Pop & Circumstance: Tweet cease is the new hunger strikeBy Allison Berger | December 3rd, 2010 | 1 Comment »
Have you heard? Kim Kardashian is “dead.”
Kardashian, along with other pop-tastic celebrities like Lady Gaga, Usher, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys have sacrificed their digital lives to “give real life to millions of others affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India,” or so the slogan goes.
Until $1 million is raised for Keys’ charity “Keep a Child Alive,” these celeb Facebook and Twitter accounts will “die” with a freeze on status updates and tweets.
This innovative, if not odd campaign, aptly titled “Digital Life Sacrifice,” began on Wednesday (Dec. 1) and will continue until enough money is raised from fans via $10 text messages and QR code technology.
“Keep a Child Alive” is the first charity to to use the barcode technology available on smart phones to raise money for their cause. The scannable images, also called QR codes, are emblazoned across the chests of each celebrity in the charity’s “Buy Life” campaign advertisements.
Part of Kardashian’s “last tweet and testament” consists of a TwitPic that shows her all dolled up and ready to go in a coffin with the words “I’m digitally dying tonight. Please buy my life back! Let’s save lives! I will miss you! #WorldsAIDSDay” written beneath it.
Insensitive? Nah. Creepy? Yes.
So, um, how much money is a Kardashian tweet worth to you? What if those tweets were sprinkled with a charitable donation? Would you care?
A similarly silly celeb campaign that turned out to be surprisingly effective was TwitChange, the eBay listings that raised half a million dollars for “aHomeInHaiti.” Diehard fans bid thousands of dollars to win personalized tweets, retweets and followings from their favorite celebrities. Celebs were contracted to “follow” their fans for 90 days. After that, it was back to guarded narcissism.
Which really makes you wonder: how self-absorbed of a celebrity do you need to be to think that your fans will pay their hard-earned cash just to listen to you tweet about what you ate for breakfast? Better yet, why don’t these wealthy celebrities just donate the money themselves and “tweet” about it, effectively cutting out the middle man?
Because then, we’d lose interest.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a Pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.