The Charlie Sheen Effect
What is Charlie up to?
We have all heard about Charlie Sheen and his recent hilarious and sometimes dangerous shenanigans. Although I can’t help but envy his accepted polygamous ways, I think he is on a downward spiral… Wait a minute… no, no he’s not. He may be in fact “winning” just as much as he claims he is. I doubt he has tiger blood, but this guy really knows what’s up.
People may say he’s a fool for basically getting himself fired from Two and a Half Men, but actually, he’s genius.
Charlie is actually tri-winning: he gets paid to tweet, sells out live shows, and may very well win his lawsuit. It is reported that he receives over $50,000 per tweet to his over 2.5 million user audience. This represents a new record for the most money per tweet by a celebrity. His live shows all sold out within minutes, obviously resulting in more cash. If he wins his court case, that will give him another $100 million (although obviously a lot of that will be spent for legal fees). But for the sake of fun, lets say he does get $100 million, that’s the equivalent of 50 $2 million episodes. Winning.
So although he has no steady job, the guy makes tonnes of money while committing a fraction of the time working. Not only that, Charlie Sheen is an even greater commodity. Yes he is risky to work with, but frankly, if there was a new Charlie Sheen TV show out (rumoured to be a new HBO show with him in it?), I would definitely watch it, and I didn’t even watch Two and a Half Men. Moreover, he has a TLC special in the making, so I guess that makes him quad-winning.
Interestingly enough, he is looking for a ‘social media intern’ and has posted the job on internships.com (I’m not going to make the link because they have gotten enough traffic as it is from this). I don’t know how much of the paid internship will involve actual work or how much cocaine will be supplied, but I applied regardless and made it to the second round. Hopefully he gives me a party manual. Fact is, over 70,000 people applied, and Internships received over a million unique hits.
The Charlie Sheen Effect
This all brings me to the point of this article, what I call ‘the Charlie Sheen Effect’. Essentially, this builds on the old saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. With the Charlie Sheen effect, mass ridiculousness results in mass interest. Humans are more entertained by comedy than they are of bad news. That explains why Charlie Sheen has gotten more media coverage than the uprisings in Bahrain (‘where?’), Saudi Arabia (‘you mean that oil country?’), or even Libya (‘ya, I heard something about that’). This mass interest leads to many opportunities. Everybody wants to know what’s going on with Charlie Sheen, and thus everything associated with Charlie Sheen receives benefit.
He’s not dumb, and he realizes this. I strongly doubt he actually wants to tweet, but he has recognized the benefits and has been capitalizing. You think Bree Olson, sorry, Rachel Oberlin, actually loves Charlie? Maybe, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she is just with him to bust, oops, boost her career. Even if she didn’t make a living off of having sex for money (while being video recorded of course), this logic wouldn’t be a stretch for many people. Remember Kacey Jordan? Ya, that pornstar who got with Charlie before Bree, well, I bet her career has really taken off since. I may have searched her on a certain video site out of curiousity right when I heard of her from Charlie Sheen’s epic night story and there were a few videos. I may have just searched her again on that same site and there are two pages worth of videos. Well, she ditched him too early and Bree capitalized, and now Kacey has apparently become suicidal or has faked suicide to get publicity. This was discovered by her tweet suggestion she was ending her life. Furthermore, this all results in an increased valuation of Twitter. All part of the Charlie Sheen effect.
What we can learn
We can learn from this effect from two perspectives: from the ‘charlie sheen’ perspective, and from the ‘bree olson’ perspective.
The ‘Charlie Sheen’ perspective: Build hype. If you feel as though you are going to go down, go down hard as you will be more likely to bounce back up. Charlie Sheen’s earlier drug troubles caused some volatile news, but it wasn’t until recently when things got really weird that people started to get fixed. Thus, turn that bad into good by exploiting the results and always act as if you aren’t on your way down. That last point is probably why he always says ‘winning’ to ensure people that he isn’t going down, but rather building momentum to bounce even higher.
The ‘Bree Olson’ perspective: Recognize and capitalize on the hype. If you want to get your business out there, there is no better way than attaching yourself to that hype. Be careful not to endorse whatever the source of the hype is, but rather work with it. For instance, Internships.com didn’t get Charlie Sheen to ‘endorse’ the site, but rather made him a partner in business. Thus, you are essentially just benefiting from their shenanigans without any risk that may occur with traditional endorsements. To give you another example, when Tiger Woods’ after hour hobby became public knowledge, rather than businesses retreat from him, they should have gone to him. For instance, if a marriage counsellor got Tiger and what’s her name as clients, they wouldn’t be endorsing Tiger, but rather whenever somebody searched for anything related to Tiger, the article would most likely state that he is currently seeking marriage counselling from so-and-so.
So what now?
I suspect that ‘the Charlie Sheen Effect’ will have some serious business implications in the future, particularly through the use of social media, e-business, and a more interactive internet. I have a feeling that the next Robert Downey Junior or Mickey Rourke (before they got their act together) will make some money while in jail from leveraging this effect. In fact, maybe even a high profile serial killer could leverage this to make them rich while in jail (if they get computer access, which they may).