If Celebrities are Thought Leaders, Please Just Shoot Me Now.

LinkedIn sent me an email this morning telling me not to miss out on updates from thought leaders… like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins.  Both nice guys, I am sure, and both financially successful, it would appear.

But why and under what sad set of circumstances would I care what these or any other celebrities had to say about anything important?  This particular morning, Richard Branson devoted 6 paragraphs of copy to tell me that bank branches are a good idea.  I will be sure to use that information later today.

If I am going to take the opinion of a celebrity, I much prefer Lewis Black or better still, Dave Chappelle who has this to say about celebrity thought leaders:

Stop worshipping celebrities so much. Just don’t pay attention. I remember right around September 11, Ja Rule was on MTV. Thats what they said. “We got Ja Rule on the phone. Lets see what Ja’s thoughts are on this tragedy.” Who gives a fuck what Ja Rule thinks at a time like this? This is ridiculous. I don’t wanna dance. I’m scared to death. I want some answers that Ja Rule might not have right now. You think when bad shit happens to me, Ill be in the crib like “Ohh my god this is terrible. Could somebody please find Ja Rule? Get hold of this motherfucker so I can make sense of all this. Where is Ja? Find me Ja Rule.” I don’t even know why people listen to me. I’ll say anything. I’ve done commercials for Coke and Pepsi. I don’t give a fuck what comes out of my mouth. I say what it takes. Whatever it takes, that’s what I’m saying. If you wanna know the truth, cant even taste the difference. Surprise! All I know is, Pepsi paid me most recently so… it tastes better. That’s pretty much how the game goes. I’m just being real, man. There’s too much googaa over celebrities. People don’t know what’s fake and what’s real any more.

In 1968, Andy Warhol (a celebrity of his time) said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  It appears he was correct, which means we are all celebrities and all worth listening to… or not.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.