The X games’ creative juices are usually saved for the athletes. They come up with unique tricks with their skateboards, bikes and other ‘extreme’ vehicles to win events in this strictly made-for-TV spectacle. But this past weekend, the social media side of the X games got clever, too. Thus came Human Twitter. Todd Wasserman from Mashable writes that the ad agency of Weiden + Kennedy came up with the Human Twitter idea. Twitter users watching the X games were able to tweet thoughts with the hashtag #humantwitter, and a select few were turned into signs by 160 humans at the X games. It was 160 instead of the Twitter-specific 140 because the agency didn’t want words to be separated between lines. (Clearly, the person holding the G in the top line needs to step up his or her game). Neither ESPN or the ad agency profited from this new idea, since nothing was being advertised. A representative from Wieden was quoted saying that it was meant to be a “fun, interactive experience that ESPN wanted to do”.
Far too often, networks have tried too hard to get in on the Twitter lingo. Nearly every awards show or live televised non-sporting event has had a hashtag at the bottom of the screen, urging users to tweet about what they’re watching. This always seems desperate. It’s as if the network executives are a bunch of stuffy 60 year olds that are trying to dress hip and cool like today’s teenagers. They’re totally hip, dawg! They’re down with the Bieber! They know what the Twitter is! The routine gets old, quick. But this actually feels genuine. It’s obviously a shameless way to get the Twitter audience involved in the X games, but there’s something inherently cool about putting what you write on your laptop onto the signboards of people thousands of miles away. This gimmick will get tired quickly if it keeps happening. There’s no doubt about that. But for now? Why not?