A plane flew over Manhattan with a giant 'Subscribe to PewDiePie' banner the day after PewDiePie asked his fans to stop using the meme



  • A plane flew over lower Manhattan on Monday with a banner that read “Subscribe to PewDiePie.”
  • The “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme was started as a joke hashtag based on YouTube’s most popular creator, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, competing with an Indian music label for subscribers.
  • The phrase was co-opted in two tragic instances: to deface a World War II memorial and in the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack.
  • Though Kjellberg himself called to end the meme, it has taken on a life of its own.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The battle over a top YouTuber’s name is taking to the sky: A plane flew over lower Manhattan on Monday morning carrying a banner that read “Subscribe to PewDiePie.”

The phrase is part of an ongoing meme campaign started by Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, the Swedish video creator behind the world’s most popular YouTube channel. An Indian music label, T-Series, has been challenging Kjellberg’s subscriber count in a continuous battle for top YouTube channel.

Images of the plane flying over Manhattan first surfaced on Twitter on Monday:

Notably, the phrase “Subscribe to PewDiePie” has been associated directly with two tragic events: the defacing of a World War II memorial, and it was used directly by the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter.

Because of that association, Kjellberg himself denounced the phrase and called for an end to its use over the weekend.

That apparently was not enough to stop someone from hiring a plane to promote his channel:

The creator of the giant banner appears to be an earnest superfan (who either hasn’t gotten or is disregarding PewDiePie’s message to stop using the phrase) as opposed to a troll looking to stir up trouble.

But as with so many things on the internet, it’s not entirely clear.

SEE ALSO: PewDiePie calls for end to ‘subscribe to PewDiePie’ after New Zealand mosque massacre

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei debuted foldable phones this year — here’s how these folding screens work