Charlie Sheen: Data Beats Emotion

The Results Are In (Updated 3/15/11):

There’s been a great deal of interest in our first endorsement campaign with Charlie Sheen, so we wanted to let you know how it is performing.

The 1st endorsement tweet – sent on behalf of Internships.com – went out at 1:03 p.m. March 7, 2011.

As Internships.com announced today via the 2nd endorsement tweet, the results are as follows. The initial tweet generated:

– 95,333 clicks in the 1st hour

– 412,000 clicks in 48 hours (see the Bit.ly data by cutting and pasting into a browser: http://bit.ly/hykQQF+ )

– A worldwide trending topic #TigerBloodIntern

– 74,040 applications for the internship in the first three days — now up over 82,000

– Applications from 181 countries

– 1,035,021 unique visitors to Internships.com, according to internal Omniture data (subtracting normal & affiliate traffic).

On Monday morning, Internships.com was a start-up with a good product.  By Tuesday morning, it was a brand with a promising future.

Success on this scale is rare to achieve outside of a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad. But with 1,000 celebrities available to endorse brands in social media, Super Bowl moments have become much more accessible and measureable.

And frankly, after 24,000 endorsements over the past 12 months, these results are not surprising. Celebrities are the driving force in social media.  Celebrities are the new prime time.

Brands know they need to get their arms around social media.

But Marketers are overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change, and the array of high-priced consultants and high-touch solutions that don’t scale. This confusion has been holding back ad budgets.

We created Ad.ly as an easy way for brands to advertise efficiently and at scale on today’s dominant social media platforms via celebrities that have amassed the largest audiences and are creating compelling content.

With the rise of social media, consumers are following people.

Celebrities just happen to be the people with the largest audiences and therefore offer the greatest scale in social media.

Simply put, celebrities cut through the noise. Brands know this. They use celebrities in broadcast, outdoor and print to cut through the noise to the tune of $50 Billion per year worldwide.

The same applies to social media. Celebrity endorsements enable brands to stand out, whereas buying ads on Facebook and Twitter only makes brands part of the noise.

Ad.ly is simple, efficient and scalable.

1. Simple: Brands understand celebrity endorsements. It’s a $50B/year market. They like Ad.ly because it’s simpler and faster than a traditional endorsement deal, and because:

– We make it easy to test 10-50 celebrities per campaign (vs. betting the farm on one celebrity in a traditional deal),
– Campaigns go for 1-60 days (vs. 12-18 months in a traditional deal)
– They can start at $50-100k (vs. $1-2M in a traditional deal)
– They are easy to test and measure every step along the way – to see which celebrities and messages deliver the best results.

2. Efficient: After running 24,000 endorsements over the past year, we’ve optimized our celebrity network.

– We consistently deliver clicks in the $1-2 per-click range on every campaign.
– That’s less expensive than a Twitter Promoted trend and less time-consuming than buying Facebook ads.
– And endorsements from celebrities get a 5-10% CTR, which is 100x higher than a typical banner ad.

3. Scalable: If you bought the top 1,000 celebrities in our network, it would cost $1.1M/day.

We’ve already shown we can deliver $150k in a single day and we now have interest from brands at spending $500-800k in a single day.

So there is plenty of capacity.

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