Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Usher, Serena Williams and Ryan Seacrest are going to die – or so the media buzz goes. In a high-profile charity campaign, these and other celebrities have pledged to log-off Twitter and other social media platforms to raise $1 million for Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive charity. They’re asking you to buy their lives back, and in turn buy life for the millions of children and their families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
This is an ambitious campaign, and it has been getting some bad press from those who scoff at the idea of paying to bring celebrities back to social media just to hear “about what they ate for lunch”. But there is something bigger here – social media is now part of the arsenal that celebrities can use to raise awareness and money for the causes they support.
Of course, many people will still agree that giving money to get Lady Gaga back on Twitter isn’t something they’d ever do. But this campaign isn’t really about the celebrities at all – or at least it shouldn’t be. It is about the millions of children who are orphaned because of HIV/AIDS, and the celebrity clout that is bringing the world’s attention to this tragedy is simply a vehicle to raise money.
Celebrities are some of the most influential users on Twitter, so we expect that this stunt will see some serious donations over the next few weeks from the millions of fans who miss their idols’ 140-character updates.
So, would you pay to bring Lady Gaga back to Twitter?