â€œIf I use images of people that look a little bit different, like I had a girl that had a bald head as my thumbnail, and she shaved her head because she was someone that was dealing with cancer,â€ he said. â€œNaturally, our eyes even just subconsciously gravitate towards these things. Thatâ€™s important to get a lot of views.â€
The simplistic dialogue, achingly sincere and devoid of slang or sarcasm, is also intentional.
Sometimes, Mr. Mann said, people describe his content as â€œa little bit too on the nose, or itâ€™s a little bit cringe, or why is the dialogue so direct.â€ But itâ€™s intentional. â€œThat way, children can understand, but also people who donâ€™t speak English can understand,â€ he said.
Forty percent of Dhar Mannâ€™s audience is overseas, he said in an email. His biggest audience on YouTube is the 18 to 24 demographic; on Facebook, itâ€™s 25 to 34. â€œFacebook and YouTube donâ€™t give data for audience under 13 so I canâ€™t say for sure 7 to 10 is the fastest growing audience, it just feels like it based on my interactions with people,â€ he wrote in an email.
Most of his videos incorporate timely narratives about police-calling Karens and Covid-19 hoarders, but in style and tone they are more reminiscent of 1980s after-school specials and the educational short films of the â€™50s than other content thatâ€™s popular today.
The characters are broad and simple, each representing a demographic that any fourth grader could recognize: angry mom, spoiled wife, mean girl, lazy husband. They seem almost like instructional videos an alien species might watch to learn the basic points of American social dynamics.
â€œYou will never not see a gold-digger video,â€ Ms. Mulroney said. â€œThey can twist that story so many times. People love those gold-digger stories, they really do.â€