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Magic Cyclops on American Idol, a Fun Lesson in Social Media

UPDATE (1/30/2012 1:00 pm CST)  We just learned from an official source that Magic Cyclops’ performance on American Idol had nothing to do with B100.  Magic Cyclops created the character “Magic Cyclops” himself without any contribution from B100.   Our information was based on B100’s Facebook post and a local newspaper article, we saw the results of their effort and decided to write this marketing commentary.  Again, at the time this article was written we were under the impression based on information provided by B100 that they in fact did have a relationship with Magic Cyclops and had an active part in his performance on American Idol.  We never had any intention of somehow causing problems for Magic Cyclops by affiliating him with B100 and the information they provided stating that is was not a real audition.  We extend our most sincere apologies to Magic Cyclops and his fans for this mix-up and misinformation.

Earlier this week on Fox’s American Idol there was a person who showed up to the Aspen Auditions billing himself as “Magic Cyclops”, he spoke with a British accent, wore a bandanna that said “Magic” and claimed to hail from Davenport, Iowa.  The audition was awful and ended with the judges all walking out of the audition (it should be noted this was supposedly the last audition of the day).

Being a Davenport native and still residing in the larger community of the Quad Cities (which Davenport is a significant part of) I found a lot humor in this audition.  Facebook and Twitter went crazy talking about this guy.  Whether the comments by viewers were happy or angry…they were talking.  Then we come to find out a local morning radio show “Red Hot Bryan Scott &  Tony Tone” were the culprits.  On Thursday morning they posted the following status to their All Hits B100 Facebook page : “Americas been punked…by us…we finally got our friend Scott Fuller aka “Magic Cyclops” to give D-port a shout last night on American Idol…nice work!!!!! we owe you!”.

It turns out that Bryan Scott and Tony Tone are friends with Scott Fuller of Denver, they met him five years ago and devised this plan to get him on American Idol and perform this character.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  “why is a web development company posting about American Idol?  Are they trying to cash in on some free web traffic?” Not quite. There’s a lesson to all of this.  This is what I would classify as “offline promotion” meaning, it was promotion about their show off their normal medium…radio.  They use Social Media very intensely for the promotion of their show and to engage with their friends.  The result for B100’s morning show after this Idol performance was publicity, they were being interviewed, people were calling in to the show and their Facebook page was blowing up with comments from listeners.

Am I suggesting to drive traffic to your business you con someone into going on American Idol?  Not at all, but you have to find unique and interesting ways to get people’s attention “offline” and they will certainly talk about it online.

On a bit of a side note, I think what they did was hilarious.  There were a lot of people making comments about how it puts Davenport and the Quad Cities in a bad light.  No, it doesn’t.  I seriously doubt there was someone out there watching American Idol, saw that performance and said “I can’t believe how stupid people in Davenport are, let’s cancel our summer vacation to Davenport!”.    If you are actually planning on taking a vacation or visit to the Quad Cities for some reason, the performance of a goofball on American Idol isn’t going to change your mind.  I also seriously doubt anyone is sitting there watching the show and Googling every city that the contestants are from.

Kudos to Brian and Tony, I don’t know if it was simply for the fun of it or for the publicity…or even a combination.  Either way, good job guys.

Here’s a video of that performance

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