Michelle Stafford, who played Phyllis on Y&R before leaving to create The Stafford Project, was doing a Spreecast web chat live from her bed this morning. When host Arthur Kade started reading questions from fans, pretty much the greatest moment of my life happened. You can see the video here, scrub ahead to 13:30.
Here’s a transcript:
Michelle Stafford: “KEVIN! YOU’RE SO! I LOVE KEVIN! I LOVE HIM!”
To recap, that’s Hollywood actress Michelle Stafford screaming my name in bed.
I’ll let you pick your jaw up off the floor.
[pauses for effect]
Why is a Hollywood actress screaming my name? Let’s go back to yesterday when I ranted against an article from some lifehacker who wants everyone to stop watching television because, among other silly assertions, he thinks it robs us of social interaction. I rightly obliterated his argument with examples of how watching television actually increases social interactions thru social media. This is an example of one type of interaction I left out.
On her Twitter account, @therealstafford has a running joke about guys who do random things being “bad in the sack.”
So yesterday when she tweeted her misgivings about hairless cats:
I could only respond:
Which got a nice response that will surely boost my Klout score:
LOLs were had, retweets were made, good fun all around. Since this happened only a day ago, presumably she remembered or recognized my avatar in the chat stream today and could only think to exclaim gleefully upon seeing it, as many women tend to do. Either way it was very cool for me as a viewer that a celebrity from a show I watch would make a note of me. And that’s why I love Twitter.
Thanks to Twitter, stars and fans can interact in a way they never could. While some celebrities have purely promotional accounts, many television stars use theirs exactly the way Twitter is meant to be used: to interact. Stafford is one example, many of her former colleagues on Y&R are, too. As a Y&R fan for almost two decades, I was over the moon the first time Joshua Morrow replied to one of my tweets. Nick Newman the person talked to me!
That was so cool that I decided to embark on a mission to get every Y&R star who is on Twitter to respond to one of my tweets without pathetically begging for a retweet like so many losers do. I hate crap like that. Instead, I decided I would show you can get celebrities to respond to you by simply tweeting good stuff. Instead of treating them like OMG CELEBRITIES! I responded to their tweets the way I would respond to anyone else in my feed.
The results have been a blast. To date, at least 8 Y&R actors have responded to one of my tweets.
Most of the time it’s a simple “Ha!” or “LOL” and there’s nothing wrong with that. The goal is a response. The result is an even stronger bond with the show, or in Stafford’s case, a bond strengthened enough to follow her career to her next project. Had there been no Twitter and Phyllis got shipped to an island medical clinic off the coast of Georgia for coma patients I likely would not have bothered to figure out where the actress went.
When I decided to embark on getting a response from my favorite Y&R stars, I certainly didn’t anticipate it would result in one of them screaming my name in bed. That’s what Twitter can do, that’s what television can do. It is what makes it a great tool for social interaction and a powerful tool for marketers. What happens with TV stars happens countless times every day with brands helping customers solve a problem or right a wrong. It means sales, good will, and word-of-mouth advertising that no television commercial can buy. In politics we motivated candidates and volunteers by telling them the most trusted endorsement of a candidate comes from a voter’s friend, neighbor or relative. Twitter gives brands the opportunity for that endorsement. Delta lost my luggage but their Twitter assist team tracked it down and got it back for me.
So back to our lifehacker who is busy practicing kung fu or hanging out with his “girlfriend.” Watching television isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a sin. It’s entertainment and there is social interaction.
Keep watching, keep tweeting.