ELK RIDGE, Utah (ABC4) – What happens when you combine a sultry and sexy TikTok trend, five men in red flannel shirts, and a dash of Christmas spirit?
Nothing short of social media magic.
Last winter, Derek Peterson and his crew at his Christmas tree shop near his home in Utah County concocted a video of themselves bringing the sass and tongue-in-cheek faux sex appeal that went wild on social media, racking up more than 2.1 million views.
This year, lightning struck again for the Tree Men in Plaid, with a repost of the fellas gyrating their hips, giving dead-eye stares into the camera, and feigning pole dancing moves in the tree lot once again going viral.
The 2021 edition of the transfixing video has already reached over 1.2 million views in less than a week.
Asked how it feels to be a middle-aged TikTok star, 41-year-old Peterson laughs in disbelief at how popular the video has gotten.
“It’s pretty cool,” he tells ABC4.com. “I plan on doing another one this yes, we sell out of all our trees and stuff. We were just trying to be funny, I didn’t realize it was going to go around the world.”
Peterson came up for the video after listening to the background music, “River” by Bishop Briggs, on the radio and hearing about TikTok from a friend. As they were filming their moves in the vacant lot which would usually be filled with Christmas trees, Peterson thought they had stumbled on a funny idea. He knew they had found something really special when his friend, Cody, dropped a move resembling a scene from a Spider-Man movie near the end of the video.
The other moves, especially the sultry stare-down by Gabe with his back sliding down the pole, weren’t nearly as inspired and came more as a result of a typical “dad” injury.
“He actually hurt his knee that night, so he ended up he ended up having to do that move because he was hurting,” Peterson explains. “I kind of wish we’d had some outtakes or something that we could have posted. That would have been probably just as good, honestly.”
The final cut has been a hit without the bloopers. Peterson has been amazed at the response he’s seen both on last year’s post as well as this year’s.
“Those comments were just so funny, but a lot of them were like, ‘This put the biggest smile on my face’ or “My mom just passed away and this made me laugh’ and it really just put a smile on everyone’s face,” he illustrates from the comment section. “That’s awesome, that’s good because that’s really what it was all about, just something to laugh about.”
Of course, the advertising boost has also been appreciated for his hobby business.
“We definitely had a little bit more last year, but I think I think this year is going to be kind of off the hook,” Peterson predicts. “So I’m a little worried that my neighbors might complain. Hopefully, they don’t, you know?”