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Stunts

Reasons Why National Liquor Holidays are a Big Waste of Time

drinking from the bottleEvery day is a special day. This isn’t just a fortune cookie platitude you’ll find on a bumper sticker or Facebook meme. Today was National Poetry Day. Monday was National Coffee Day. Two weeks ago was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. On and on the list goes on.

Not to be left out, cocktails and individual spirits have their own special days as well. Which is pretty unnecessary because people are living for happy hour on the daily. But every spirit wants its own time to shine. And now maybe it’s time for everyone to go home because we’re all drunk.

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Foggy Windows: How Microsoft Forgot to Count to 10

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No company does a curtain raiser quite like Apple (horrible video streaming technology and forced rock star plug notwithstanding). Unfortunately, the company that knows this fact best is Microsoft.

As the number of Apple acolytes in this country swells up faster than Barry Bonds’ biceps, Microsoft floats in the raging ocean like chum waiting for sharks. We can only imagine the subject lines of its internal emails, though we assume that many include the letters W, T and F.

And then they got the epiphany that had been alluding them for decades: Windows 10!

What’s wrong with this lovely family portrait?

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Amtrak Announces Writers’ Residency Winners, Keeps Romantic Sentiment Rolling

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Just goes without saying
That everybody loves a train
Go ahead and call us insane
But we all just love a train

-- Perez Hidalgo, Los Lobos

Amtrak announced the 24 winners of the Amtrak Writers’ Residency program (a.k.a. #AmtrakResidency on social media) today from pool of 16,000 applicants. Flip through the list and you’ll find prominent writers who have significant social followings and commercial success.

There’s Chris Taylor from Mashable, Marco Werman from PRI’s “The World,” Jen Carson from Gothamist, fantasy writer and social media marketer Ksenia Anske, and poet/performance artist Saul Williams (to name a few).

All are very influential on Twitter. No surprise there.

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Threat to Leak Nude Emma Watson Pics Was an Agency Hoax

Oh boy. Turns out that the much-reported “threat” by an anonymous party to leak nude pictures of Emma Watson just as her #HeForShe campaign goes viral was a big hoax.

While the responsible party — the “viral marketing agency” Rantic, named and shamed by The Drum this morning – claims that the point of the stunt was to take down 4Chan, infamous distributor of stolen images, it looks a whole lot like an exercise in tasteless self-promotion.

There was a leak countdown, a “letter” to President Obama, and some cryptic tweets. We didn’t really pay attention because come on, guys: did you really need to sink so low?

Oh, alright then. They’re so proud of their work, too.

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McDonald’s and the Smartphone Mafia Made the Most of Friday’s iPhone Launch

Were you among the 10 million people who helped turn the iPhone 6 into Apple’s fastest-selling model to date this weekend?

We were not. Honestly, we just got our iPhone 5 a few months ago and we almost enjoy being so very far behind the rest of the world. Anyway, two organizations made the most of the Friday release: McDonald’s and whatever one would call the international syndicate responsible for selling said phones on the Chinese black market (at a 300-400 percent markup).

First, the wise people at McDonald’s decided to show up outside the 5th Avenue Apple store early Friday morning to pass out Apple pies to the “folks who had been waiting in line so long, they were sure glad to see us”. Get it? USA Today and Ronn Torossian of 5WPR certainly do.

McD’s was only the biggest brand looking to steal some of the excitement and mayhem. This clip, created by YouTuber Casey Neistat, is a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already:

Neistat apparently received some pushback over the video, so he explained himself a bit on its page:

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Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples So They Won’t Be Shacking Any Longer

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In the past, our fearless leader at PR Newser suggested that Pope Francis has solidified his position as the Patron Saint of PR (though he has not ascended). And with all due respect to the now canonized Saint John Paul II, the Catholic Church desperately needed some good mojo.

And then the white smoke appeared introducing the world to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who later changed his name to Francis.

He has embraced the Twitter, left the grandiose Popemobile for a leisurely walk, proclaimed the Internet to be  a gift from God, scored his own weekly magazine, stated that no one should work on the Sabbath (yeah right), and excommunicated the Mafia.

But what he did over the weekend may have the Catholic Church looking as progressive as a non-denominational community picnic.

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Designer Veggie Couture Spices up the Runway at Project SUBWAY’s Fashion Show

2014 Onion Runway FinalWhen an onion graced the runway at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, those in the front row weren’t crying. Instead they broke into peals of laughter, since the onion was a novel dress and hat ensemble designed for the second Project SUBWAY contest.

This year ten up-and-coming designers and FIT students were challenged to create unique dresses inspired by vegetables found at SUBWAY® restaurants. Among the healthy fashion creations: spinach, banana pepper, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and green pepper. At last year’s show, designers created dresses made of non-edible materials from SUBWAY®, like sandwich wrappers, napkins and salad bowls.

Judging the contest was a tall order, and the panel included Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Russell Westbrook, Olympic gymnastic champion Nastia Liukin, TV personality Bella Thorne and celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek. They critiqued the designs based on creativity, originality, beauty, fit and best representation of the vegetables, and remarked about the green pepper’s ‘aggressive’ shoulders and hourglass shape, the lettuce’s see-through design and the red tomato’s sparkle.

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The Olive Garden Seven-Week All-You-Can-Eat Pass Sold Out In 45 Minutes

 

Olive Garden gets a lot of grief for being, shall we say, less-than-authentic Italian food. But there are a few people out there who are big fans.

In the face of softening profits, the restaurant chain offered up a limited number of all-you-can-eat passes. Good for 49 days, the passes cost $100 and offer unlimited pasta, salad, bread and Coca Cola beverages. The chain made 1,000 available starting at 3pm ET, which sold out in 45 minutes.

These all-you-can-eat stunts have become a popular PR measure at casual dining restaurants. And while this might provide a nice temporary fix, this isn’t really the way to improve a business that’s stumbling.

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Matt Damon Does Ice Bucket Challenge with Toilet Water to Send a Message

To date, so many people have dumped water over their heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that the effort has raised over $88 million for the ALS Association, and while that’s a whole lot of money for a very worthy cause, it also means a whole lot of fresh, clean water — a rare commodity for millions of people — being wasted.

This is why actor Matt Damon, co-founder of charity Water.org, had mixed feelings about accepting the challenge sent his way by friends Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck.

“It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in a video uploaded to the his organization’s YouTube channel, “But because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.” Read more

Good PR Averts the Sriracha Apocalypse

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For L.A. cool kids, the hottest ticket in town this weekend was a tour of the Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, California, which kicked off its grinding season with an open house (and much fanfare).

There, the company’s once-reclusive and sometimes-combative CEO David Tran greeted guests amongst red, green and white balloons next to an Instagram-ready cardboard cutout of himself.

Tran didn’t just set up a party to combat his company’s recent problems stemming from a bad reputation and an insurmountable odor: he opened the doors and let the world smell his spices.

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