5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian takes a look at the rise and fall of Ken Bone.
These days, the Internet can give you your 15 minutes of fame only to set you up to fall further and faster than you ever thought possible. It’s the world we live in, and it’s the world sweater-loving undecided voter Ken Bone has been living in the past week.
Bone quickly became a national darling after asking a question at the most recent presidential debate. Sporting a snazzy red sweater and the ultimate “everyman” demeanor, Bone delivered an actual policy question in a presidential race that has been consumed by the cult of personality. Everyone loved him for it, and so the myth of Ken Bone was born. He was a meme less than 24 hours later …
Some said it was dangerous to fall in love with a guy so soon. Others begged the internet to let him go quietly and allow everyone to have the moment they loved in the debate. But, of course, that’s not the way of things in the digital age. Next thing you know, Bone was online hawking t-shirts with his face on them. Then came the other shoe…
Bone tweeted out that he was no longer an “undecided” voter last Thursday. He had decided on … UberSelect from Uber. The country suddenly felt like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, realizing that his long awaited decoder ring only revealed a “crummy commercial.” Bone was an untarnished folk hero no more. He was a “celebrity” endorser … and folks wondered what, exactly, he was a celebrity for.
Bone stopped short of saying whether or not Uber paid him for the endorsement, but he did admit they’re “not hurling money” at him. And, according to the company, Bone’s being paid in free rides rather than cash.
Yet, what’s certain is Ken Bone’s celebrity ride is over – his time is done and his 15 minutes passed.