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Archives: September 2013

Rick Owens Put Steppers On The Catwalk and Won Paris Fashion Week

A still from the FashionBombDaily Instagram account from the Rick Owens show.

A still on the FashionBombDaily Instagram account from the Rick Owens show.

Paris Fashion Week. You’re thinking tall, thin models doing their horse trot thing down the catwalk. Not at Rick Owens. The designer sent members of step teams from American colleges down the runway wearing his latest fashions for the Spring 2014 season. And for stepping out of the box (sorry!), he’s reaping some serious buzz.

Fashion has a serious diversity problem. And the efforts taken thus far to change things have seemed cosmetic at best and pitiful at worst. Either some designers ignore calls for shows that are more representative of the buying public, or they’ve added a model or two with a minority background to the lineup as a gesture. A few designers — Tracy Reese, Diane von Furstenburg, Anna Sui — actually populate their fashion shows with a diverse cast. But they truly are few and far between.

So this Rick Owens step show could’ve gone badly. It could’ve been panned by the fashion elite. It might’ve been a stunt that fizzled. Instead, the steppers put on a serious show that had everyone talking and showed us how to do something different to full and magnificent effect. How did he pull it off? Let’s discuss.
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Diet Coke Has Taylor Swift and Pepsi Has ‘a Pleasing Aroma’


Two things we learned from Pepsi‘s latest Adventure in Marketing: there is a Scent Marketing Institute and the number two soft drink company just patented a “delivery system” technology designed to “[cause] a favorable aroma” as soon as you open each bottle. The purpose of this brilliant invention is to, you know, counter all the artificial chemical smells of the packaging and the terrible product inside.

Looks like the smell will come from some sort of chemical combo contained in a small gelatin capsule on the inner side of the cap. Remember that gelatin is made of cows, puppies and sunbeams, which means Pepsi will no longer be animal-free. That’s a PR problem waiting to happen, but at least the moo moos aren’t genetically modified!

This might beat Diet Coke‘s skinny Taylor Swift can for sheer ridiculousness. But is it dumber than the new “conforms to your hand” bottle? You be the judge.

Hat tip to Consumerist.

Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Steps in a Successful Social Media Damage Control Campaign

Not too far ahead though.

This week, Barilla’s “foot in mouth” move got lots of people talking about the right way to conduct a damage control campaign on social media. Yesterday we connected with Solomon McCown & Company president/crisis comms expert Ashley McCown to get her thoughts on the case and the challenge of planning and directing successful campaigns.

What’s your take on Barilla’s damage control efforts?

I don’t think the chairman of Barilla really cares. He issued an apology, but he also made it quite clear in his initial statement that if people don’t like what he says, they don’t have to buy his pasta. It was a muddled response and a hollow message without much emotion behind it and it did not clarify the matter. An apology has to be genuine, and his was not believable.

Also: the company is based in Italy, but their apology was only released in Italian on Facebook and Twitter at first, and that was a mistake. The U.S. is a significant market share for them, but they didn’t bother translating it—someone else did.

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Bertolli Jumps on Barilla’s PR Fail

That was quick. We knew someone would make the most of the biggest brand crisis of the week, and Barilla competitor Bertolli‘s German Facebook page just posted this image:


The caption translates to “love and pasta for all”, but we’re not sure why they’ve only posted it in German so far. A quick look at the Bertoli America Facebook timeline shows that English speakers have bombarded the page encouraging them to become the alternative to Barilla. But will anyone else take the opportunity? We’re looking at you, Ronzoni.

UPDATE: Right on time.

What’s a Hashtag Worth, Anyway?

Hashtags aren’t going anywhere. Despite the fact that they don’t seem to have done much for Facebook, Google will now let users to search for them—but the results will only display hashtags on Google+. Great plan, guys.

Still, some have had quite enough of the hashtag trend, thank you very much. Here’s Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon making fun of other people for using them.

That skit was pretty good, but it does raise two serious questions: “Are hashtags completely worthless?” and “Rocky the musical?!?!

Let’s discuss.

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You Can Edit Existing Facebook Posts Now

Here’s some good news via sister site AllFacebook: you don’t have to worry quite as much about typos on clients’ posts.

This change was a long time coming. Zuck and company started testing it in June, and while they supposedly told InsideFacebook that it would go through a slow launch, we can already use it on our personal page. All you have to do is click on that invisible downward-facing arrow in the top right hand corner and choose the edit option.

Here’s how it looks:

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 1.05.28 PM

Before you ask: administrators can edit posts on pages they manage, and the new feature also applies to event pages and photo albums.

Of course this doesn’t mean PR pros and marketers can abandon our twin obsessions with grammar and spelling. But it does give us a “get out of jail free” card for Facebook posts. No such offer from Twitter, unfortunately.

One question: why did this take so long?

Avacade Comments On Slowing Ice Melt

It has been a known fact that the polar ice caps have been melting more and more each year. Avacade says there is some interesting news coming from NASA concerning this year’s amount of polar change. The amount of ice lost this year to summer melting and climate change has actually been less than in previous years.

Avacade notes that the improvement is good to hear, but points out that NASA has said that there have never been two recorded low points consecutively. This means that the low could drop again.

Why was the ice loss less this year than last? An unusually cold summer helped to keep the ice from melting as much as it has done in the past. Read more

NYT Apologizes for Calling The Mario Brothers ‘Janitors’

ign-presents-the-history-of-super-mario-bros-20071108044755327It’s all over: we have found the uncontested winner of this week’s “best New York Times correction” contest.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.51.50 AMThe Times also forgot to mention that the siblings are indeed “super”, that their preferred modes of transportation are sewer pipes, dinosaurs, turtles and flying raccoons, and that they have a long and complex history with media partner “Donkey Kong”. Come to think of it, we never did catch their last names either…

Hat tip to Jim Romenesko. Thanks to everyone else for playing and better luck next time.

Martha Stewart vs. Apple PR, Round One

Everyone’s favorite domestic goddess first learned to use a microwave while in prison—and she still hasn’t mastered certain fruit-themed tech toys.

Martha Stewart almost beat Kanye West for most ridiculous Twitter outburst last night. It seems she dropped her iPad on Wednesday and spent much of Thursday evening sitting, tweeting and (presumably) sipping her signature wine as she waited for the company to respond.

It got a little weird:

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