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September 24, 2012

Tracy Morgan’s Emmys Stunt

Credit: Associated Press

Whenever there’s a big televised event, such as an awards show, a sporting event, or a season finale of a popular show, there tends to be an influx of social TV conversation. The Emmys tried to use this to their advantage, and created a stunt to increase the amount of buzz on Twitter.

At one point during the show, host Jimmy Kimmel asked for a volunteer from the audience.  Once Tracy Morgan made his way to the stage, Kimmel then asked people to tweet “OMG Tracy Morgan just passed out on stage at The Emmys. Turn ABC on now!” Tracy Morgan then handed his nun chucks to Kimmel, and proceeded to lie on the ground for 10 minutes. As expected the event caused a Twitter explosion, accumulating over 60,000 tweets in 3 minutes. The announcement was made at approximately 9:12pm ET, and as you can see from the chart below, Twitter chatter surrounding The Emmys peaked right around that time.

Although stunts like this can have an impact on social TV conversations, it’s very possible that they could backfire. While The Emmys were able to make this a positive experience, things easily could have turned sour. A lot of stunts like these are extremely transparent, and fans can tell that it is only being done to create more buzz. The Emmys did a good job of turning that transparency in to a joke, making it plainly obvious that they were just shilling for tweets. If another event is going to plan a Twitter stunt, they should definitely be sure that fans will respond positively by looking at previous examples. Otherwise, they will have to deal with a lot of negative tweets and embarrassment. Although it wasn’t an event, McDonalds, #McDStories was a Twitter stunt that was one of the biggest Twitter failures of recent memory. The fast food company wanted their fans to tweet their favorite memories of McDonalds and use the #McDStories hashtag. Things quickly took a turn for the worse when people started to share their most horrific experiences at McDonalds. Before launching a full campaign promoting the hashtag, McDonalds should have planned ahead and tried to figure out if anything could go wrong.

Social Media, social tv, Twitter

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