Happy Birthday Betty

By Lippe Taylor / Posted on 18 January 2012

Betty White.  Is there anyone more cooler than her right now?  All these other brands, like Madonna or Chelsea Handler or Kathy Griffin, they try so hard to be cool.  And they are, but Betty White does it without even trying.

Last night NBC had a birthday party special for her.  More like a roast and retrospective actually.  It was quite good mostly because I had forgotten just how many characters she had played through the years.  Mind boggling.

As many people who honored her said, “Betty White is a national treasure.”

She also has an amazing sense of timing.  Comedic timing for sure, but also career timing (or some may call marketing).  Just in the last two years alone.  The Facebook campaign to get her to host SNL was brilliant, as was the television advertising for Snickers.  My blog post on that remains to be the second most read post I have ever written.

Last night’s special was another example of great timing.  It started with a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend, which by the way was promoted.  But it then became organic too.  Lots of mentions during The Golden Globes on Sunday, also an NBC property.

All of it really, though, to not only promote her show “Hot in Cleveland” but also to promote her candid-camera-esque new show which debuted right after the birthday special.  It’s called “Off Their Rockers.”  Betty has a team of fellow seniors who do pranks in front of unsuspecting bystanders.  It’s actually quite hysterical (I tried to catch a few minutes of it last night).

Good for her.  Comedic diva.  Marketing master.  Brilliant brand.  National treasure.  And makes it all look so natural.

What’s your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU