Joe Exotic VS the Coronavirus

Niraj Sharma |
 04/02/20 |
5 min read

Joe Exotic vs coronavirusIn times of pandemic you need distraction to keep a level of normalcy in your life. Enter Joe Exotic, who is only one charismatic leap from our current surreal state, to another more deliciously seasoned consomme of mind-blowing realities. There will be no spoilers here, but instead we will peel back some of the layers to reveal how Tiger King is meeting consumer’s need of distraction, and how your brand can do the same!

The Emotional Toll of Staying Inside

We are getting more squirrely by the minute.  As days turn into weeks, consumers are inventing new ways to entertain themselves. Creating memes and sharing them via social media appears to be a preferred pastime to feel human connection, and to find humor in an otherwise unfunny situation.


Consumers are looking for distraction from the alternate reality none of us thought we would be living in. It is here where Netflix meets us in our dismay and the Tiger King swoops in to save us from our boredom and our depression, managing to capture our hearts. So, wash your hands and get ready to be entertained by the Tiger King.


Joe Exotic Smashes Sadness

Loveable, passionate, eccentric and plain out wild are a few ways to describe our main character, Joe Exotic. The cat-loving conman that he is, dazzles us in his tiger striped sequence jackets that can be best described as Lisa Frank-esce.

Equally as dazzling as his smile and popping baby blues is Joe’s flamboyant personality. A true showman, Joe wears many masks, and is ready for anything (well, almost as you will come to see ). He woos us with his personality, his lust for life and his outright unpredictable craziness. Oddly enough, as eccentric as Joe is, he is a relatable character, perhaps we see a bit of ourselves in Joe, or know someone like him. He is a flawed human being with a big heart that battles his inner demons. With social contact at a minimum, this relation to someone as charismatic as Joe, offers a bit of comfort and of course distraction when we need it most.

And if comfort and distraction in times of coronavirus had a face, Joe Exotic would be it.  America is swooning, we can see their sentiments below.


To add to this, adoration is being captured on social media platforms everywhere, let the meme-making begin!


The Series Keeps Building Momentum and Memes

Keeping spirits up, this docuseries, trending number 1, hits it out of the ballpark and succeeds in drawing us in to episode after disastrous episode. From his country song writing, animal print wearing mind, his utterly bonkers roadside zoo was born. The strangest cast of characters find themselves drawn to Oklahoma, where a Bermuda Triangle of eccentricities, jealousy, big cats and yes, even suspicions of murder take place. The plot thickens and you are riveted to your screen.

From consumers to Hollywood stars, everyone is posting about it. David Spade has interviews with almost every person from the docuseries, and Dax Shepherd insists he should be cast in the impending biopic.


Even Cardi B attempted to start a Go Fund Me to get Joe Exotic out of prison, proving just how far The Tiger Kings influence can reach. And using a little Social Listening, we can see how Netflix consumers feel:


The odds are ever in Joe’s favor. Though, when we create a Brand Passion Index, equally flamboyant wildlife enthusiast and habitat operator, Doc Antle is who the masses truly love. On a sentiment scale that goes from -100 to 100 and passion intensity range from 0-100, we see Joe capturing the conversation; Doc Antle capturing their love; and, Carole Baskins their ire (to put it kindly):

  • Doc Antle: Sentiment: 89 / Passion Intensity: 98 = love
  • Joe Exotic: Sentiment: 42 / Passion Intensity 63 = lukewarm like
  • Carole Baskins: Sentiment: -82 / Passion Intensity: 100 = hate


The World Needs More Joe Exoticness

The truth, we need more ‘Joe’ in our lives. Americans are feeling a bit blind sighted by the lack of clarity surrounding the Coronavirus. Frustrated, Diana Adama, an American citizen in Wuhan, China explained that “Americans have been sitting here with no information and no knowledge.” We can see top subjects searched as well as media coverage on Americans frustrations.


All this confusion creates an opportune platform for something as awe inspiring and crazy as the Tiger King, and we need more of it! With smiles abundant this gun totin’ polygamist talks openly about what he thinks and feels, an honesty that is refreshing in the face of clouded coronavirus information. But one of the best lessons taken away from this docuseries is that Joe Exotic, is a master marketer.

He is unbashful and brazen, offering lessons brands can emulate: Here is Business According to The Tiger King (as far as we can see).

Keep it real

Always himself, Joe never lies to us about what he is selling, himself. He is his own brand and honesty goes a long way when a brand misses its mark. From Dove Soap to Zuckerburg brands have failed. By using social engagement strategies you can find out what the public wants when a brand crisis strikes so that your company can make  a genuine attempt to heal or fix what has been broken.

Take risks

It’s safe to say Joe’s middle name should be Risk. Calculated risks, in particular, can pay off! Especially if you can keep an eye on your consumer rapport. Using social listening can be a great way to see your brand as your consumers do. Below we can see the positives (and negatives) people feel for our sparkling dark horse of a hero, Joe.


Do good deeds and be known for them

Just as Joe spent hours promoting his love and care for his cats, so are top brands looking after their consumers needs by reaching out and doing their part during the coronavirus outbreak.Brands like Microsoft, Louis Vuitton and Sweetgreen are donating time, money and materials to fight the pandemic and aid the community.

Brand perception is everything – guard it (brand health)

The health of your brand is in your hands. You can’t control how consumers react to your product, but you can get sneak peeks into what they are thinking and how they are responding to your company by using social analytics. Brand Health is important. Joe Exotic said, “I went to work every day prepared to die in a tiger cage.” He, just like business all around the globe, couldn’t afford to let his brand be seen in a bad light, he came to the fight knowing the strengths of his competitors and what was important to his consumers.

If you want to know more about how to relate to, support and dazzle consumers by adding a bit of Tiger King genius, reach out for a demo!

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