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Social Media Theater: What a Twitter-Savvy Playwright Can Teach Brand Advertisers

Chinaka Hodge, a Bay Area poet and playwright, is using blogs and Twitter not only to stay in touch with fans of her work — she’s using social media to shape characters and scenes before they debut on stage. When the fans help create the characters, there’s a high likelihood those fans will be more engaged in the final product.

It’s an approach smart brands are using, too. Brands like Asus (see WePC project) are enlisting customers to shape product design. Others, like Old Spice, are sending “commercial characters” like Old Spice Man into social media to have real conversations with potential customers in ways that create viral hoopla, sure, but — more importantly — make a brand pitchman more human. As we begin to view Old Spice Man as a real guy, one who’s friends with someone we know (see his video get-well card to Kevin Rose), we’re a whole lot more likely to tune into his funny commercials. Next thing you know, we will all want to smell like him.

Kevin Tweets About Great Old Spice Ads

More on social media theater at Boing Boing, in a guest post by Youth Radio producer (and my wife!) Lissa Soep.