By all accounts, I would say that Charlie Sheen is winning. He is getting an amazing amount of exposure from his recent online rants, tweets, and talk show/guest appearances.
And to keep the feeding frenzy alive, major media outlets have been there to report every detail and to discuss what makes Charlie tick…. Or at least offer a warning that he is a ticking time bomb that might explode any minute. No such thing as bad press…
I offer another scenario. There is no denying that it wasn’t a “stretch” for Charlie Sheen to play his character on 2 ½ men. I think we were seeing his real personality, albeit scripted for television, every week.
What we saw streaming online was the more Real and Raw Charlie… but Charlie nonetheless. And now that he has taken his show on the road and looks like main-stream media, (television), is interested in having him return. Winning indeed.
From the perspective of one who has coached sports teams for many years, I know there is nothing worse than having to constantly discipline a kid who won’t conform or might influence his teammates with his bad behavior. It is hard to complain, however, when that kid shows up for games and helps his team have a winning season. Charlie Sheen has been giving his coaches, (movie and TV studio execs), many winning seasons. They have milked his talent to line their own pockets for years. They are even doing it now by exploiting his drinking problem showing commercials to promote previous episodes of 2 ½ Men.
I think Charlie is a pioneer… In the sense that he recognizes online marketing really does have an audience for his brand of entertainment… and realized how to capitalize on that fact. He no longer works “for the man”… He is calling his own shots.
I think what Charlie Sheen has done has made him the “artist internet marketing poster child.” By promoting himself through the internet, he has given hope to all the frustrated musicians, actors, writers and other artists out there who are at the mercy of those in control of media distribution. No longer is an artist required to have a company control them and retain the rights to all material that artist creates… Look at how Taylor Swift was found… via You Tube. There was also a recent story about a college grad trying to make ends meet. She started publishing her stories online, they went viral, and she ended up making a lot of money without the help of those big distribution moguls. Internet marketing has brought the distribution power to the people.
Just because the power to distribute content via the internet has made its way to us common folk still does not guarantee immediate success. Charlie is an online marketing success because he was already famous and was given a lot of publicity before he ventured into cyberspace. But what he did do is prime the pump for average consumers to become twitter followers and even online streaming video watchers; stuff those consumers never would have considered before. Paradigm shifts like this have happened before… like the explosive demand for VCR’s brought on by controllable, (stop, rewind, start), pornography that could be watched at home. This lead to consumer demand for all types of watchable media and Blockbuster became a household word. Now Netflix is becoming the distributor of video content via high-speed internet. But the difference is that these companies are still in control of distribution. When Charlie Sheen bypassed those in control of distribution, he showed us that it is possible to do the same.
There is a growing internet audience looking for media, goods and services online. This means it is more important than ever to be where “the eyeballs are” if you are an artist or even a business. Just like the artist, a business no longer has to rely on limited distribution channels owned by publishers like yellow pages or any other media outlet. No longer will a business be left in the dark on how their internet marketing is doing…. Who is looking at my online store? What are they looking at? How effective were my coupon codes? Where do I need to market my products? All of this information is available on the internet and can be gathered by any savvy person or with the help of an SEM company. It is helping the small business survive… companies thrive… and Corporations embracing online marketing, super-size. (Google + CBS?)