Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, is taking on a new persona. Perhaps his new nickname will be Buz Stone, or Biz Stoned. His latest venture is being a pitch man for alcohol.
Russian Stolichnaya vodka has the Twitter dude pushing their brand in ads. TV, print, and digital ads for vodka will feature the entrepreneur. You?ll see two of him, kinda like when folks who?ve had a bit too much of the distilled liquid see double. And he is talking to "himself", another side effect of imbibing too much of a good thing. It is part of Stoli?s campaign "Would you have a drink with you?"
The Wall Street Journal quotes Stone as saying he saw the project as a chance to talk about how people use Twitter. Since the product he is representing in the ads is booze, it could easily be said that he is really talking about how people use liquor.
Considering that a big chunk of Twitter followers are not of legal drinking age, should Mr. Stone?s adventure in Russian refreshment be cause for concern? Drinking and alcoholism among children as young as grammar school is a problem already. Big names in every industry, as well as celebrities, are looked upon as role models by others who want to emulate their success. If Biz is pushing drinking, what is that telling those young Tweeters?
Then again, we’re not surprised to see such a turn of events. After all, just like tobacco, liquor companies often pitch their product paired with a celebrity, such as European Formula One star Lewis Hamilton, that widely advertises Johnny Walker whisky under the "pact to never drink and drive" campaign.
The money Stone gets from the liquor commercials will be poured into his non-profit organization, the Biz and Livia Stone Foundation which they intend to personally fund. Its goal is to support the arts, education, health, and environmental issues. We can hope that his efforts towards education and health take a different path than his choice of funding activities, considering his "followers".