Friday, December 19, 2008

Jason Sadler a.k.a. Goes Live

I just think this is fascinating. Jason Sadler wears your branded shirt for the price of whatever day in 2009 he wears it (e.g., January 1st is $1, December 31st is $365). The shirt can depict anything you want, as long as it's not too profane or inappropriate. He doesn't pimp your company out loud, necessarily, unless he feels like it. Buyers can request he salsa dance or do ten push-ups while wearing the shirt, but again the extras are up to his whim.

To get your brand seen, Jason:
And whatever else comes to mind.

The live stream he did today, which ran four hours in length, was an interactive bonanza. His viewership averaged a steady 150 throughout the live stream, many of whom chatted with each other and with him in real time. He showed us his closet with the 365 hangers. He shorted out his ceiling fan in his apartment. He got his girlfriend's family on the phone to do some promo shoutouts for

...and everybody just more-or-less had a goofy time of it.

People are excited about Jason's ploy. Yes, it's a transparent scheme to get money in a troubled economy, but that's what's so endearing about it. He's just a guy. He uses words like "sweet" and "awesome" to promote your brand. Not that this is all that new. For years people have been tattooing brand names on their skulls, selling their bodies as billboards to guerilla marketing firms, and so on. What's different about Jason's idea is the era in which it is taking place.

Twitter, Facebook, the proliferation of live personal video streaming--all this is relatively new, and even less understood as a marketing medium. The business colleges and universities of the world continue to hold onto traditional marketing for dear life, if only to safeguard their graying jobs. As print newspaper models (see the Tribune Company) plummet in profitability, social media is a wide open field. In these early stages of social media, little guys can profit. Give it a few years, and we'll all likely be shoved out of the way by the mega-conglomerates. The whole dream of an open Internet will become but a collective longing for a bygone era.

That bygone era is NOW. Jason Sadler is using it while he can, and so should you and I. As for Jason's project itself, I suspect it is going to command a lot of ink in the (dying) print media. As I said, this is not a new idea, but his execution is mesmerizing for its interactive capabilities. I myself plopped a few comments into the chat stream while he was running his live promo today, and he responded on camera immediately, laughing along with his viewers.

No day is safe from Jason's campaign. Christmas Day has already been sold. He'll even wear your shirt if he has a wedding or funeral to attend.

Jason doesn't mind making a fool of himself. He's already sold the shirtspace on his back to half a year's worth of companies. The Royal Botanical Gardens already bought a week's worth of shirt-wearing, and they're even flying him to London for a good time. All told he is poised to make about $66,000 in 2009. With the backing of his day job and a few hundred early followers/fans, he should be able to raise the price in 2010.

Now that's creative marketing. At this point he could spin this into anything he wants. So what if you call him a corporate whore. You and I both know it's brilliant.