Arty pancakes are racking up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and other online video sites. It’s one of the hottest trends in online video the past few months, according to Tubular Labs latest ‘State of Online Video’ report.

And where there’s an online video content trend, traditional media outlets such as cable TV should also be hopping on, to more effectively reach millions of potential fans, according to Allison Stern, Tubular’s CMO and co-founder.

“They really should be if they’re not,” Stern said. “People often treat video like it’s some sort of mystery. Like, ‘Oh, how did this go viral? I can’t believe it. What good luck.’ That’s not really what video is today. You have to speak the language of video to be successful. You need to have your finger on the pulse of what those trends are. I think in the early days, that maybe meant, ‘Oh, I’m going to hire some young person who knows what this social media thing is. And they’re going to do a good job for me.’ I think now, where at your fingertips, you can literally see all these trends, there’s no excuse.”

Download the New Q1 2018 State of Online Video Report Today! Get All the Latest Video Insights and Trends

Pancake art is, as the name suggests, about using different colors of batter to construct a vivid, (more or less) edible resulting pancake. The video results can millions of views and likes, making it one of the hottest recent online video trends Tubular has tracked.

“That trend got 300 million views in Q4, up about 84 percent,” said Stern. “I love pancakes, so I’m a huge fan of this trend. It’s amazing. Based on what batter goes down first, it comes out darker. So you can do shading, you can do depth, you can really do a lot with a pancake.”

View of ‘Pancake Art’ videos on YouTube 2017 – All data via Tubular Labs State of Online Video Report Q1 2018

Pancake Art & YouTube Influencers

Perhaps no one is hotter in the pancake art world than Collins Key, according to Stern. A personable, pompadoured 21-year-old magician from California and former finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” Key has amassed 11 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and another 325K on Twitter. I would just stick to his link on Tubular creator intelligence (included above).

These days, Key is doing fewer bits about his magic act and much more about such fun food projects as making pancakes that look like SpongeBob SquarePants, Yoda, “Despicable Me’s” Minions, and Super Mario. And it’s paying off with fans. Three of Key’s Pancake Art Challenge videos grabbed at least 29 million views each, 10 to 15 times what his magic videos were getting a year ago.

“He is an influencer,” Stern said. “He’s done pancake art doing SpongeBob, doing Star Wars, doing Wonder Woman, all sorts of very pro-level pancakes. He’s ranked No. 50, actually, on our global influencers list of people in vlogs.”

Key wears his affections not just on his sleeve but on his griddle, with the kinds of characters he chooses to focus on. And those are exactly the brands that should be thinking about how best to partner with talents such as his, Stern said.

“If the Star Wars people don’t know that Collins Key is making Star Wars Jedi pancakes, they should, because that’s amazing earned media,” Stern said. “Obviously he’s a fan, so there’s an opportunity to do more there. If you’re a brand, maybe you make your own (pancake art videos), or maybe you partner with an influencer to do it. It’s a great chance to connect with people and reach your audience, and show them that you know what’s going on, and that you speak their language.”

The State of Online Video Q1 2018 Report

The exclusive ‘State of Online Video Report Q1 2018’ gives unprecedented insights into what’s happening on the major video platforms. Just click on the button below to access the webinar playback and the full report.

Download the New Q1 2018 State of Online Video Report Today! Get All the Latest Video Insights and Trends