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Business Strategy 102: "Winning" Like Charlie Sheen

Last updated 7 years ago

There's something to be said about Charlie Sheen. Okay, these days there is plenty to be said about him. And, while Mr Sheen may appear a bit off his rocker, there is a distinct business strategy to be learned from his recent crazy antics.

By no means am I suggesting that you should entertain the idea of mimicking his crazy shennanigans; instead, I am suggesting that you create a business strategy based on the outrageous factor.

In 2 weeks time, Charlie Sheen's outrageous factor has garnered him the following:

  • over 2 Million Twitter followers (since March 1, 2011);
  • over 58,000 video hits on his initial Sheen's Korner Episode 1 (posted on March 5, 2011);
  • interviews on the Today Show, Good Morning America and many others,
  • renewed popularity; and
  • continuous buzz across all age groups, social media outlets and water coolers around the globe.

If you were a fan of Two & a Half Men you may have occasionally dabbled in some Sheen conversation but think about how many people are spreading the "buzz" on him now. Wouldn't you love free publicity like Charlie's?

Take a cue from Charlie Sheen and capture media attention with the unusual or outrageous. If the press grabs hold of your innovative marketing strategy not only do you have your brand positioned as innovative but you will also have it amplified with the power and crediblity of the press.

Not sure what "outrageous" or "unusual" looks like? Here are some memorable examples:

  • David Lettermen's Top Ten Lists
  • Pepsi putting their rival's product (Coke) in their commercials
  • Creating a niche dating site like
  • Renaming a town in Oregon with your business name like did

(examples from


Unusual and outrageous marketing grab pop-culture attention and give people currency - currency to talk about your brand. You want people to talk about you!

As buzzmarketing expert Mark Hughes says, "when you create a buzz in the media, people want to know what all the buzz is about...capturing the attention of the media is valuable, but marketing plus media buzz is priceless."

No matter how great your advertisements are, media attention shares two essential components in terms of word-of-mouth marketing (fyi: this is your strongest form of advertising): attention and credibility.

Disagree? When was the last time you bought a magazine to read the advertisements? What are you more likely to believe Ford saying how great their cars are or your local newspaper columnist or Anne Curry on the Today Show?

Still not a believer? Check out Charlie Sheens stats again (see above). Even if those don't grab your attention, turn on your TV, I can guarantee you can find a show that is talking about him. Go to Twitter - I bet you can find "Charlie Sheen" or "#winning" as a top trend.

While you don't want to come off like a raving lunatic like Charlie, you can take some pointers off his outrageous and unusual strategy. Look how much attention he's receiving; wouldn't it be great to get even a slice of that attention for your business?


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