FARGO — Myles Montplaisir was an exercise science major at Minnesota State Moorhead, where he played football for the Dragons, but now he's gained notoriety for tackling the tough questions: like comparing Busch Light to Spotted Cow beer.
The aforementioned video lasted more than three minutes. Montplaisir posted the video last summer that now has more than two million views on Facebook less than a year later.
“That was the first one that kind of propelled us to where we are now,” said Montplaisir, a Fargo Shanley graduate.
Montplaisir created a Midwest entertainment channel on social media last summer titled “You Betcha.” Most of the content, which includes podcasts, vlogs and video skits, features Montplaisir’s mostly humorous takes on Midwest living. “You Betcha” is on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
“I am super proud to be a Midwest person,” Montplaisir said. “The Midwest gets ragged on a lot, especially from people who are not from here.”
Montplaisir said the most growth has come on Facebook as the page reached 100 followers near the end of June 2018. Now, it has more than 120,000 likes. “You Betcha” also has 140,000 followers on Facebook and Montplaisir said the videos on his page have had around 44 million views since last June.
“Which is kind of bananas to say out loud,” Montplaisir said.
A video he posted about a month ago that pokes fun at craft beer drinkers has received nearly six million views on Facebook with almost 55,000 shares. Montplaisir said building a large audience was always the goal, but he didn’t expect such fast growth.
“This was the hope, like five years down the road,” Montplaisir said. “I thought it was going to take a lot longer to get to the point where we were having videos with millions of views.”
Montplaisir said he’s been tagged with the “Busch guy” label from fans of “You Betcha” content, since Busch Light is a common element in many of the videos. When Montplaisir cracks open a can of Busch Light on his videos, he usually makes a “Buschhhhhhhhhh” sound, like the beer company's commercials. He takes a drink and generally follows that with a “Oh my god, that’s cold.”
Montplaisir has gained a level of celebrity for his Busch Light affinity.
"Someone will just walk by and go 'Buschhhhhhhhhh' and keep on walking by and not say anything else," Montplaisir said. “I knew that there was a following in the Midwest for people who drank Busch Light."
Montplaisir has done live events he calls bar takeovers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. He has one scheduled for Missouri later this month.
Among Montplaisir’s other most-viewed videos are the “5 Stages of Shoveling,” the “5 Stages of a Round of Golf” and “When Someone Finds Out You’re From the Midwest.” They all have tongue-in-cheek element of humor about Midwest living.
“It started as entertainment and naturally gravitated toward comedy,” Montplaisir said.
Montplaisir said he thinks part of the reason the videos have taken off in popularity is tackling subject matter in which the audience can relate.
He played football for four seasons at MSUM, an experience that Montplaisir thinks has helped him expand his knowledge of Midwest culture. He played multiple positions at MSUM, including quarterback and tight end.
“You learn about culture, especially the Midwest, and how everyone is by getting on a football team full of people from around the Midwest,” Montplaisir said. “You kind of learn about different parts of the culture.”
Montplaisir was creating marketing videos for clients before he started “You Betcha.” From there, he decided he wanted to put out videos and content for himself, not material that needed to get the OK from clients.
Montplaisir said he waited to post the “Spotted Cow vs. Busch Light” video for a couple weeks because he wasn’t sure it would draw a reaction.
“There was no punch in it.” Montplaisier said. “There was no like this was clearly the joke. … I should have just posted it.”
In that video, Montplaisir referred to Busch Light as the “Nectar of the gods” a phrase he's used on different apparel, like t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts. He said he generates revenue from “You Betcha” through ad impressions and merchandise.
“Where it goes from here is a very interesting question,” Montplaisir said.
“Ryan the T-shirt guy” is one of the characters on “You Betcha” content. He helps create the merchandise. Montplaisir said his girlfriend is a wedding videographer who helps shoot the videos. Montplaisir said he does the video editing, a skill he learned from watching YouTube videos.
Montplaisir said the feedback he’s received from the videos has been mostly positive. Since some of the content pokes fun at people, he's seen occasional blowback in comments. He said he’s been “called every name under the book,” which was upsetting at first.
“You just get used to it after awhile,” Montplaisir said. “My favorite one is when people call me the fat Baker Mayfield. That happens more than you think. I’m self aware enough to know I can see it. … The positivity is so much more overwhelming than the negativity.”