With the rise of Instagram stars like Elliot Tebele and The Fat Jewish, the platform has become a go-to for comedians looking to reach a broader new audience while tapping into the latest social media trends. In the landscape of Instagram parody accounts, stand-up comedian Ashley Hesseltine has managed to break through the clutter with the Instagram account, @brosbeingbasic – an account dedicated to all things “bro” – coffee, pizza and of course brosé.
Growing her follower base to just about 379,000 fans since November 2014, Ashley has been successful in taking a hot Internet trend – being a “basic betch” – giving it a unique spin, and providing her audience with insight and humor as to what it looks like when a bro acts, well, “basic.”
We caught up with Ashley to get the scoop on what it takes to turn an account like @brosbeingbasic into an Internet sensation.
360i: How did @brosbeingbasic get started?
AH: It all began with this a blog entry that went semi-viral – “What if Guys Acted Like Girls on Instagram.” I was then encouraged by a guy friend, @TravisMMay, to create an Instagram account dedicated to the theme. We started it together and it was a hit – the account literally blew up overnight. We couldn’t put our phones down over the Thanksgiving holiday – our families hated us.
AH: All the press coverage at the beginning – Buzzfeed, Elite Daily, US Weekly, Cosmo, Man Repeller, and so many more. It was insane and awesome.
360i: Are there any influencers you look to for inspiration or just admire – whether it’s the content they create or how they’ve built their careers?
AH: I love @Betches content and that they’ve leveraged their brand with a blog, apparel, etc. I’ve become friendly with @CrazyJewishMom and appreciate her tenacity in making a career out of being an Instagram influencer. Aside from Instagram, my two role models are Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer (shocker). I love the brands they’ve built and what they stand for.
360i: What differentiates @brosbeingbasic’s content from all the other parody accounts on Instagram?
AH: We have a really high standard for the pictures – they have to be witty and clever, but can’t look like the guys are trying too hard. We’re never going to put up a guy wearing chick clothes making an exaggerated duck face while holding a Starbucks cup. It’s smarter than that. And of course, our genius hashtags!
AH: Making people laugh. That’s my favorite part of anything, always. I just love when people comment on the posts – “This gives me life” and “This made my day,” and tag all their friends and comment “YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!”
360i: What do you like best about partnering with brands?
AH: The best part is having a creative vision for a post, pulling it off, and the brand absolutely loving it. It’s the best validation.
To view more of Ashley’s posts, follow @brosbeingbasic on Instagram.