Tech startup claims 'Alex from Target' was their social media experiment, to 'create something out of nothing'
(CNN) -- Remember Alex from Target? He took the Internet by a storm this week with his good looks and strong work ethic, causing many to swoon and others to curse the power of social media.
Now, a tech startup is claiming responsibility for making #alexfromtarget one of the "most amazing social media experiments ever."
The CEO of Breakr, a company that claims to connect "fans with their fandom," explained in a LinkedIn post Tuesday how the company harnessed "the powerful fangirl demographic" to make a picture of Alex, a real Target employee from Texas, a global trending topic.
"Abbie (@auscalum), one of our fangirls from Kensington, UK posted this picture of Alex Lee (@acl163) on Twitter. After spreading the word amongst our fangirl followers to trend #AlexFromTarget, we started adding fuel to the fire by tweeting about it to our bigger YouTube influencers," Dil-Domine Jacobe Leonares said in his post.
From there, the conversation spread through people supporting the hashtag "just to trend it" and others raging over the fact that a guy with good looks could become "Internet famous" without doing anything, he said. People tweeted parody images and created YouTube videos while the media, including CNN, published stories about it.
Alex's Twitter base grew from 2,000 followers to more than 340,000.
"It was based on looks," Leonares told CNN late Tuesday. "You put a good-looking guy in front of girls, girls are going to go crazy over him."
For Breakr's CEO, the experiment was about seeing whether "we could create something out of nothing."
"The takeaway is if you can get a very big population of the fangirls and fanboys, you can do whatever you want. You can make your dreams happen," Leonares said.
Even if it's to create an overnight Internet celebrity.
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