Charlie Sheen — the current celebrity obsession — has broken a world record for “Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers.” And it was validated by the official Guinness World Records. (Is it even a “book” anymore?)
Through all of the hype and the amusing posts by @CharlieSheen, it’s easy to miss the marketing angle here. Specifically, Guinness saw a media storm and used it as an opportunity to promote their own brand. Not only that, they did it in a way that actually was relevant to their own brand. They validated a record. As of this writing, @CharlieSheen has only 30 actual tweets and 1,640,427 followers.
Seriously, when was the last time you actually thought about who held the record for anything? When was the last time (I’m assuming that you’re out of grammar school) you held the Guinness Book? Probably not recently.
Suddenly, though, we are talking about Guinness World Records because they are part of the Charlie Sheen story. Smart, timely marketing that wouldn’t have happened if they sat on the sidelines and waited. This story works because they moved quickly while the story was hot, instead of poring over market research for weeks or months.
Sheen may be an out of control celebrity, at least that’s how it appears in interviews and reports. But he’s also maximizing his time in the spotlight. Rather than ducking from the cameras, he’s speaking to them and directly to his audience. He’s promoting his personal brand and appears to be marketing himself quite well.
In the meantime, there are some companies out there figuring out ways to leverage the media coverage surrounding Charlie Sheen. They better do it now because this probably will not last forever.
Oh, and one more thing. Charlie Sheen now has 1,692,983 followers.