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Marketing company claims responsibility for "Alex from Target"

You have probably talked about nothing else today, other than Alex from Target. He's a hashtag. He's a Bieberesque beauty. He's the most famous Target employee in the world.

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The tweet that introduced the world to "Alex from Target."

However, he's also the construction of a new company called Breakr.

I wondered yesterday whether Alex, who was tweeted about almost 1 million times yesterday, was a Target marketing campaign. It's more fun that that. Well, a little.

Breakr, you see, is a company that claims to connect "fans with their fandom." I hadn't been aware that fans had felt disconnected from their fandom. So I allowed myself to be enlightened by Dil-Domine Jacobe Leonares, Breakr's CEO.

He told me that his company, which is still in beta, has been helping small content creators spread their content.

In the case of Alex Lee (for that is Alex from Target's name), Leonares confessed: "Truly, we never thought it'd go this far, but it proved that with a strong fan base and rally the fan girls, you can."

This is all about the fan girls, you see. They are powerful. They are strong. They spread the word. When they took one look at Alex from Target's visage, they targeted him for stardom.

Leonares explained in a LinkedIn post how he and his fan girls were able to observe the Alex-lovers and the Alex-don't-lovers and see how it all contributed to making Alex from Target so famous.

Alex happens to work at Target with one of Breakr's kid fan base. He gave his permission to have the image taken. But the original tweeter of the famous image, @auscalum, actually lives in London. Yes, London, England.

Leonares wrote: "If you can earn the love and respect from a global community such as the 'Fangirl' demographic, you can rally them together to drive awareness for any cause even if it's to take a random kid from unknown to stardom over night."

Surely, though, one would think Target was in on the deal. But it was not, said Leonares. "They could have capitalized, though," he added.

You might wonder how Breakr intends to make money. Leonares said that they "own the users."

He added: "We also manage our kids so any brand deal we do with them, we take a [percentage]. Like a startup incubator but focused on social influencers."

Yes, part Peter Thiel, part Simon Cowell, Leonares is betting on unknown stars. He told me: "We're building a content distribution network from mobile, web to OTT devices (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon) + content creators."

In simple terms: "Our theory is if you can build an influencer's fan base, you can translate their following into revenue from brand deals."

Talking of which, is he now trying to negotiate a deal with Target? "Yes," he said.

A version of this article originally appeared on CNET.

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

    He currently advises major global companies about content creation and marketing, through his company Howard Raucous LLC.

    He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.