Pulling Power — Pete Davidson Shows The Path To True Engagement

Harry Lang
4 min readDec 1, 2022

Pete Davidson isn’t ugly. The SNL comedian and actor has the kind of boyish looks that would’ve got him I.D’d well into his twenties and a canvas of random, mismatched tattoos that suggest a drumming career cut short mid-rudiment. He’s kookily androgynous, in a small town, bar-keep-hero kind of way.

And yet Davidson has a pulling track record that would put Hollywood’s finest swordsmiths of the Golden Age to shame.

Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsale, Margaret Qualley, Kaia Gerber, Phoebe Dynevor, Kim Kardashian to name but a few. He recently added underwear model Emily Ratajkowski to his roster, surely completing the hetero male dating version of Top Trumps.

It’s a bedpost notch list that in days gone by would’ve seemed unfeasible for a guy like him — a teenager’s pipe dream. But no — Davidson used his languid Staten Island drawl and disaffected teen demeanour to close them all. Despite carrying the air of a student stoner at the wrong end of an overdrawn electricity bill (who’s had to choose between operating the washing machine or the microwave), he’s become infamous as a louche lothario shopping in the Champs Elysee with a TK Maxx gift card.

He’s got such massive game his image is likely taped to a million dartboards in incel bedrooms around the world.

So how does he do it? What makes him so special? What’s his secret?

What Davidson is so effortlessly achieving in his love life is what brand marketers try (and frequently fail) to do every single day:- to maximise what they’ve got to work with. To aim for the stars and hit the sun. And to get Mayfair results on a Tower Hamlets budget.

Be Funny

Top of the list is the obvious — he’s a comedian, and a good one. His languid delivery and topical rejoinders give him an immediate edge over every other guy in the room. For brands, especially on organic channels, the capacity to make people smile, even laugh, is gold dust. It immediately starts the brand/ buyer relationship on a positive note, it impresses intelligence and leaves warm memories of time well spent.

Self Depreciation

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Harry Lang

VP of Marketing at Kwalee. Author of 'Brands, Bandwagons & Bullshit' - a guidebook to how marketing, advertising, media and PR work.