How viral TikTok videos helped catapult Dirty Donkey Pizza to a successful business

  • ITV News Central journalist Rachael Lewis went to meet the business owners in Alcester

A group of students who started their own business by turning an old horse box into a pizza van say their fortunes changed when their new venture went viral online.

Dirty Donkey travel to events across the Midlands selling their homemade pizzas, something they believe would not be possible without their online success.

It all started during lockdown, when the then teenagers documented themselves transforming an old horse box into a pizza van.

Fast forward two years, Jamie Morrall and Jacques Barker who are students at the University of Nottingham - and their two friends Ben Lyth and Ben Barker have had more than eight million views across their videos leading to brand partnerships.

Credit: ITV News Central

Speaking to ITV News Central about their first viral video, Jacques said: "I think I woke up one day, and it was on 50,000 views.

"We were constantly refreshing it, until it hit one million, then two million, then three million."

Their success comes as the social media marketing is growing in popularity, and experts believe this is just the start.

Sara Fleyfel from Little Media Agency in Birmingham, said: "I don't think businesses will be focussing on content that is super polished with full editing and full production.

Credit: Dirty Donkey TikTok

"It will be all about those homemade, but very authentic looking videos.

"Social media gives opportunities that could basically be life changing, something that unless you had a big budget, would never have been available before."

When it comes to the future, the boys hope to continue to grow their brand and branch out into fashion - something their followers have been asking for.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...