Thursday, April 06, 2006

Puppet On Chain

Celebrities who fear that they may be reaching the twilight zone of their career have much to learn from cartoonist and comedian from Minnesota, Aric McKeown

His is possibly a great way to get the fan base to pay for their soon to fade idols. This is much bigger than reality TV. I can imagine the mass hysteria that will overtake India if it were possible that anyone could SMS their votes for what Amitabh Bacchan would have for breakfast that morning. Better still buy out the competition and popular vote so he ate something of their choosing.

As fans up their ante to have the puranpoli score over rava dosa and poori sabzi, Bacchan would be laughing all the way to the bank. I'm expecting that he would webcast or podcast himself eating what his fans have either voted or paid for him to eat. So once the puranpoli has won, there are deals to made for five star restaurants who seek his endorsement of their version of the recipe. With some luck the purveyors of silverware, china, table linens and the like could gain brand cred and the star some serious money. In every pixel of screen realestate there is hidden potential.

An idol that becomes a puppet in the hands of their adoring fans is the stuff of dreams. In being able to remote control their idol there is both a sense of empowerment and an intimate connection, a combination that fans are highly likely to pay for. Stars who have already faded into oblivion could gain a fresh lease of life and come out of bankruptcy to boot. There is always nostalgia to be cashed as long as any of their fan base is still alive.

Anyway I look at it, this is an idea with potential and it may not be long before some VCs pony up the funds to have the web and mobile interfaces built to take this show on the road.

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