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Movies and Television

George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

Teens Will Cry All The Tears This Weekend Watching ‘The Fault In Our Stars’

tfiosThe movie The Fault In Our Stars opens today and it promises to be a blockbuster. Based on the successful YA book of the same name, reviews so far have been great, the stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are beautiful and charming and it has a loyal following. So loyal in fact that Buzzfeed could create this listicle of 15 “incredible tattoos” inspired by the book.

The book/movie is about 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Woodley) who is dying of lung and thyroid cancer. She goes to a group therapy session and meets 18-year-old Augustus Waters (Elgort) who has lost his leg to cancer. A once-in-a-lifetime romance ensues. And, given the circumstances, it will come to a tragic end.

Which means that all the teen girls and millennials (and OK yeah, the 35-pluses who love a good romance) who flock to see this movie will be crying all the tears that there are to cry. This is already trending on Twitter. And this is a good thing.

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Adventures in Marketing: Dothraki Language Course Is a Real Thing

Living Language Dothraki_ A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones(Paperback) Book | HBO ShopHave you ever wanted to ask out the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen, but were held back only by the language barrier? Never fear: Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones is here.

A mouthful of a name? Sure. But so are most of the names in the book series and show. The new guide to Dothraki, compiled by acclaimed language and culture consultant David J. Peterson, features over 500 words and phrases, some of which were made up exclusively for the course, and will cover everything from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation and cultural notes.

Three versions of the system (the basic package, the expanded online course, and one with a companion mobile app) will be available for your educational needs on October 7th, but all three are currently available for pre-order — because the marketers are no dummies, and likely wanted to ensure the promo was announced while the current season of the show was going strong. Read more

BAD PR: John Oliver’s GM Parody Highlights Real, Disturbing Details of Internal Company Practices

Let’s play a little game of word association, shall we? What comes to mind when you think of the following words: deathtrap; decapitating; grenade-like; powder keg; and rolling sarcophagus? If your answer to any of these is “a car made by General Motors,” then an internal GM memo specifically banning the use of these words (and over fifty others) must have failed.

This past Sunday on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver delivered a scathing breakdown of a decade’s worth of disturbing internal PR practices at GM, and then — as the final nail in the rolling sarcophagus — showed a pitch-perfect parody of a GM ad. And in case not enough people subscribe to HBO for this clip to contribute to the company’s already-sticky PR problem, the network has made the video available on YouTube (where it has already been watched almost 700,000 times).

Just like in Shakespeare, the fool often speaks the truth more boldly and honestly than anyone else, and in this case, while viewers may be laughing (we certainly are), they are most definitely not laughing with GM.

UK Retailer Sainsbury’s Has Some ’12 Years A Slave’-Inspired Fashions They’d Like To Recommend

sainsbury slaveMovies fall under the category of “entertainment,” but not every movie can be taken lightly. 12 Years a Slave clearly falls in this more serious subcategory.

British retailer Sainsbury’s is selling copies of the Oscar-winning movie on DVD. The store also thought it would be a good idea to do a little cross-promotion. So they set up a mannequin right next to the movie display in a 12 Years a Slave-inspired yoga outfit with cropped pants and a tunic. A Twitter user snapped the photo at right, and we have ourselves a brand new and totally insensitive PR fail.

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A Show Called ‘Selfie’ Is Coming and It’s Probably Going To Be Pretty Bad

selfieWe’re getting all sorts of sneak peeks at the TV shows coming out of the network upfronts. And one that caught our eye was Selfie for three reasons: it stars John Cho; he plays a marketing expert; and it looks like it’s going to be bad.

A play on My Fair Lady, the show is about a narcissistic selfie-taker named Eliza (Karen Gillan from Dr. Who) who wants to be remade, Pygmalion style, into a better person with some help from Cho (Henry Higgins). Sounds like the plot of a TV movie rather than a whole series because at some point the transformation will be complete right? But the trailer tells us that our protagonist is in such a bad way that simple things, like the common courtesy of knowing the name of a woman that you pass at the office every day, need to be relearned.

A million sighs. Really, I need John Cho to win. He was an excellent Sulu in Star Trek and though he has a recurring role on Sleepy Hollow, he’s kind of dead on that show. (If you watch the show, you know what we mean.) But we’re afraid this is not the vehicle for winning.

Moreover, a marketing specialist can do a lot of things, but they’re not magicians.

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In Case You’re Wondering Why Your Twitter Feed Has Turned Into the #DarkestTimeline…

childish gambino communityIt was announced today that the NBC comedy Community has been cancelled after five seasons. The #darkesttimeline is a reference to a tagline that ended an episode of the show in season three.

Cast members have taken to Twitter one after another to thank fans and make the announcement about the show. The fans themselves have also added #RIPCommunity and #SixSeasonsAndAMovie to the list of associated hashtags.

Mashable says the show producer, Sony Pictures TV, can try and pitch the show to places like Netflix and Hulu.

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Twitter Getting Tons Of Free PR from Jon Favreau’s New Movie ‘Chef’

chef movieJon Favreau, the man behind blockbusters like Iron Man, has a non-CGI’d movie coming to theaters today. But it’s not completely devoid of technology.

Favreau is the Chef of the title. He quits his job at a Los Angeles restaurant and opens a food truck with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and his friend (John Leguizamo). Along the way, he goes off on a food critic via Twitter, which leads to a confrontation that goes viral. And Favreau’s son in the movie also uses Twitter to help build his new food truck business.

Besides all the references to social platform, there’s also a special visual when Twitter is used.

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HGTV Ditches Plans For New Program After Website Reveals Hosts Are Anti-Everything

benham brosPerhaps hoping to avoid a Duck Dynasty controversy remix, HGTV has decided to dump its plans for a new show hosted by twin brothers David and Jason Benham after a news story revealed anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-choice statements.

The series was to be called Flip It Forward. The Benhams were going to help families buy a fixer-upper home and give it a redesign with a little bit of sibling rivalry tossed in for good measure. The show was announced last month.

However, the network got wind of a story that appeared on Right Wing Watch revealing that “at least one of the Benhams” is “a dedicated right-wing activist in the mold of his father, Flip Benham, who has headed the abortion-clinic protest group Operation Save America ever since it split from the militant anti-choice group Operation Rescue.”

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‘Spider-Man’ Spins a Web of Feel Good to Go With Your Summer Movie Blockbuster

spider man be amazingThe latest installment in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise is opening in the US in a few days. So of course the cast has been traveling around the world promoting the summer blockbuster, appearing on TV talk shows and red carpets across the globe. In addition to the traditional movie promo stuff, there’s the “Be Amazing” campaign where the cast — Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx — travel to various locations doing volunteer work and taking snapshots with young fans.

The film’s “Be Amazing” Pinterest board is filled with photos of the cast hanging out with kids, drawing murals and generally having a good time. Then you get this sort of publicity – a world famous actor photographed with children who love the superhero character he plays, getting a chance to dress in a cute costume and live out a little fantasy.

It all makes you wonder why more of the summer popcorn movies haven’t tried to add a philanthropic component to the premiere world tour. Or maybe they have and we just haven’t heard too much about it? If it’s the latter that’s both a shame and a missed opportunity.

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