If a celebrity stops tweeting does anyone care?
The short answer is – no.
When a bunch of celebrities took part in a “Digital Death” campaign to raise a million dollars for the Keep a Child Alive charity they totally missed the mark. The celebs agreed that they would “kill” themselves on social media until they raised they $1,000,000. They expected it would take 1 day.
Did you catch that? They agreed that they would remain silent until the money magically appeared from their followers being so desperate to here their daily updates that they would donate.
“The world’s top celebrities are sacrificing their digital lives to give real life to millions of people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India,” the campaign initially stated. “That means no more Twitter or Facebook updates from any of them. No more knowing where they are, what they had for dinner, or what interesting things are happening in their lives. From here on out, they’re dead. Kaput. Finished.”
The campaign sputtered right out of the gate. They started on December 1st and it raised less than $100,000 after the first 24 hours. Day two raised about $180,000.
By the end of day 5, the celebrities hadn’t even pulled in half their goal. Now some cracks started to appear.
Serena Williams didn’t stay all that dead and tweeted out that she needed help… and that she would be appearing on the Home Shopping Network.
For a celebrity like Kim Kardashian who can earn $10,000 per tweet, this was a bad situation.
Finally Stewart Rahr donated $500,000 so that the celebs could get back to Tweeting and Facebooking.
So what are the take-aways from this horribly managed campaign?
- Going silent is a bad way to raise money
- Nobody notices one less person in their Twitter stream
- Celebrities will only stay dead as long as it’s convenient for them
The social economy is an attention economy. These celebrities and whoever dreamed up the “dead” part of this campaign failed because they completely removed themselves from that economy. Celebrities are considered celebrities because the media covers them and they self-promote.
This campaign reminds me of when McLean Stevenson left tv’s most popular show to work on better projects but ended up in The Cat from Outer Space.