Confused? You’re not alone, but I’ll shed some light on that which I can.
Continuing with past habits of making up words “Blogalysis” can be described as analysis of a topic via blog, which will undoubtedly be composed of mainly superfluous verbiage, obscure digressions, and unsubstantiated opinions, with just a sprinkle of valuable insight hidden among the abstractions. So here goes, official blogalysis, take 1.
If you haven’t been living under the proverbial rock this past week, you have undoubtedly heard the new buzzword(s) “Tiger Blood” referenced within the inane, hyperbolic, drug induced ramblings of Bud Fox AKA Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn AKA Charlie Harper AKA Carlos Irwin Estévez AKA Charlie Sheen (bonus points if you know which of these is his real name). Ok, so the exact nature of said comments is still under debate, with some considering Chuck’s comments as a fully conscious portrayal of an uncensored character that is Charlie Sheen. Personally, I can’t say I completely disagree. But I’m not here to argue the merit of such comments, but to relate the commentator (and possibly explain his meteoric rise to Klout Valhalla) to a recent trend I’ve witnessed catch on in the arena of advertising, as a real world personification of characters increasingly utilized by major brands as advocates to hawk their product in whatever sensational, absurd world it is that they all reside together.
First, some social media stats:
Following my last post, urging loyal adherents to follow me on Twitter (@JDWhittington) and bump up my Klout, I was encouraged to see my score bump up 45% in two weeks. Following repeated rants and being axed from network televisions highest watched show, Sir Charles has seen his Klout rise from ZERO to 93, by my calculations, an increase of approximately infinity %.
I hope by now, my blog notwithstanding, everyone understands how big the Sheenomenon has become. I would contend that this series of events, although Sheenomenal, was not completely unforeSheen (Ok I’m done), and recent trends in advertising may have paved the way for such a character to gain unimaginable popularity in such a short period of time. I will deem this trend: the “Invasion of Caricatures of Oneself” (catchy right?). “Caricature” can be defined as “exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics” (Thanks Merriam and Webster, I love any definition that utilizes the word “ludicrous”). Recently, through the advertisement of countless brands (well at least 6 I can count), we have been exposed to these caricatures as fictitious brand ambassadors, praising the features of their products/services, almost as much as they praise their own well, ludicrous, selves. Here are the case studies:
The Old Spice Man: possibly the most well-known of the genre
Keith Stone: possibly the only “man” who think Keystone is smooth
John Jameson: a less “in your face” approach, making the premise seem almost mythical
Buddy Mignon: a more viral focused effort, as he remains the unnamed crooner in Taco Bell’s commercials
Naomi Price & William Shatner: Priceline has rolled out almost 3 of these characters, including Captain Kirk. This seems to be the only feminine representation
Most Interesting Man in the World: possibly the originator of them all, and probably the spark for Dos Equis being the “most liked” beer brand on Facebook (narrowly edging Bud Light). He doesn’t always drink beer… so don’t trust his opinions on beer
As you witness, these personalities pretty much follow the same model, which is where the Sheen Bean comes in. Same recipe, with a dash of real life existence thrown in! But look even closer, and we see this in more places. Reality TV: with “Jersey Shore” overtaking “The Real World” as MTV’s marquee reality TV show, how much of this is even reality anymore? These aren’t regular, everyday strangers, as the original Real World was advertised, but masquerading fictional caricatures of everything terrible about that stretch of fake beach in New Jersey. Professional Athletics: with athletes like “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” -LeBron James, “I think I’m the best fighter ever. I respect Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. But as of now, I feel I’m the best.” -Floyd Mayweather, and “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon” –Cam Newton when we used to idolize Barry Sanders for his sportsmanship and John Stockton because his doppelganger any goofy soccer dad.
Now, instead of identifying with somewhat “real people” like Jared from Subway, we want to be entertained by a character who really stands out. But only way they can be heard through the noise in an age when any fool with a web-cam and Twitter can make a racket, is by screaming the loudest, and banging together some pots and pans while they’re at it. It’s the same reason we flock to Charlie and his Tiger Blood, Goddesses, ustream rants of self proclaimed genius. It’s different, it’s new, it’s almost refreshing (well not the blood, literally).
So for now, keep it coming Charlie, and whomever else. Not that I necessarily agree with the ideology, or enjoy the content, but simply that I’m cautiously curious as to the precedent this behavior sets; and to what new lengths one will need to go in order to differentiate oneself from this new assembly of caricatures. That is, of course, unless the captain of #TeamSheen himself, actually is insane. (This video is convincing) Although I’ve heard it said… “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” And I measure success exclusively by one’s Klout score.
Not just #Winning, #Dominating,