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

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In