April 18, 2009

Ashton Kutcher’s 1 Million Twitter Followers: Yes, its a PR Stunt.

By admin

As you should probably know by now, Ashton Kutcher beat CNN to reach 1 million Twitter followers. But he didn’t just do it with the web. Lamar, the third largest billboard company in the US donated 1,133 digital billboards advertising Kutcher’s Twitter profile. This amounts to 34 million impressions.

Some say it’s just a PR stunt to promote Twitter, CNN and even Oprah. I was never under the illusion that it was anything else but that. Come on, Kutcher is a celebrity. The whole deal about the race being an exercise in social media triumph over old media is not entirely accurate.

Not everyone is a celebrity, not everyone has a company putting up over a thousand billboards promoting your profile. Yes, everyone has a voice through social media but not every voice is amplified. Not everyone has a large audience.

But in the end, it’s always good for some charity to benefit from the result of PR campaigns like this. And if the fans were entertained, well they may have gotten what they wanted. I just think that the whole debacle was framed as a heroic triumph when its not that big a deal.

Having said that, it’s worth noting that this is the first time ever a Twitter profile was advertised in offline media, as least on such a prevalent basis.