Ellen is Brilliant

If you don’t already know it, Ellen DeGeneres is a brilliant marketer. Today, she did something very original on her show. She has over 1 million followers on Twitter (including me). Over the past few days she has been Twittering with students at Tulane University. Today, she announced a special promotion on the show.

So, she Twittered the students at Tulane and told them that the first student to meet her representative at the Red Freckle statue with a 6 pack and a student ID would win a trip to visit the show. In less than 2 minutes (yes 2 minutes), students appeared at the statue with a 6 pack. You can see the segment at http://ellen.warnerbros.com .

So why is that brilliant? Think about it. Ellen has now proved that she can change consumer behavior using social media. Even more compelling is that she now has an audience of 1 million+ people that she can communicate with whether they are watching her show or not. In the clip for the Tulane/Twitter promotion, she plugs several of her advertisers including X-box and Nike. Trust me, she is getting paid for contextual advertising. Note that at almost every show, she gives away products for her advertisers and her audience responds by buying more of what she is giving away.

If you don’t think Twitter makes sense or is just a fad, go ahead and think that. Ellen clearly proves otherwise.