28 August 2012

Twitter What Ted Said – How to win friends and influence people

Twitter What Ted Said

Ted and some new friends

Twitter What Ted Said

In the oh-so-sincere, perma-smile world of Hollywood, nobody was expecting on Twitter What Ted Said. We’re all too used to actors speaking in glowing terms about their co-stars while espousing the ‘artistic resonance’ of their latest special effects smorgasbord. So, it makes a refreshing change to discover a potty-mouthed thespian using social media to drop f-bombs about his new movie while disparaging rival releases.

Admittedly, the star of comedy-bromance ‘Ted’ is a CGI teddy-bear rather than a flesh’n’blood film icon. But perhaps Ted’s ursine nature is precisely what made his opening message to the Twitterverse. “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go f*** yourself”, quite so unexpected.

The tweet came via the Universal Pictures’ Twitter account @WhatTedSaid. It was penned by Alec Sulkin, co-writer of the movie with Seth MacFarlane. Ted’s personal profile (“Thinker Sh*tter Stoner Spy”) was no less in-yer-face.

Tweeted just a few days before the premiere of the first official Ted trailer, the message quickly went viral and followers flocked in. A cussing cuddly toy. I mean, what could possibly be funnier? A cult was born. To date @WhatTedSaid has gathered approaching 500,000 followers. That cunning ploy by Universal has helped the film draw a mammoth $320m running global gross. With such tweeting so ‘fur’ so good for a flick which cost as little as $50m to shoot.

Twitter What Ted Said: Ted’s controversial tweet feed which also contains gems such as “Somebody with t*ts squeeze me” and “Do I get to have s*x with that chick from Brave now?” did have one drawback. The Motion Picture Association of America refused to allow Universal to plug the Twitter account on posters and commercial. After all, they couldn’t have kiddies getting the wrong end of the stick now, could they?

Rounding-out its innovative social media presence, Ted was also bestowed a bustling Facebook page. The page encouraged people to superimpose images of the belligerent bear on to their own ‘night out’ photos.

If the Ted Twitter phenomenon proves anything, it’s that controversy is as good a sales tool today as it’s ever been. Also that it’s important to think laterally when designing a social media presence for yourself, your business or your product.

By channeling the spirit of the outspoken teddy into a fully-fledged tweeter. One able to swap barbs with fellow members of the Twitter community. Universal got everyone talking and converted Ted from a might-see film to a must-see film.

Twitter What Ted Said – Even the uppity bear himself couldn’t complain about that in 144 characters, surely?