Emma gets appy…by becoming a man

A few months ago, I had an idea to create a fun iPhone app. I can’t give too much away yet as it’s in production…but I can reveal how it’s evolved.

The app is going to focus on a comedy character I’ve created. I figured that I should use social media to get some buzz going around the character before the app goes live. I thought a good idea would be to create a Twitter account for the character, start tweeting and just see what happens. By using social media networks such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook I wanted to see the power of viral marketing for myself. I’ve already had a lot of experience in creating viral marketing tools (the spoof London Underground announcements I did in 2007, along with the talking fridge magnet game – both in the ‘fun’ section of my website – still remain the most popular pages on my site) so I was really interested to see how this project would unfold.

Reader, I’ve created a monster. In just three weeks on Twitter my comedy character has 900 followers. I’ve done 600 tweets so it’s a good tweet-to-follower ratio too. I’m really chuffed with the momentum that’s being created.

When I started to create the character I thought about all the most loved characters in British comedy: Del Boy, Blackadder, David Brent, Mr Bean, Basil Fawlty etc and I used them as a starting point. Essentially, I wanted my character to be a lovable loser, and I knew that for the app to work it HAD to be a man. Creatively, this is really interesting for me. I’ve found that I actually quite like pretending to be a man. But enough about my Friday nights…

I came up with the concept of Bobby Goldenrod. His Twitter profile reads: International style icon and inspirational romance coach, Bobby Goldenrod’s lurve chat will almost certainly pump up your love life.

 “Had a phone call from a woman who can’t get enough of me. She phones at all hours and says the same thing; “hello, are you in debt?” So, so caring.” Bobby Goldenrod


Bobby is a cheesy lounge-lizard kind of guy who’s stuck in the 1970s. He honestly believes he’s irresistible to women and is a beacon of sexiness. That was the starting point anyway. As he’s evolved, Bobby Goldenrod has become a fully-formed personality. He yearns for affection and approval and doesn’t really care who he gets it from; he’s addicted to watching celebrity fitness DVDs for kicks; he’s vulnerable and deluded; he’s still devastated over the break-up of his last relationship with a woman called Carole, with whom he went out for three weeks five years ago; he has a habit of approaching the checkout girl in his local Co-op and keeps being escorted out of the shop by the security man; he’s extremely socially awkward; he’s an habitual online dater; he has a penchant for Wotsits and Pot Noodles; he has a past history of stalking from which we understand he’s fully rehabilitated; he’s obsessed with his hair; he drives a Fiesta which in his mind is a Cosworth…So many character traits have emerged. And he loves dispensing “lurve advice” through his Twitter account.

“Woke up smelling of biscuits.  It’s that spray  tan. It messes with my musk.” Bobby Goldenrod

Bobby has his own jargon, his own key phrases and uses hashtags a lot. (stuff like #lurvemedication, #lurvefail and #lurvemane). It’s interesting to see how Bobby’s followers are using these hashtags and the word ‘lurve’ in their tweets; Bobby’s “lurve skills” seem to be contagious…or at least he’s infecting people with something…People have really bought into Bobby’s world; some Tweeters really seem to think he’s a real person which, in a sense, he is.

The face and body of Bobby

Obviously I needed a willing bloke to pretend to be Bobby for a photo shoot and in vision in ‘viral’ videos. Who could I turn to? Well, I didn’t have to look far. Funnyman colleague and international voiceover sensation. Rich Sweetman was more than happy to fill the role. And boy, did he fill the role.

Have a look at some of the pictures we took for Bobby’s Flickr photostream last week.

And here’s Bobby’s video debut on YouTube which has just been released today.

Rich loves being Bobby. We have more videos planned and Rich is even talking about starting to do a bit of body-building (Bobby-building?) to tone up for the next shoot.

“Just eaten some cheese. Bit worried I might have one of “those” dreams about Theresa May again.” Bobby Goldenrod


Three days after I started Tweeting as Bobby I think I had about 75 followers and then spontaneously, a follower started a Facebook fan page. I was bloody delighted. I contacted her and came clean, telling her that I’M Bobby (at first she seemed disappointed but handled it very well) and she kindly added me as an administrator so I could help manage the page. This page is used to post photos, videos and all things ‘Bobby.’

“Off to the gym to hone  #lurve muscles. Also to get leaflet about  the Bums ‘n’ Tumsclass. #essential” Bobby Goldenrod


The app company I’m working with are really pleased with how the project is taking shape. With the social media marketing back-up, it means the app (when it’s ready) will already have lots of potential customers.

To follow Bobby Goldenrod and join in the fun, follow @BobbyGoldenrod on Twitter .

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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