TikTok, music duo Get together Shirt desires to finish Daylight Financial savings

Seasons change, and so do billboards.

The former “h” poster has a new message: “End of summer with @partyshirt”.

Last summer, the deceptively simple billboard over Alico Road hid a complicated, if good-natured, story. Naples-based teen and TikTok creator John Casterline have teamed up with LA-based music duo Party Shirt (made up of Australian-born Xavier Di Petta and California-born Nick Iavarone) to promote their single, “Dancing Tonight.”

‘H’:The story behind the billboard

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John Casterline, 16, of Naples, poses for a portrait in front of a billboard showing only a lowercase h off Alico Road in Fort Myers on Thursday, July 2, 2020.  Casterline, which has roughly 213,000 followers on Tik Tok, started a trend on the platform that culminated in LA-based music duo Party Shirt, which was paid for the ad

Party Shirt offered Casterline a deal: If he could help get their single to a target of 420,069 plays on Spotify by July 1, they’d pay for the billboard. Long story short, they didn’t hit the target back then, but Casterline’s popularity on the video sharing platform he posts @ h1t1 under his handle has exploded. Since July 2020 it has grown from 213,000 followers to over 3 million. (And today “Dancing Tonight” alone has more than 1 million streams.)

For their part, Party Shirt gained even more followers (they now have 20 million followers on TikTok) through a series of “fact or cap” videos experimenting with themed viral videos to see if they were. right or wrong.

Di Petta said that after pondering some of their achievements, he and Iavarone thought about what cause or effort they would like to support. They opted for mental health, but wanted to dig deeper into the underlying cause that both Di Petta and Iavarone were facing.

“When summer time ends in November, seasonal depression gets my ass,” said Di Petta.

He wouldn’t be alone: ​​A 2017 study published in Epidemiology by the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology tracked the relationship between the transition from summer to standard time and episodes of depression. It found, in part, that the transition was associated with an increase in the incidence rate of depressive episodes.

“Distress associated with the sudden advance of sunset, which marks the coming of a long period of short days, could explain this result,” the abstract of the study said.

A billboard on Alico Road near US 41 advocates the end of daylight saving time on Friday, September 10, 2021.

Party Shirt bought back the billboard with a more meaningful, if less cryptic message than “h”: The message is part of a campaign they are working on to end summer time. The ultimate goal is to bring the issue to the national level and eliminate the practice of “falling back” from calendars across the country.

“If we can do that, I’ll find it unbelievable,” said Di Petta. “I think we can all do it together.”

Before:Summertime: Falling back, still jumping forward – this could change that in Florida

“We” includes Casterline who called Di Petta to ask him to revisit the updated billboard to create more content and capitalize on his own following.

“We are so blessed to have this type of platform to run fundraisers or speak out,” said Casterline. “It’s great and we have to take advantage of it.”

It’s also a poignant reminder of the strength of the younger generation, said Casterline.

“I want you to know how powerful this generation, these younger generations, really are and how much we are capable of,” he said. “People don’t know how much a video or a post can affect a person’s whole life.”

Maybe one day the sun will never set again at 5 p.m. – and maybe you can thank TikTok for that.

Andrew Atkins writes about food and features for the Naples Daily News. Contact him by email at andrew.atkins@naplesnews.com. To support work like Andrew’s, please consider subscribing: https://cm.naplesnews.com/specialoffer/

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