Meet The Dude With Sign
Unless you’ve been under a rock all year, or just NEVER use the internet, you’ve likely seen “The Dude With Sign”. He’s on Instagram mainly but we found him via Imgur posts. Now he’s everywhere.
In October 2019, Seth Phillips and Jerry Media founder Elliot Tebele, took to the streets of New York City’s SoHo neighborhood to hold a cardboard sign with a simple protest, ?Stop replying-all to company-wide emails.?
The photo was originally just for Tebele’s Instagram account, but after sharing the second protest saying, ?Seinfeld is way better than Friends? (HILARIOUS!!!) in front of a ?Friends? billboard, an online following began brewing and Phillips and Tebele realized they needed to create an account specifically for these protests.
Thus, the @dudewithsign Instagram account was created. Within four months, the account grew to reach more than 4 million followers.
The initial on-the-street reactions to his protests started simple with a few giggles here and there, but as the follower count grew, as did his real-life popularity.
?The corner usually fills up with people within minutes, and everyone has their phones out,? Phillips told me via email. ?When I’m finished, a lot of people will ask to take pictures with me or videos, which is still something to get used to. It’s a very strange feeling, but it also kind of cracks me up that people are seeing me as a famous person for holding up cardboard signs.?
Phillips is a content creator for the board game What Do You Meme and Instagram meme account @f*ckjerry. In 2018, Jerry Media, owner of What Do You Meme and @f*ckjerry, got in hot water following the ?disastrous Fyre Fest,? and prompted calls to cancel the @f*ckjerry brand. Despite the public relations trouble, Jerry Media continues, as well as @dudewithsign. According to Phillips, @dudewithsign gets protest ideas from his work environment and coworkers.
?So we work in a pretty funny and creative space so once the account kicked off, more ideas came in from the team,? Phillips told me. ?When creating the protests, we try to come up with something funny that is relatable that people don’t particularly talk about. We try to have each of these elements while appealing to every type of person, which is a big part of why I think the account has accumulated as many followers as it has.?
Before moving to New York City to work for What Do You Meme, 24-year-old Phillips traveled throughout Australia following graduating from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas with a degree in marketing. Despite being from Hawley, Texas, a small town of 650 people where most of his family still lives, Phillips is enjoying the Big Apple.
?I fell in love with the company, and with New York, so I made the move,? Phillips told me. ?New York was a bit of a shock, but it’s such a trip and I’m having the best time.?
The @dudewithsign brand has grown past the 4 million followers into a page with sponsorships, like Old Spice. In January, Phillips and several of his cardboard signs appeared on The Ellen Show to help Ellen DeGeneres with her opening monologue.
When asked what his future and that of the account holds, Phillips told CrazyGurl, ?I’m still trying to figure [the future] out. Maybe continue making funny accounts? There are interesting opportunities that I would have never imagined coming my way with this all the time. Right now I’m kind of just riding the wave, dipping my toes in different things. Ellen, for example, was something cool that got me really interested in how television works. I’m just learning, doing my best, and meeting awesome people and I’m confident something awesome will come my way.?
Well, keep it up Dude, keep it up…
Brought to you by the bitch that cares the most – CrazyGurl