Comedians are often known for brutal honesty, including, or perhaps especially, when it comes to marketing.
So when Michael Ian Black, of “The State” and “Ed,” shared an uncharacteristically joke-free tweet
about beer brand Dos Equis’ “Legend of You” app with his 1.9 million followers, people knew something was fishy. They asked Black why that tweet seemed so weird, and he answered them:
Many of the other tweets in the thread are too crass and expletive-laden to reproduce here, but a few expressed anger at both Dos Equis and Black for bringing advertising into a user’s Twitter timeline, others wondered why Dos Equis would associate itself with a comedian who has written jokes about 9/11.
In 2011, Aflac quite publicly fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried from his job as the voice of its spokesduck
after he tweeted jokes about the earthquake that hit Japan that March.
After Black's Dos Equis tweet, model Chrissy Tiegen jumped into the fray and argued that “anyone would copy and paste a tweet for 5,000 dollars.” That led to the two celebs posting fake ads for Gillette razors.
To his credit, Black responded to many of the tweets he received in reply to the initial ad, but not a whole lot of them were favorable to him or to Dos Equis. By the end of the conversation, the chatter had moved away from Dos Equis completely, and on to jokes about an entirely different brand that didn’t pay anyone a dime.
When it comes to comedians and sponsored tweets, brands might want to consider whether they’re getting their money’s worth.
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.