A fresh Vietnamese vlogger has pulled off the improbable feat of garnering over 1.3 million subscribers and 53 million views on YouTube in three weeks by uploading videos of her making giant versions of everyday food.
Her channel, Ba Tan Vlog (Madame Tan Vlog), was created in February 2018 but it was not until May this year that the first video was uploaded.
“I’m 58 years old and I love to cook,” the channel’s description reads.
The channel owner humorously describes herself as weighing 32 kilograms and measuring only 1.1 meters tall, though refusing to disclose her real name.
Since posting for the first time on May 4, Ba Tan Vlog has earned over 1.3 million subscribers and counting, with most of the channel’s 20-strong videos getting 1-3 million views each.
In comparison, it took pop star Son Tung M-TP – the current most subscribed Vietnamese celebrity on YouTube – more than four years to hit 3.8 million subscribers on the video-sharing site.
Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper reported on Sunday that Ba Tan Vlog had at one point recorded the third-highest rise in the number of subscribers globally, citing statistics from Social Blade.
|A screen grab of Ba Tan Vlog's YouTube channel taken on May 27, 2019|
The secret to Madame Tan’s success? Food. A lot of it.
Videos on Ba Tan Vlog shows the YouTuber preparing giant versions of popular food – bubble milk tea, barbecue chicken and Korean spicy noodles to name a few.
Part of the vlogger’s charisma comes from her rusticity – the rural Vietnamese woman from northern Vietnam appears in all of her videos wearing no makeup, dressed in casual clothes, and addressing viewers as her “grandchildren."
In her latest video published on Sunday, Madame Tan could be seen celebrating her earning the YouTube Gold Play Button, awarded to content creators with one million or more subscribers, with young local fans.
Her popularity has evidently surpassed that of her son, who introduced her to YouTube after successfully running a channel of his own with more than 1.2 million subscribers.
Madame Tan was featured in some of her son’s lifestyle vlogs on his channel Hung Vlog.
While some viewers disapprove of Ba Tan Vlog’s recipe for success, calling it “lazy” and “ridiculous," others defend her videos as “harmless fun” that actually requires hard work to pull off.
After all, at a time when YouTube in Vietnam is filled with videos about harmful challenges, law-breaking thugs and live-streamed funerals, who can blame an innocent Vietnamese “grandmother” for putting a smile on our faces with her passion for cooking.
|Madame Tan is seen in this photo posted on her Facebook profile. The Vietnamese words translate into 'Greetings, my grandchildren!'|