Although the Coachella Music and Arts Festival usually maintains a lacking presence on social media, it made a serious attempt to excite its followers with this tweet. In this tweet, Coachella announces that the ticket passes for its first weekend began shipping; this is an exciting announcement in itself for those followers attending Coachella. Yet it is the picture which Coachella attaches to the tweet, that really uses pathos to appeal to the followers’ sense of humor and ethos to excite its followers.
The picture shows a cartoon depiction of one of the shark-costume-wearing backup dancers from Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Performance. Although the sharks were backup dancers, they truly stole the show for the shark on the left, dubbed ‘Left Shark’ became an Internet-culture icon due its rather humorous appearance and dancing. In Coachella’s picture, Left Shark is shown holding a package with Coachella’s logo on it, which represents the ticket passes for Coachella’s first weekend. For Coachella’s followers, this humorously suggests that Left Shark will attend Coachella, but in reality, there is an advertising message behind the photo.
Since Left Shark has become incredibly popular on the Internet after the Super Bowl, Coachella uses this Internet icon to promote itself. By suggesting that even Left Shark, a true celebrity both in real life and online, will go to Coachella, Coachella is using the popularity of Left Shark to promote the music and arts festival. The ethos here stems from Left Shark’s reputation as a celebrity from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance, and Coachella uses Left Shark as an example because it humorously appeals to its followers.
Yet its followers as a whole were not the designated target for this tweet. Coachella’s tweet was specifically aimed towards its attendees because ticket pass shipping only applies to the followers that bought Coachella tickets. Unfortunately, the call to action, which is to look out for an email with a tracking code, applies only to attendees and alienates those who are not attending Coachella. Although this may seem ineffective for Coachella’s social media campaign because it excludes a certain portion of its followers, the tweet itself is actually a success.
The tweet successfully communicates a message: people’s tickets will be arriving to them soon. The exclamation point used in, “Keep an eye out for your tracking email!” implies excitement on the festival’s behalf, and this, too, excites the target audience: those who bought the tickets. The appeals in this tweet include pathos and ethos; the pathos appears in the appeal to the followers’ sense of humor with the use of a Left Shark cartoon, and the ethos is utilized in the form of using Left Shark to promote Coachella in the photo. Surprisingly, Coachella delivers an effective tweet after a slew of impassioned, confusing posts on its social media accounts. Coachella’s use of Left Shark to promote itself and appeal to followers truly shows that not only was Left Shark the star of the Super Bowl, but also it is the star of social media.