Candace Payne treated herself to a Chewbacca face mask in a Kohls clearance sale earlier this week, and decided to try it on via a Facebook Live post to her friends and family. 5 days, and 140.7M views later, that impromptu video has shattered all previous Facebook Live stream records (by 130M views at time of writing), and continues to delight the ‘Internetwebs’. A grown woman trying on a Star Wars mask doesn’t sound particularly enthralling, but Payne’s infectious laughter and childlike enthusiasm has propelled the video into the stratosphere, and got everyone talking about the latest viral video sensation.

Following an appearance on James Corden’s The Late Late Show last night, as well as a spot on Good Morning America, you can expect views to the Facebook video to increase yet again, making it the runaway viral success of the year so far. Not bad for what is essentially the unboxing of a children’s toy found on sale in a Texan department store.

Chewbacca Mask Video: A Win for Kohls

The Internet has found a true star in Payne, and Kohls hasn’t missed a trick, presenting the Texan mom and her family with more goodies – all via another Facebook video which itself has picked up 30M+ views. It’s been a golden opportunity for the retailer, a ton of positive earned media without spending a penny on video marketing or advertising. To date, 140M viewers have been exposed to the Kohl product in the most authentic, and delightful way.

Payne wasn’t paid to promote the mask (although her future as an Influencer seems pretty assured right now), but couldn’t have placed it in a better light, and Kohls reacted immediately to the Live video, keeping the story alive. Hasbro, the manufacturers of the mask, and even the Star Wars brand itself, have also benefitted for the extraordinary exposure the video has created, along with thousands of entertainments sites across the web who have carried the story. The mask is now a sell-out across a huge number of outlets, suggesting the ripple-effect is bigger than anyone can calculate right now.

Top Five Most Watched Facebook Live Videos

Facebook launched live streaming capabilities for all users in April 2016. Creators can now stream content for up to 24 hours, and save the archived video to their Facebook page once the stream is over.  According to Tubular, a staggering 3M Facebook Live videos have been streamed on the platform in the last 90 days, generating just under 8.9M views. Chewbacca Mom takes the #1 spot with (at time of writing) 140M, while Channing Tatum, FC Barcelona, BuzzFeed, and JLo claim the following 4 spots with their live-streamed clips.

facebook live video views 90 days

Facebook Live Video Uploads, View, and Engagement between 02/24/16 and 05/24/16 (All data via Tubular Labs)

Is the Chewbacca mask video a game-changer for Facebook Live? Many brands are already onboard with the feature of course, and Facebook itself is investing heavily in live-streaming functionality. But, yes, it has shown the enormous potential of earned media and Influencer marketing for products and services from authentic creators, and the industry needs to take note.