Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the #RomanEmpire trend took off overnight. The trend was as far-reaching as the Roman Empire itself, spurring several counter-trends and 2.6B views across TikTok alone. While traditionally all roads lead to Rome, in this case, they led to Paige Dacanay, the founder of the viral trend. Glewee sat down with Paige for an exclusive interview where she shared how the trend started and how it’s been going. Grab your tunics, togas, belts, and sandals, and prepare to journey through the annals of TikTok history with Glewee.
The Creator of the #RomanEmpire Trend
TikTok’s latest viral trend can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Well, almost. It can be traced back to Paige Dacanay who started the viral #RomanEmpire trend on TikTok. Glewee recently sat down with Paige to get a history lesson on a question that spread farther than the Roman Empire itself: “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?”
An Interview for the Ages
What began as a girl’s dinner party turned into a casual investigation when Paige’s friend announced men thought of the Roman Empire often. Taken aback by the peculiarity of this finding, Paige decided to test out the theory for herself. Starting with her father, she asked the men in her life how often they thought about the Roman Empire. Fascinated by the consistency of her results, she made a TikTok encouraging women to ask their male partners the same question. The rest is Roman TikTok history. You can catch the full interview with Paige below.
An Empire of a Trend
The topic went viral overnight, generating countless hashtags and videos about the Roman Empire across social media. To date, here are some of the hashtags that have sprouted on TikTok and their respective view counts.
- #RomanEmpireTrend 58.9M views
- #RomanEmpirePrank 8.4M views
- #RomanEmpireChallenge 3.4M views
- #RomanEmpire 1.5B views
- #TheRomanEmpire 25.5M views
- #AncientRome 623.0M views
- Total Views: 2.2B views
Google Trends also revealed a surge in “Roman Empire” queries that dominated search statistics this month:
- The “Roman Empire” secured a spot as the most searched term under “Facts”
- The first week of the viral trend saw a 600% increase in searches for the “Roman Empire”
- The number of searches for the “Roman Empire” was the highest it had been in 10 years
Crossing Media Borders
The trend transcended social media and made national news. The Washington Post, CNN, The Today Show, CBS News, Time Magazine, and Fox News reported on the phenomenon, with many taking part in the trend themselves. US Weekly DMed male celebrities (like Shaquille O’Neal and Landon Barker) asking them how often the Roman Empire crossed their minds.
It didn’t stop there. Many other celebrities joined independently, with notable participants like:
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@parishilton Carter’s take on the Roman Empire. My takeaway? Togas. 😂 #RomanEmpire ♬ original sound – ParisHilton
@hannahkbrown Never once do I think of such things. How is this real?! #romanempire ♬ original sound – Hannah Brown
@trishlikefish88 Adorable 😍 @Moses ♬ original sound – trishapaytas
@kirakosarin “theres so much to think about!” #romanempire ♬ original sound – Kira Kosarin
Like the Roman Empire, it kept growing. Soon, the NFL got in the game, with teams like the LA Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Baltimore Ravens stitching Paige’s TikTok and playing it up on their social media channels.
@chargers mike dub is no average man #lachargers #romanempire #nfl #mikewilliams ♬ original sound – los angeles chargers
It even popped up in pop culture. Chucky used it to promote its upcoming season on TikTok.
@chuckyisreal get with the fckn program #chucky #tvseries #romanempiretrend #romanempire ♬ original sound – Chucky
The trend also produced several counter-trends, each almost as large as the original. One trend revolved around the female equivalent of the Roman Empire:
@annenbergmedia What do girls think about on a regular basis? #romanempire ♬ original sound – Annenberg Media
When in Rome, Brands Followed Suit
Brands of all kinds hopped on the chariot too. Panera Bread launched a menu inspired by the trend. WWE entered their gladiator Roman Reigns into the trend ring. Trojan Condoms, Ganni, and Stanley shared their versions of the Roman Empire, further proving the trend’s universal, inclusive, and versatile nature.
@ganni_official buckle ballerinas > roman empire #TikTokFashion #buckleballerina #romanempire ♬ original sound – GANNI
United Airlines had a flash sale with discounted tickets to Rome and announced it by stitching Paige’s original video on TikTok.
@united #stitch with @TheHapaGirl daily flights to Rome on sale starting at $561, so they can stop thinking about it and just go there. #RomanEmpire #RomanEmpireTrend #Rome #FlightDeal #UnitedAirlines #Travel #fyp #greenscreen ♬ original sound – United Airlines
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Build Your Brand Empire
It took the Roman Empire centuries to scale. Had their emperors used Glewee, Rome would have spread much farther and faster. Luckily for empire enthusiasts today, we are not in ancient times. If you’re a Brand owner looking to scale rapidly, come out of Late Antiquity and into the digital age with Glewee, your all-in-one influencer marketing platform. Free to join and easy to use, you can launch your first campaign with Brand-fit Creators in under two minutes. With viral Creators like Paige on your team, expansion opportunities are endless. As the Romans would say, carpe diem!