'Doing this opened my mind to how awesome old people are and how cool they live their lives,' Ross Smith revealed.
Ross Smith was in college at the University of Dayton in Ohio when he first started putting out content in the form of 6-second videos on Vine. Although he amassed a sizable following on his own, one particular video featuring his grandmother, Pauline "Granny" Kana, hit all the right notes for internet users. The pair was comedic gold and soon became a notable name in social media circles. "My brand just turned into me and Granny taking over the world," Smith told CNBC. Today, Ross and Granny have more than 2.6 million followers on Instagram and a whopping 11 million on Facebook.
Speaking of what makes Smith and Granny's pairing such a hit, 9GAG’s head of sales and business development, Russell Schneider said: "Ross is like a young man next door. It's very rare for us to see a grandmother and grandson grow close and have fun with each other like BFFs. It's this cross-generational BFF relationship that makes them so special." While being a viral sensation does have its perks, for Granny, the most valuable part of the experience is being around her grandson and learning about him throughout the process. "He's easygoing, happy-go-lucky," she said. "He likes to try everything, and everything just seems to fall in place."
Meanwhile, Smith has also gotten to learn a lot from his grandmother over the years of making internet content. For example, she won't throw away milk when they go on vacation, he explained. Instead, she puts it in the freezer for three weeks because she grew up poor and "back in the day that was precious food and drink," he said. This habit of hers has taught him to value material things more, Smith revealed. "Honestly most people – and I was probably one of those people at the time – don't have respect for the elderly," he said. "Once you're old, you kind of go away and go to a nursing home. Doing this opened my mind to how awesome old people are and how cool they live their lives. They appreciate the small things we don't appreciate in this fast-paced advertising industry-based life."
Here are some of our favorite photos of Smith and Granny rocking some amazing costumes: