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Pop Culture

Facebook and YouTube Remind Us What Happened in 2014

In the interest of years ending, new years beginning, and shared experiences, the two businesses that know us best (thanks, Big Data) have shared nostalgia for 2014 this week.

First, Facebook’s take: these are the things we kindly ALLOWED you to share.

This mystical “Facebook” is a bit more positive than the one we check every day, so maybe the video is part of a rebranding campaign.

Next, Google and YouTube offer their version of the year that was (which you’ve probably already seen because of course we’re a day behind on it).

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RHONJ Teresa Giudice Sues Former Lawyer, Blames Him for Jail Time

teresa-giudice

It’s official.

Someone has figured out how to get retribution for a failed legal defense — sue the attorney that failed. 

Former “Real Housewife” of New Jersey Teresa Giudice, and her betrothed Joe, are leaving the small screen for a small room including three hots and a cot. ICYMI, they are going to prison because while they claimed they were bankrupt in 2009, they kinda didn’t disclose millions of dollars of rental income they thought the U.S. government wouldn’t notice.

And now it’s the lawyer’s fault?!

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‘Rico Suave’ Says Womanizing Is ‘Expected’ in His Culture

gerardo

An old, tired cliche holds that “there’s truth in every stereotype.”

Maybe. But there is no excuse for making generalizations about an entire sociological grouping of very different people. None.

No matter how hard someone tries to paint everyone with the same brush, there is always an exception to every rule. For that reason, we shouldn’t be surprised when some 90s one-hit-wonder tries to say that his “culture” expects him to treat women like slabs of meat…and gets slammed for it on social media.

Isn’t that right, Mr. Gerardo “Rico Suave” Mejia? Read more

The Force ‘Awakens’ a Whole New Realm of Movie Publicity

Star Wars 7Marvel does it. DC Comics is learning it. Star Trek did it. But there is no movie series in history that has created the kind of hype as the Star Wars saga.

The year was 1977, and some “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerfherder” named George Lucas came up with the odd idea to begin hyping a movie months before it hit theaters.

At the time, observers considered the three-month-long teaser period even more ambitious than the movie itself, but the film did okay — it’s still number six all time on the top-grossing flick list.

That teaser campaign created a new model for publicizing movies…one closely followed by Lucas’ successor, J.J. Abrams.

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Give Thanks for Richard Sherman’s Rant Against NFL Media Relations ‘Hypocrisy’

Anyone who still doubts whether Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a sharp dude should check out this “press availability” he scheduled with fellow Seattle player Doug Baldwin yesterday.

He hits the NFL on several points regarding its hypocrisy:

  • The NFL sued Marshawn Lynch $100K for refusing to talk to the press but won’t allow players to discuss their own sponsorships
  • The league doesn’t allow players to sign deals with alcohol companies despite the fact that such companies are its own biggest sponsors
  • The league talks a good game on concussions but clearly doesn’t place the health of its players atop its priorities list

Unsurprisingly, the NFL had no response…but the Internet did!

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The Hunger Games: When Symbolism Transcends Fiction

hunger games

Today we bring you a guest post co-written by two PR professionals from LevickErin Flior, Vice President of Digital Communications and David Robinson, Fellow.

It’s a rare and mystifying event when cultural phenomenon happens. Since Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 release, audiences across the globe are again thrown into the dystopian world of Panem. However, it seems that scenes and symbols from the Hunger Games are blending with our world.

PR tactics in the movie

Throughout the series, and more prevalent in the latest installment, characters are media savvy. Before contestants or TV personalities appear on television, they are repeatedly drilled in talking points and key message themes similar to any politician running for office here in the U.S., and this comes before the hours of hair, makeup, and costume design.

The corrupt government in Panem relies heavily on propaganda videos to dispense fear mongering among the rest of the districts. During the Hunger Games through twitter-like updates, viewers are notified the instant a game contestant is no longer competing. Daily recaps of the day’s events are reviewed in a detestable Nightly News/Sports Center hybrid.

And that’s just the antagonists.

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Reporters Line Up to Quote Katy Perry

This morning we were shocked and disappointed to learn that the NFL’s official press release announcing Katy Perry as the halftime performer for Super Bowl XLIX did not include a single Katy Perry quote.

Others didn’t disappoint, though: Reuters led with “Will Katy Perry be a firework at the Super Bowl? Will she show them what she’s worth? Will she let her colors burst?”

CNN chose “Get ready to hear that voice, hear that sound — like thunder gonna shake the ground.”

For the record, we’ll go with the New York Post“The worst kept secret in the NFL is finally out.” Here’s Perry’s promo video in case you missed it last night:

Three questions:

1) What was crazier, Perry here or Taylor Swift at the AMAs?

2) Will this appearance help sell more Pepsi?

3) Most importantly, who’s paying whom?

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National Media Runs with Fake Lisa Bonet Tweet About Cosby

lisa-bonetRemember her?

For years, she was seen on posters in pre-pubescent boys’ school lockers. Lately, she may as well be seen on milk cartons because Lisa Bonet has not made much of an appearance beyond a guest spot on Portlandia and the whole “getting married to Khal Drogo” thing.

Of course, now that her former boss has encountered a wave of negative publicity, many people in the media are looking for a quote, a wink, even a shrug that may irrefutably deny or confirm the narrative. In fact, the media is so hungry for confirmation from the former Cosby Show crew that they might fail to focus on whether the “people” in question are real.

That’s exactly what happened this weekend.

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BREAKING: Music Publicists Witness Lots of Drug Use

shutterstock_171268937Yes, you read that right. This comes from a not-at-all-shocking story published last Friday in The Telegraph that elaborates on the experiences of an unnamed “press officer” who has been “working in music PR and A&R for 25 years.”

Here are some of the tales he recounts:

The singer for a band arriving in the US for the first time threatened to call it quits after receiving a package of free T-shirts. The band’s manager then “haul[ed] him up against a wall by the throat” until he reconsidered.

It gets more colorful:

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The Only #BreakTheInternet Response You Need to See

You know that a certain someone whose name we should probably include for SEO purposes managed to win the attention of everyone on and offline with a little tastefully exposed flesh this week.

BuzzFeed alone managed to turn the “event” into at least ten different blog posts, and various Internet peoples have had a good time altering the resulting images (as if they weren’t already Photoshopped enough).

Inevitably, “brands” began to use the hashtag to promote themselves, as we now expect them to do when such stunts occur. But the only one that impressed us came from the least likely source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Some people felt like the Met degraded itself in some way by joining the hashtag frenzy, and we can’t quite put our fingers on why this one seems effortlessly cheeky when the “memes” promoting cars and zoos and airlines felt desperate.

We would say that it’s the last thing you’d expect from such an established institution, but then we remembered that the Met had something to say about the 10th anniversary of Mean Girls as well. Met Store aside, this “brand” doesn’t even really sell consumer products — it sells experience and reputation.

So maybe the lesson here is “break the rules and surprise people, but don’t try too hard?”

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