Thanks for Coming to Celebrate My Birthday! You Can Leave a Check at the Door.

As a child, my favorite birthday party ever was when I turned eight. My mom willingly packed 10 screaming kids into her Ford Windstar and took us to Magic Castle, a renaissance-themed recreational facility in Ohio with trampolines, batting cages, a climbing wall, video games and unlimited pizza; it was an eight-year-old’s paradise.

As an adult, I prefer low-key birthday celebrations, usually with a small group of friends going out for dinner. I tend to follow the philosophy that says it’s the people you are with, not where you are the counts (yes, I think that is a Dave Matthews Band lyric).  So when I read this article about Nick Cannon’s birthday plans, I found it hard to relate.

The New York Post reports, “Nick Cannon is looking to make a killing on his 30th birthday — reps for Mariah Carey‘s husband have sent out a mass e-mail looking for corporate sponsors to pay $25,000 for three tweets from next month’s bicoastal bash.”

OK, I get it. In today’s world of ‘My Super Sweet 16,’ over-the-top birthdays are becoming more of a staple than a spectacle. But if you have pay checks coming in for your albums, movies, and television hosting gig – not to mention you are married to a pop star who has sold over 200 million albums – do you really need to turn your party into a cash cow?

Aside from Cannon’s bold move to bring on birthday sponsors, I’d like to pose a larger question. Are three tweets from a B-level celebrity worth $25,000? Moreover, can we really price the value of a tweet?

I’m sure we could come up with a formula that would calculate the value by looking at messaging, sentiment, audience reach, influence, etc. But the truth it, it doesn’t really matter – if the offer is out there, someone will pay for it. Just as a number of brands like Pixar and Starbucks have shelled out the $100,000 for promoted tweets, it’s a logical next step for brands to start paying key influencers to tout their messaging online.

While it seems like paying for tweets will dilute the organic discussion online, I won’t fight it – as long as the brands and the paid influencers are transparent. While Nick Cannon may seem like a total sell-out after this open call for birthday sponsors, I do appreciate his full-disclosure.

So here’s to you, Nick. Happy birthday.

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Filed under Branding, Celebrity, Pop Culture, Twitter

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