By now I’m sure you’ve noticed Mr. Charles Ramsey, the new online sensation.
Mr. Ramsey has gone viral because of his animated account of how he helped rescue three women in Cleveland who were kidnapped as teens and held captive for 10 years. The media and internet cannot get enough of him and his colorful storytelling. He’s become instantly meme-ilicious and autotuned.
There’s been a bit of backlash to Ramsey’s overnight celebrity, however. Some media outlets have expressed concern that Ramsey is just the latest in a series of what Slate calls the “Hilarious Black Neighbor” (an article from Yahoo struck a similar note). The thing is, though, from what I’ve seen, people seem to be genuinely appreciative of what Mr. Ramsey did. Is it wrong for people to also enjoy what appears to be an engaging and authentically animated personality? Granted, some may be laughing at him, but for the most part, people have applauded his efforts. He’s been a bright spot in an otherwise dark and sad story.
Another interesting angle to the ordeal, and one I feel is a good example of how company’s seek value in their social media posts, is a Tweet from McDonald’s:
When Ramsey recalled the story, he mentioned how he was eating “his McDonald’s” when the whole ordeal unfolded. McDonald’s Corporation, in return, praised Ramsey in a Tweet stating, “we’ll be in touch.” You better believe they mean it.
Is it wise for McDonald’s to push their connection to this story in this way? Do they run the risk of looking too opportunistic? Or, would they be foolish not to capitalize on such a feel-good news story? After all, it was Ramsey who identified himself as a loyal McDonald’s customer while in the national news for doing something heroic. What corporation wouldn’t want to prolong that type of association?