Corporations Try to Ride the Sheen Machine on Twitter

More

Yesterday, the Red Cross adopted Charlie Sheen's bizarre contention-turned-meme that he has "tiger blood" in a call for blood donors. "We may not collect ," the organization posted to its Twitter feed, "but we know our donors & volunteers have fierce passion for doing good! ." Fair enough, we thought, non-profits have to do what they can to stay in the public's mind.

But then we saw this tweet from McDonald's:

"Despite all the rumors there r no plans 2 bring or mcsushi 2 the US menu. We r working on a new menu item called McWinning."

Winning, if you haven't been following Sheen's linguistic innovations, is his all-purpose catchphrase to denote his awesomeness. It's one of several that companies want to cash in on. Now, Ford has purchased a promoted tweet for the Ford Focus at the top of the #Winning hashtag on Twitter, as you can see below.

winning.jpg

Poster Revolution, a poster retailer, has purchased #TigerBlood and #PlanBetter, Sheen's lamest and most The Secret-sounding invention. They're selling a particularly depressing poster with their promoted tweet. It features a Charlie Sheen face in the style of the famed Barack Obama campaign poster with the word "WINNING" written across the bottom.

This is all depressing.

Update 5:10pm: I think Ford (and future hashtag buyers) should be singled out a little bit here for some extra scorn. Here's why: in purchasing the #Winning hashtag, they get all of the benefits of celebrity endorsement (eyeballs, psychological association) without the risk that when the guy finishes losing his mind, they look bad. That's a bit craven, though I'm *sure* Ford is simply the first company that thought to do it, not the only one.

Update 3/4: As predicted, more and more companies are jumping on the #Winning hash tag.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In