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Jordan Watson of How to Dad talks mixing comedy with creative business

Kiwi comedian and viral sensation, Jordan Watson of How to Dad has seen great success on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook over the past few years. Now the comedian is working on extending his brand by tapping into the world of business through his jandal company, Golden.

Prior to becoming the viral sensation, How to Dad, Jordan Watson was always thinking of “side ideas” but they “never really got off the ground”.

Watson says that How to Dad kicked off and became its own business as he had to keep up with the virality of his videos.

And with his online persona gaining traction, the business ideas he had before fell away as he focused on his comedy work.

“I’ve been throwing everything at How to Dad,” he says.

A few years into How to Dad, his agency reached out to Watson asking if he wanted to create a product and immediately he replied with the idea for a jandal.

“I want to make a jandal that doesn’t bloody blow out all the time,” he says.

The idea of a jandal seemed fitting for the How to Dad persona who is known to either be in bare feet, gumboots or jandals. Always being in jandals and subsequently always breaking them inspired Watson to go down this route.

To make it even more fitting, Watson gave it a Kiwi spin by making the plug of the jandal in a bread tag shape as a nod to the method of fixing a jandal with a bread tag.

In the first meeting ever with the people who he went on to launch jandal company Golden with, Watson remembered saying; “Why don’t we make the plug larger and in the shape of the bread tag hack, because that’s a big Kiwi nod”.

“And then boom, we hit play on that idea,” he says.

Read more: How to turn that small idea into a business

“In this job to keep financially secure, you’ve got to have your fingers in many pockets, your hands in many pockets and pulling strings where you can.”

Now three years since that first meeting, Watson has launched Golden, a jandal company with a Kiwi twist.

When launching the brand, Watson knew his How to Dad persona would be the face of Golden and in order for the brand to stay aligned, he approached it in a cheeky and fun way.

“I want all brands to be like that. It’s the best way to promote yourself or promote a product is used for subtle comedy in my mind,” says Watson.

Jordan Watson.

“We always knew Golden was going to be a bit cheeky and a bit fun.”

Watson adds that he is still figuring out how far he can go with mixing both his brand, Golden and his How to Dad persona together to promote it authentically.

“This year I went down to Mount Maunganui and did a plug-pull test, so people got to try and pull the plug out of our jandal and that was me being kind of more serious Golden Jordan,” he says.

Recently, Watson beat a Guinness World Record for fastest sprint in jandals to promote the brand by beating the world record at 13.66 seconds wearing his Golden G2s.

He says that the idea for beating the world record came when he was searching for fun things to do to promote the brand.

“I got annoyed that there was only seven [world record holders] and none of them were owned by New Zealanders or even Australians,” he adds.

But Watson says many of his audience believed the first launch videos for Golden were for a gag product and just another How to Dad video.

“I’m trying to now convince people that ‘No, no, no, I own Golden, I’m a co-owner of Golden, I founded Golden, Golden is my baby’, so we’re still educating people on that,” he says.

“I have much more pride and joy for Golden than for a one-off gig I might get with another brand for a video.”

With Golden coming into the picture, Watson says he is working more than he thought he would be, but considers the brand his baby and he is willing to do anything for it.

Watson says his day starts as the “customer service dude” for Golden, going through the emails because he wants to keep his finger on the pulse and adds that he is always constantly trying to come up with ideas for Golden.

“It’s taken over, it’s definitely taken over. There’s more time spent on Golden than there is How to Dad videos,” says Watson.

In order to keep up with the How to Dad’s reach across the world, Watson is working on expanding the brand in Australia and the UK.

Now, Golden is available in Australia and considering how much bigger the market is across the ditch, Watson says the feedback and comments have been “insane”.

“It outperforms the Kiwi one which is very cool. It’s very cool to see that the Australians are letting me try and sell my Kiwi jandal there,” he adds.

In the pipelines, Watson says that Golden hopes to launch in the US and UK markets as well.

Watson’s personal goal with Golden is for the brand to become a household name for every Kiwi and synonymous with a jandal that won’t break.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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