Monks and hot cops – what’s not to like?

Ever found yourself scratching your head over a social media post that has gone viral?

Sometimes the most unlikely content strikes a chord with the masses. Is it just a fluke of nature or is there more to it?

A couple of social media phenomena that caught our eye this week seemingly sit at opposite ends of the spectrum.

There’s the rise of ‘monkflueners’ (monk-themed influencers) and then there’s ‘hot cop’ Officer Derrick White, of the Knoxville Police Department, Tennessee, who became an overnight sensation after starring in a two-minute video explaining a new hands-free driving law.

Ok, so Officer White’s notoriety (one million video views on Twitter and rising) needs little explanation. He’s young, good looking and more distracting than the mobile phones he’s advising people not to use while they’re driving.


On the other hand, the #monklife sensation is a little more perplexing.

Monks are known for leading private, solitary lives. Plastering themselves all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter seems at odds with a meditative existence.

We will leave you to debate the ethics of this amongst yourselves, but from a marketing perspective it’s interesting to consider how an ancient religion has managed to climb the social media ranks.

It’s not too dissimilar to our friend ‘arrest me now’ Officer White.

(And we’re not talking ‘hot’ monks. Google ‘hot monks’ (yes we did) and it’s all about raising your body temperature through meditation.)

What makes social media content engaging is not so much the information it contains, but the way in which it is presented. Be that the wording, the imagery used or the person presenting it.

Monk-themed influencers combine trends that are already hugely popular, including wellbeing, an obsession with productivity, meditation, mindfulness, and the Western interest in “Eastern” healing practices, into a single enviable lifestyle, writes Sarah Manavis of the New Statesman.

In short, package it up as something people want, and you have a following.

Former monk Jay Shetty owns the ‘monkfluencer’ space on Facebook where he takes a motivational lifestyle approach, which has amassed him over 24 million followers. And his Instagram feed isn’t short of a celebrity or two.


Even though he is no longer a monk, and his lifestyle seems at odds with that of a monk, he has firmly staked his hashtag claim on #monklife.

So, back to road safety. Whether or not the Knoxville Police Department knew what they were doing when they put Officer White in front of the camera, the end result was to turn a boring (but important) message into a viral sensation.

Moral of the story – if you want your social media content to fly, make it interesting, engaging and something that your target audience will relate to.

Need a little help? We are just a message away. 


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