Sheen Profiteering Not Just a Twitter Thing

spiritairlines.jpg

We've reported on the companies that are cashing in on Charlie Sheen mania on Twitter, but corporate marketing schemers aren't confining their efforts to the short messaging service. Spirit Airlines, for one, is using Sheen's themes in its latest e-mail blast advertising the "Living the Dream Sale: Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA Not Required."

Spirit, as Jezebel's Irin Carmon pointed out on Twitter, has a history of tasteless e-mail bombs, including plays on the oil spill and (really?!) muff diving. For shame!

I'm cataloging all these for you because I think this is a fascinating marketing story. All these companies are trying to figure out how close they can get to the Charlie Sheen flame (err, jet fighter) without getting burned. Notice that this Spirit Airlines ad doesn't even mention the name Charlie Sheen but merely drops his memetic gifts into its language.

It's another version of buying the promoted tweet for the hashtag #Winning on Twitter and then running an ad on it that doesn't reference Sheen at all. All the brand association for a self-selecting audience, none of the risk that you look awful when Sheen is committed or does something heinous. In corporate speak, that's a win-win! In Madrigal speak, it's cowardly and parasitic.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In