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Vine Star Jerome Jarre Says He Turned Down A $1 Million Advertising Deal

The man famous for street-prank Vines made a video about how he refused the money to stay true to his ideals and travel the world.

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You know Jerome Jarre, the 24-year-old French social media star with huge followings on Vine and Snapchat?

Well, he claimed that he just turned down the offer of $1 million from a New York advertising agency because he wanted to "stay true" to his mission of self-discovery. He posted this fascinating video last week:

View this video on YouTube

The set-up for the video is that he was invited to a big New York advertising agency (he doesn't say which one) for an important meeting.

This much is plausible. Jarre is one of the key figures in the emergent Vine scene and has 7.5 million followers.

And behind the silliness of his Vines, he's a cunning entrepreneur. He co-founded GrapeStory, a talent agency for people making waves on Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Jarre then tells his entire life story.

He's French, he was bullied at school, his dad left his mum, he used to "party way too much", he went to business school, dropped out, went to China, went to Toronto, became a tech entrepeneur, but he still couldn't figure out where his life was going.

UNTIL! He downloaded the Vine app on the day it came out. He started uploading clips of pranks and stunts, normally involving approaching someone in the street or a park and surprising them. He moved permanently to NYC and spent six months sleeping on floors and sofas. He started reaching a big audience.

And back in the meeting room, Jarre's voiceover says: "My entire life is about to change again. I am about to become a millionaire. That's when something deep down tells me to think twice."

"Is my mission in life to stay here and become a millionaire?" he asks via voiceover. "Is that my definition of success? Do I really want to sell my freedom and be told what to do with all my videos? Or do I want to be free and do whatever I want with my life?"

In the boardroom he stands up and says: "So, this doesn't feel right to me, this isn't what I want to do... I have to go, I'm sorry." And walks out.


The video ends with him flying to Mexico, where he's been uploading and appearing in Vines this week:

The video ends with this motivational message.

Neither the agency nor the brand in the meeting are named and everyone's face in the meeting except Jarre's is pixelated, and it's important to remember that Jarre is a professional self-promoter.

So it's impossible to prove yet if Jarre's story is entirely true. We have contacted him to ask for some details and will update if we get any.

But in any case, it's well told. And his feelgood philosophical message of seizing the moment is in tune with his Vines, which constantly preach the virtues of being happy and spreading love. The kind of thing 7.5 million fans can't get enough of.

Despite the hippy rhetoric though, he's a savvy, switched-on businessman.

He has an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, he's appeared on the cover of Adweek, and he's done Vine campaigns for General Electric.

If there's one thing he does know, it's how to market both himself and others – all with that irrepressible smile on his face.

Jarre told BuzzFeed News that he couldn't reveal the name of the brand or the agency in question because he would "get sued", but he insisted the offer portrayed in the video was genuine.

"But yes, real deal, real money, real companies," he said. "This is not Hollywood, this is just my life."