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Kim Jong Un Officially Condemns Seth Rogen and James Franco’s New Film

The Interview | official trailer US (2014) Seth Rogen - YouTube

We can’t say we’re surprised that North Korea’s Supreme Leader is unamused by a film about his own assassination (we’re pretty sure even the US wouldn’t terribly appreciate a foreign country making a comedy about our president’s demise), but we do think Kim Jong Un‘s official condemnation of “The Interview” might be the best advertising the movie could ask for. What that says about the state of politics in our sick, sad world or what it says about our society’s need to “laugh so we don’t cry” is a post for a different sort of blog.

The plot of the new comedy follows Seth Rogen and James Franco as the less-than-dynamic duo attempts to take out North Korea’s infamous leader. In an interview with The Telegraph, Kim Myong-chol, executive director of The Centre for North Korea-US Peace and an unofficial spokesman for the country’s political regime, makes it quite clear that North Korea is not laughing.

“There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society…A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine…And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans.

Ouch. Read more

McDonald’s Pranks Aspiring Vegas Performers for Promo Stunt

The concept of a zombie-themed musical extravaganza in Vegas is apparently believable enough to fool a group of theater devotees who happened to be gathering in the general area for an “art walk event”. McDonald’s, Dr. Pepper and Vegas theater The Arts Factory (which has LOTS of vintage bike nights) collaborated on this stunt with, we presume, an agency that will choose to remain nameless.

The purpose of this surprisingly high-budget event was to promote the chain’s new “After Midnight” menu, and the resulting video resembles a collection of clips from “American Idol” rejects.

You’ll have to pardon us for being a bit skeptical…and a little sad for the “crowdsourced” passersby who didn’t seem to realize that it was a joke. Steve Hall of MarketingLand writes:

“To promote ‘Hunger in the Night,’ McDonald’s outreach efforts incorporated advertisements, media support and branded promotional materials, including a wrapped tour bus to attract participants to the open casting.”

That’s quite an effort. We’re not even sure these would-be stars of stage and screen are representative of the target audience for AM munchies. But if the brand needs a PR who can speak to that particular demo, we do have someone in mind…

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone Create #PRWin for Charities

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If it ain’t broke, do not fix this!

paparazzi (n.) 1961, from Italian Paparazzo (plural paparazzi) surname of the freelance photographer in Federico Fellini’s 1959 film ”La Dolce Vita.” The surname itself is said to be a common one in Calabria, and Fellini is said to have borrowed it from a travel book, “By the Ionian Sea,” in which occurs the name of hotel owner Coriolano Paparazzo.

Ironic isn’t it? The very name of those weaselly, bottom-feeding photographers hails from Hollywood. It’s a match made in hell. Some of the “beautiful people” ignore them; others run from them; a few talk to them.

And then there’s Alec Baldwin.

However, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone — cohorts in the new ‘Spider Man’ series — have a proven way to fight back: they give PR muscle to very important causes. What’s interesting is this tactic has been going on for two years.

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5 Tips for Creativity in Times of Crisis or Controversy

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Today we bring you a guest post by Howard Bragman, founder and chairman of Fifteen Minutes PR.

This post is part of an ongoing series.

Like many in our profession, I sometimes feel like the guy at the circus juggling plates on the ends of sticks. It looks precarious, but like the guy under the big top, I am happiest when there is a lot going on.

Over the past several years, I’ve had three primary jobs: 1.) Chairman and Founder of Fifteen Minutes, a Los Angeles-based PR firm that specializes in consumer brands, entertainment and crisis/controversy clients; 2.) Vice Chairman of Reputation.com, the largest and category-creating online reputation management company; and 3.) Network and cable broadcast news contributor, providing my take on the reputational events of the day.

My PR and crisis work often involves people and companies seeking to prevent or assuage a whirlwind of damaging press.

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How ‘Exposed’ Are You? Social Media-Powered Statement Dress Grows Transparent

How ‘Exposed’ Are You? Social Media-Powered Dress Becomes Transparent to Make a Statement - PRNewser

A common topic of conversation in the political, PR, and marketing spheres is the increasingly-delicate balance between “sharing” on social media and becoming completely exposed in a digital world completely devoid of privacy.

In an effort to make a statement about how unaware the public seems to be about what they are revealing to marketers, strangers and companies online, artists Xuedi Che and Pedro Oliveira of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program have created a project called “x.pose,” a “wearable, data-driven sculpture.” In essence, it’s a dress that becomes more and more see-through as the wearer tweets and shares on Facebook via her smartphone.

The artists explain their project’s message on the x.pose website

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MWW Decodes ‘Dad-isms’ for Agency Life

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Father’s Day is officially over–and most families thankfully had a far more enjoyable holiday than the Lannisters.

It’s true that Father’s Day tends to produce a litany of cliches, but many of the classic “dad-isms” that color our celebration of our own pops can apply year-round…even in the agency life.

To that point, our friends at MWW created an infographic “decoding” dad’s words of wisdom and translating them into messages related to the average overworked PR professional’s day-to-day.

For the record, we’re very impressed by the team’s ability to take a positive message from the classic threat “I’m going to count to three…”

Click through for the full infographic.

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‘T’ Magazine’s Assessment of Beyoncé’s Brand: Aspirational With a Touch of Reality

bey instagramT Magazine, The New York Times’ fashion/culture/travel supplement, published a lengthy essay this weekend trying to identify how exactly Beyoncé went from regular old pop star to pop culture supernova of the universe.

The moment on December 13, 2013 when Beyoncé released her visual album with no advanced notice and took over the Internet shows just how bright her star shines, but it’s more evidence of what makes her so wildly popular than the moment that she became the phenomena that we recognize now.

In fact, it’s her blend of untouchable and totally recognizable that makes her so interesting to so many.

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Buzzfeed + Cats = Perfect Recipe for a Viral Video

Cat food brand Friskies has figured out the perfect, deliciously simple formula for a viral video: Buzzfeed + cats, proving once and for all that the internet was, in fact, created for the sole purpose of sharing adorable/hilarious videos of our feline friends.  

The below ad for Purina’s Friskies brand, which depicts an older and wiser cat grudgingly bestowing sage advice unto a kitten, was published by Buzzfeed on June 5 (less than two weeks ago), and has already been viewed well over 10 million times. The spot has even spawned a popular Twitter hashtag #DearKitten, without either the brand or Buzfeed attempting to spread it.

Ah, to be a promoter of cat products and have the whole of the interwebs just waiting to do the heavy lifting for you. Sometimes all it takes is a fuzzy face, a couple of tugs at the heartstrings, a few laughs, and some seriously smart advice about the dreaded monster they call “Vacuum.”

Starbucks Partners with Duracell to Introduce Wireless Charging Stations

I1402518899000-XXX-San-Jose-2f you’re accustomed to working on your tablet for hours on end at your local Starbucks, but hate crawling surreptitiously underneath strangers’ chairs to access one of the few electrical outlets when your battery dies, the coffee chain’s new partnership with Duracell Powermat was made with you in mind.

Thanks to the scheduled rollout of wireless charging stations, it will soon be even easier for you to stick around and buy that second cup of overpriced coffee without worrying that your device will crap out on you and you’ll actually have to read a book or make conversation (heaven forbid).

The rollout will begin with stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, where customers will be able to simply set their devices down on certain parts of their tabletops to charge them. The company plans to install more that 100,000 such charging stations at Starbucks locations nationwide over the course of the next three years (that’s roughly a dozen per store). Read more

Paula Deen Cooks Up Some PR, Launches Her Own Network

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These people are the ones Paula Deen is totally banking on for PR-ofit

ICYMI: Despite her soulful appeal and her habit of cooking with fat, grease, and butter, Paula Deen wasn’t the most sensitive celebrity when it came to non-white people. To wit, she made an enemy of (most of) America, lost her Food Network affiliation, lost dozens of endorsements, and kissed most of her credibility goodbye.

She did, however, keep a surprising number of her fans. So, following a failed ‘Today Show’ apology, Paula Deen drifted into the easy bake oven in the sky…or so it seemed.

Now she’s back, y’all — and she’s hoping to cash in with a new paid venture.

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