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Pop Culture

Tony Hale of Veep Impresses the Ladies by Standing Up to Cancer

In Celebrity Cause Marketing news, today witnessed the debut of a spot promoting hotel search engine RoomKey and its Stand Up to Cancer initiative via Hungry Man Productions and Emmy winner Tony “Don’t Call Me Buster” Hale.

We very much like the fact that the spot satirizes the driving force behind most cause marketing campaigns (and, if we’re being honest, most charities): self-satisfaction mixed with a little third-party validation.

For the record, we hope more cause campaigns embrace this tone of self-awareness. It’s much more appealing than the guilt trip that fuels so many such initiatives.

Now, in case you doubted Mr. Hale’s acting prowess, click through for a clip of him promoting a very different kind of product…

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Obama to The New York Times: ‘Legalize It? No We Can’t.’

yes we cannabisThe week began with a landmark opinion piece from The New York Times’ editorial board, which collectively asked for the federal repeal of the ban against marijuana. You can imagine it caused quite the hubbub at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

While the White House placed Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the front lines, taking its respective shots in rapid fire succession, the man in the Oval Office was silent about the whole thing…until now.

To President Obama, upholding the ban isn’t the feeling or decision of the White House, so much as it is simply following the letter of the law.

 

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50 ‘Most Beautiful in D.C.’ List Goes (Hot and) Heavy on PR

DC

When reading today’s reports on the 1,300 editorial journalists who lost their jobs in 2013, you probably didn’t turn to The Hill’s annual “50 most beautiful people in D.C.” list to defend the craft.

Yet “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people” is one of the oldest and most persistent cliches concerning business in our nation’s capital–one that The Hill seems desperate to disprove each year by highlighting the good-looking folks behind the faces that haunt our nightmares.

In a shocking turn of events, this year’s list includes quite a few young professionals who work on the communications side of the political world.

Let’s review (all pics courtesy of The Hill, so give them some clicks).

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The NSA Wants You…as Its New Director of Strategic Communications

NSA

Ready to absorb the unqualified hatred of the American public and channel it into a robust comms strategy?

Today we learned that the current leader in the “America’s Least Popular Organization of Any Kind” race is looking for a PR professional to revel in such public abuse.

On the other hand, the National Security Agency gig will pay $175K.

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Batkid Begins Trailer Brings Make-a-Wish Hero to the Big Screen

The tiny hero who launched a million* tweets is headed for the big screen.

In case you missed it (yeah right), #SFBatkid was the hashtag of the fall, scoring a whole hell of a lot of attention for sponsor Make-a-Wish, the city of San Francisco and partner-in-crime social media agency Clever Girls Collective.

Now, as revealed at Comic-Con this weekend, social media superhero Miles Scott will soon hit the big–or at least bigger–screen via Batkid Begins, a “feature-length crowdfunded documentary”; the trailer debuted online yesterday.

It’s quite a cinematic effort from “award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt)”, who has raised “$45,500 of a $100K goal to date” in an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. This looks like another big win for both Miles and Make-a-Wish; does anyone doubt that Nachman will reach her goal?

Also: whoa there, Chris Taylor of Mashable. Don’t dive too deeply into our psyches.

One thing we know for sure: this clip will give you a more positive Monday morning buzz than the new Mockingjay trailer.

*Well, 400K tweets. But still.

Will the YouTube/Michelle Phan Lawsuit Change the Influencer Game?

Michelle Phan

In case you missed it: Michelle Phan, the “make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur” who became a prime influencer by posting short YouTube videos with titles like “Beach Beauty Essentials” and “How to Take the Perfect Selfie”–and earning nearly seven million followers in the process–got sued last week.

The suit, which could be worth several million dollars, stemmed from the fact that Phan allegedly used music by Ultra Records artist Kaskade in her clips without permission.

Phan is at the forefront of the social media influencer movement, earning more than $5 million in 2012 thanks to brand deals and appearing in ads for YouTube itself. The suit filed against her marks something of a first and raises some big questions about the future of one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Will it change the way the influencer game works?

Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand.com, who spoke to us about using influencers to market to Millennials last month, has some thoughts after the jump.

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Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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San Diego Purging the Homeless to Spruce up the City for Comic-Con

Comic-Con-Homeless-Batman

KGTV-10 (ABC) in San Diego recently let us know that downtown San Diego is ready for Comic-Con. 

More than 100,000 heroically adorned dorks lovely people will soon take up shop in “America’s Finest City.” Banners are being hung on street poles, hotels are getting ready for the influx of visitors, restaurants are developing exclusive menus…and are police are kicking the homeless out of the area.

So nice when an entire city holds hands, chips in and works together, right?

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EPA Apologizes for Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Mobile Game

If you have better things to do with your life than scroll twitter at 10:30 PM on a Monday evening, then you may have missed an amusing and bizarre promotional failure on behalf of your government.

Specifically, the EPA’s clean water division posted what certainly looked like a message hyping the (unfortunately) red-hot “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game, in which the user can–what else–turn him or herself into a celebrity.

Super-veteran House Rep John Dingell, who has served since 1955 and helped write the original act that created the division, summed up the Internet’s sentiments with a question:

For the record, we don’t believe for a second that he has no idea what a Kardashian is. Good tweet, though.

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‘D-List Publicist’ Talks About Taking on the Clients No One Wants

jeremy weeksIt’s probably become one of the most famous mugshots in history. The eyes. The slight cock of the head. It’s Jeremy Meeks, the “hot convict” that had social media users promising to overlook his rap sheet in exchange for doing a little time with him.

Of course, upon seeing the positive reaction to the photo, Meeks got himself a publicist. And for a problematic client like him, there could only be one publicist for the job: “D-List publicist” Gina Rodriguez. A former adult movie actress and Playboy model, now she works with people who usually end up with a catchy moniker: “Octomom” Nadya Suleman and the “White House party crashers” Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

Now, she tells The Daily Beast that she’s working to find Meeks a reality TV show.

All in a day’s work (and please call her “celebrity manager”).

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