Marketing Lessons from Live-Tweeting “The Americans”

April 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

During a commercial break in the FX series The Americans last night, I sent a tweet that summed up my divergent opinions on the program:

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 1.30.06 PM

In fewer than 140 characters, I had been both kind and unkind (though, I hope, in a somewhat amusing way). Within two minutes, I got a surprise. The executive producer and writer of The Americans, Joel Fields, favorited my tweet. I hasten to add that I have never met Mr. Fields. He doesn’t know who I am. In truth, I didn’t know who he was until I Googled him. If I were to try to pop into his office for a chat, his assistants would call security and have me removed from the premises.

But Twitter closed the distance between us. He didn’t stop with favoriting my tweet. He proceeded to strike up a conversation:

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 1.36.33 PM

I won’t bore you with where things went from there. What’s important is that Mr. Fields broke down the normally impenetrable wall between the people who make mass entertainment and the people who watch it. He demonstrated that he has a sense of humor. Perhaps most critically of all, he more or less guaranteed that I would share the story of our interaction with hundreds of people, all of whom would wind up feeling better about him and his program.

In the world of marketing, we have a word for this kind of behavior: Smart. Not enough brands do this. And by this I mean use social media to remind consumers that brands are not monoliths; they’re made up of people. Show a little humanity to your target audience. Demonstrate that the CEO not only has a pulse, but that he can take a joke and talk in something other than “corporatespeak.” Your customers will like you because of it. They might even give you the benefit of the doubt somewhere down the road when you really need it.

All that being said, my opinion of the wigs on The Americans has not changed. I challenge you to look at the image below and tell me I’m wrong:


Entry filed under: Advertising and Marketing.

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April 2015

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