Is Charlie Sheen a marketing genius?

With a dizzying total of more than 2,200,000Twitter followers in a little over a week Charlie (aka Tiger Blood) Sheen has reset the bar for attracting attention and gaining social media status. Now terming himself “Born small…Winning…Now Huge…Bring It!…unemployed winner…”, the apparent slow moving train wreck that was Charlie Sheen appears to have been a rocket ship in disguise.

Since nearly all of us know the story I’m not going to explore how Mr. Sheen got to this point other than to say that prior to last week he was more in the running for ‘celebrity moron of the year’ than he was ‘marketer of the year.” BTW – In my book Mel Gibson still has a good chance of retaining his title as celebrity moron of the year. But Mr. Sheen has been able to parlay a bizarre anti-hero status into an endorsement business and is now a paid promotion’ engineer’.

Mr. Sheen would have you believe that he – much like Jessica Rabbit ‘isn’t bad – I’m just drawn that way’. An article in Tuesday’s NY Times highlighted the idea that Mr. Sheen has been ‘coached’ and directed. So what? If Mr. Sheen is smart enough to have professional marketing people help him leverage his newfound super-fame I suggest he is far from crazy. Now that he has been fired from ‘Two and a Half Men’ (does this mean Jon Cryer is now starring in ‘One and a Half Men’?), he is free to make movies or whatever he wants to do on Twitter or anywhere else. And the $ 10 million owed to him for the balance of his CBS contract for ‘Two and a Half Men’ will probably have to be settled since his agent claims he is ready, willing and able to work. And for what it is worth he has always shown up for work despite whatever trials and tribulations he has suffered. So he is likely to get paid a substantial sum for NOT doing the show unless CBS has a change of heart. Talk about the catbird’s seat.

I don’t admire Charlie Sheen. He’s obviously got some issues going on but the notion that he is out of his mind is out of bounds. But I am intrigued with this case study on how to maximize your reach in the shortest amount of time. He has leveraged recent events about as much as could be possible and I am betting more opportunities will come his way. Will he be able to answer the bell? Nobody knows for sure least of all Mr. Sheen. But in terms of increasing awareness and becoming his own brand sensation (might he be the anti-brand?) Mr. Sheen appears to be thumbing his nose at just about everyone while having a very good time doing it.

Is Charlie Sheen a marketing genius? What do you think? Mr. Sheen has had way more than his fifteen minutes. My question is what will he do for an encore?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
This entry was posted in Communication, Entertainment, Marketing stuff, Media, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Is Charlie Sheen a marketing genius?

  1. Mac Hewett says:

    I think he is marketing himself quite brilliantly. Personally, I am a bit tired of the “Charlie has serious problems” nonsense going on in the media and blogosphere. Does anyone REALLY know if this guy is cracking up? I doubt it.
    I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t have problems. But if he does have problems, that only seems to make him more brilliant, because he has turned them into a sensation. I’m not sure what this would look like longterm, but getting 2 million twitter followers overnight by screaming “tiger blood” and the like is impressive. I have posted satirically on the same topic on my blog at http://bit­.ly/eCSxaR . Thanks for the read.


  2. Maura says:

    I hate to admit this- or perhaps I relish it in only trusted company, but I secretly love to listen to this guy talk. There’s Kirouac in them thar hills. There’s some awfully un-PC logic as well…Regarding his choice in Goddesses – He says that going for porn stars is rather time efficient – cuts out all the small talk… who can argue with that?…Think really hard about that one…People spend a lot of time devising passive aggressive ways to figure out if someone will “go for” their particular style of sexuality – this guy just checks their “resume” click – rewind – click – decision made … days… months saved… hmmm. Look, I’m as progressive as the next urban-married-20 years-mom-artist, but in this day and age, so beyond the -“I think the smacking-around-the-wife-thing and doing-crack-thing definitely bites and aren’t on my reality planet and may not even be in his”- but the rest honey… is sheer art.
    Now, I’ll just recess into my little world of guilty ex-catholic angst and petty shit about hating to have to be the one to sleep in the middle and get on with it!;)

    Charlie is Pan!… there’s some sick intellectual enjoyment there…Take it all with a bucket of salt…


    • markkolier says:

      Un PC would be an understatement. But that’s part of the allure for many people – not including myself in that group however. Thanks for the read and the comment.


  3. Chris McTague says:

    Mark — the fact that you asked the question on your marketing blog suggests that it is genius because even the ‘experts’ are still asking the question.

    Think about what marketing really is supposed to do… Reach potential targets with a memorable message in a cost effective way.

    Check, check, check. Sheen is the newest interactive agency — and his competititors should take note.


    • markkolier says:

      Interesting point Chris that Charlie Sheen is his own interactive agency – that thought did cross my mind as well but you did a good job of highlighting it when you mentioned his competitors. But I who truly encompasses his competitiors?


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