become prominent,” he said.

Hailey Welch talking to a YouTuber Hailey Welch talking to a YouTuber

Welch has teamed up with Flathead Threads to sell merchandise but she’s reportedly found the overnight fame ‘overwhelming’. (Source: YouTube)

But he warned against anyone else thinking of trademarking the phrase in Australia hoping to make a quick buck.

“If you were to register this trademark in Australia and the law firm representing [Welch] in the US was to try and register a trademark here in Australia, and yours came up as an objection to that mark … you’re potentially facing federal court proceedings,” he said.

Aldridge said you could end up in legal trouble because you don’t own Welch’s phrase and also your trademark could have been registered in “bad faith”, which is the term used when someone tries to prevent another person or company with genuine trademark claims from registering a trademark in a certain region.

But there’s another reason why this phrase probably wouldn’t go down well in Australia. There’s a clause that you can’t trademark anything “offensive” or “obscene”.

Aldridge said Australian authorities, if they understood the context of the “hawk tuah” phrase, would probably reject a trademark application.

Reilly said catchphrases have been a discussion with some of his clients because they can massively increase a content creator’s marketability and, much like Welch, there’s an opportunity to sell merchandise off that success.

Some people would kill for fame like this. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you go viral.

According to Poteete, Welch is “overwhelmed” by her overnight fame.

“She’s probably one of the most well-known people in the world at this point. But I don’t know if she’s embraced it,” he told Rolling Stone.

Reilly said people can gain millions of social media followers in events like this. But some people aren’t interested in that.

“I think when it hits a point where it’s detrimental to your privacy, I think that’s probably when it gets quite annoying,” he said.

It appears that there has been no shortage of people trying to speak to the woman and that could have a big affect on someone.

“I just really felt kind of bad for her when I saw it, because I’m like, this woman probably isn’t going to have the people around her to know how to capitalise on it,” Reilly said.

“Her life would be changed forever. It’s complicated. It’s a very complex issue. I think you’ve got to factor in, obviously the business opportunity, but probably there are all of the personal dynamics involved as well.”

Fame can also lead to a lot of misinformation. There was an article claiming Welch was a teacher and she had been sacked because kids were going around spitting on others. However, that was found to be untrue.

There were also claims she had an agent and had signed with a talent agency, but that was also untrue… for now.

Reilly said people like Welch can get snatched up pretty quickly as long as they have longevity in them and are not just a one-hit wonder.

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