By Sammy Jaye
The highly-anticipated return of VidCon took place recently from June 23-25. For many top creators, it's like coming home. But for the D’Amelio family, it's a whole new world. Though Marc D'Amelio and his family have grown into the biggest creators on TikTok over the past two years, this is their first VidCon. And above all the hype, Marc says the family knows the true reason they are there.
The247: We are currently at VidCon, what is it like being at your first VidCon? Marc D'Amelio: “We were just talking about the fact that people think that we would be used to this. From the time that Charli had her initial success on TikTok, we went through a pandemic, we've traveled a little bit, been in some crowds, but we have not been to VidCon. I would not say it's overwhelming. But this is our first one, and there's definitely a lot of people here, and it's been amazing."
The247: Since this is the first VidCon post-pandemic, do you have to get used to socializing in a big setting again?
Marc D'Amelio: Yes, you definitely do. I think even for me, who is known to be extroverted, I feel like I have even become a bit more introverted. Being on Zoom,I think it's created more introverts. I think we are all working our way out to learn how to socialize again.
The247: Exactly. I think one of the great things about these events is that you can actually visualize what you've created instead of just seeing numbers. What has it been like seeing all of these fans in-person and not just seeing ‘the follow’?
Marc D'Amelio: Overall, not just here at VidCon, but in general, that's the most incredible part of what we do. I understand why people are excited to see Dixie and Charli, but when people come to me and say either, "Marc," or, "Mr. D'Amelio, I'm so excited to meet you," I'm like why? (laughs). No, but it's fun…I'm here to be a supportive dad for my daughters and a supportive husband for my wife, as much as they need me.
I think we're stronger as a family, I look at it, as busy as we all are, if someone wants to take a picture with me, I have as much time as they need. I will give as much time as I can… I think we have an obligation to give back to our followers the way they give to us. We're not in the situation and position we are in without the people who follow us. That is the most important part.
The247: Being on social media can be toxic at times - What advice do you have or what advice have you given your daughters in balancing that healthy relationship with social media?
Marc D'Amelio: That is a great question. I think I would speak to most parents out there. Kids, naturally, do not listen to their parents. They think that we don't know what they're dealing with. In a lot of cases, we don't. What I have done is state my opinion on the situation, but then I try to get an expert around or someone else that they trust to give them their viewpoint…When you talk about mental health, I am a 53-year-old male, confident in what I've done in my life, but sometimes a comment will get to me. It takes me a lot to talk myself back and say, “It doesn't matter.” In the comment sections, sometimes it gets negative. In public, it's never negative.
“When you talk about mental health, I am a 53-year-old male, confident in what I've done in my life, but sometimes a comment will get to me. It takes me a lot to talk myself back and say, "It doesn't matter."
The247: Something that was brought up on some of the panels at VidCon was talking about “how to be viral” and the importance of “virality”. What advice would you give to people who are focusing on virality, but not focusing on enjoying the content they're making?
Marc D'Amelio: I think that has been a big topic recently. I don't think there is one right way. For our family the most important thing is creating content we enjoy making and that best represents who we are. Going “viral” isn’t top of mind when we create content, it’s not part of the master plan. That being said, we do put thought and planning into ensuring that what we produce fits the overall brand message, so aligning ourselves with partners that we genuinely use and enjoy is something we do think about and plan out.
The247: You're human.
Marc D'Amelio: I think for our family, the best content we make is when we are just doing what we enjoy, whether it's playing with the dogs or Charli dancing or Dixie and Charli messing around. I don't know if that's the right answer for everyone, but I do think there is definitely a level of comfort that comes out in our content that is relatable as opposed to it being overproduced and scheduled…
That's what people say about us. I see where they are coming from, but I also think that has to do with the fact that we kind of fell into this and it kind of happened. We were already pretty established as a family, as parents…We are authentic, because that is what we've lived.