Monday, November 3, 2014

Hashtag A Star Is Born

Tinseltown lore has it that Hollywood starlets of days gone by were discovered at the soda counter of Schwab's on Sunset Boulevard. (Although, in reality, Lana Turner was found down the road at the Top Hat Cafe. But, I digress.)

Today's teen sensations are discovered elsewhere. Like the checkout at Target, by way of Twitter.

Just ask "Alex."

Alex's date with destiny began Sunday morning when someone tweeted a picture of him at work, bagging items for a customer. His impressive hair and adorable young mug spread like wildfire. It's only Monday now and Alex has been retweeted a million times. He's already been the subject of nearly a hundred news articles — serious, real, grownup news articles by such venerable publishers as The Washington Post, USA Today, Time and CNN.

So, who is Alex from Target? (Or, should I say #AlexFromTarget?)

Apparently, he's a kid named Alex who works at ... you guessed it ... Target.

And now, he's a superstar.

An Internet superstar, but a star none the less.

I'm reminded of the schematics the Center for Disease Control publishes when they have to explain how a virus grows into a pandemic. You start with one incident (in this case, a customer who thought her check-out boy was particularly #hot) and then she makes contact with a small group of other like-minded people. And so on. And so on.

And so on.

A young man in Texas, known to the Twitter community as @acl163 is purportedly the real Alex. He now has 397,000 followers. (For those of you in your prime like myself, a follower is a good thing.) He seems to be enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame quite a bit. And who knows where this may lead? Maybe he'll get a reality show. 

The #AlexFromTarget phenomenon is ... well, phenomenal. But, what's even more fun are the people who added a bit of creativity before they tweeted. Here are some of my favorite Alex memes for you ...

1. The "Dress Like Alex" meme

2. The Target circular meme

3. The Jerry Maguire meme

4. The "Girls Just Wanna Have Alex" meme

5. And the "This thing is bigger than both of us" meme

As a marketer, I've admired Target for many years. So, I wasn't surprised when they got into the act themselves. This morning, the superstore super chain posted the perfect response ...

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of Lovin' the Alien at  

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