Everyone knows what Charlie Sheen has been up to over the past few weeks. He’s a talented and award-winning actor who’s done a lot of excellent movies and TV, a natural comedian, and let’s face it, charming and good-looking, and a lot of people are captivated for one reason or another. Of course, regular interviews and stories on radio, TV, and the Web nearly every day for several weeks kept the actor at the top of the gossip charts. Regardless of however one might diagnose the situation—Charlie Sheen is clearly winning in the realm of media.
Sheen has close to 3 million Twitter followers and a new Guinness World Record thanks to the first million.
This impressive reach—especially since it belongs to an already popular/infamous celebrity—is very attractive to both advertisers and the companies that exist to connect advertisers with various media, including celebrities.
Charlie Sheen is currently a form of very popular media.
• Over 2.7 million Twitter followers
• Funny or Die video, with almost 3 million views
• Three “Charlie’s Korner” Ustream videos, each with more than a million views (The videos have since been taken down.)
• Numerous interviews on radio and TV and exponential exposure in online news and social media
It doesn’t take a wild leap of the imagination to find ways to make money from such popularity and exposure, and the unemployed winner is quickly becoming the monetized winner.
• Paid Tweets, via Ad.ly—The first for Internships.com received 412,500 clickthroughs, and Internships.com has received over 74,000 applications from 181 countries in a week’s time.
• “Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option” Show sold out within minutes—Approximately 8,600 seats, $35–$70 a ticket.
• CharlieSheen.com and LiveNation merchandise deal—T-shirts are about $20 each.
Audiences give celebrities their inherent market(ing) value, and when a celebrity does something particularly unusual, captivating, moving, or infamous, their value rises. The rise of the internet and the subsequent rise in internet marketing and internet marketing tools (i.e., social media) has provided more ways for people to tap into that value—and make money with it. Beyond guesstimates, there’s no way to know the dollar value of Charlie Sheen’s influence, but it is certainly valuable, as evidenced by the response to the photo posted in Sheen’s initial tweet.
Sheen’s photo instantly increased interest in the dairy that produced the chocolate milk in his hand and no doubt began the rush to monetize his social media presence.
Also see our previous post, The Branding of Steve Martin.