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Posts Tagged ‘Beyoncé’

Our 26 Biggest Stories of 2013, Part One

High fivin' sunbeams

High fiving sunbeams and eating dolphins, bro

They came. They saw. They made you click. They were our biggest stories of the year.

These posts were alternately embarrassing, inspiring, thought-provoking and barely comprehensible—but they attracted the most attention from our readers for reasons that we don’t always understand.

In fact, there were so many great ones in 2013 that we decided to double the original total of 13 to 26. What’s that, you ask? Of course we’re not splitting the list in half in order to get more posts up during the holiday season. What a ridiculous question!

On to the list, which we dedicate to our faithful readers. Let’s hope the news of stunts, mistakes and misdeeds gets a little brighter in 2014 (yeah, right).

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The Ticker: Beyoncé Stunt; Women in Tech; Selfies in PR; Obama Advisor; SNL Auditions

Will Alicia Keys/BlackBerry End the Celebrity ‘Creative Director’ Trend?

shutterstock_127907183In the past we’ve commented on the ridiculousness of big brands giving “creative director” titles to celebrities who can’t open a successful movie: Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, Will.I.Am, etc. But the current “are they or aren’t they” status of Alicia Keys and BlackBerry nicely illustrates how awkward the whole trend really is.

In case you haven’t looked up from your iPhone screen in three years, BlackBerry is about to join Friendster and Pets.com in the “I knew you once” graveyard. Today the company announced that it will replace its CEO and fire 40% of its staff, but Keys apparently won’t be among that number.

While everyone insisted that Keys would be doing real-life work for the brand when they hired her, they now risk making themselves look even worse by keeping her on.

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Beyoncé Gives New Zealand Tourism Some Free Publicity

Beyoncé loves Auckland. The honorable Mrs. Carter took some time off from her tour last weekend to do a bit of freefall jumping and take in the sights around New Zealand’s biggest city—and she made sure her millions of followers knew all about it.

Here she is on Instagram about to shame acrophobics everywhere by taking the plunge at SkyJump, one of Auckland’s top tourist attractions:

Don't fall. Oh wait.

Her webpage also features a series of shots, like the one below taken by her photographer Rob Hoffman, that double as advertising for Kiwi tourism.

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Drake Is the Toronto Raptors’ New Brand Ambassador

Drizzle

Looks like Drizzy of “YOLO” had FOMO on repping brands’ mojo.

Today the Toronto Raptors announced that proud Canuck Drake, better known as “that kid in the wheelchair on Degrassi“, would be the team’s new “global ambassador” as part of a rebranding campaign after they finished last season at 14 games under .500.

This sort of stunt didn’t work so well for Alicia Keys at Blackberry or Justin Timberlake at Bud Light, but there’s no question that Beyoncé  and Jay-Z earned quite a few media mentions for Pepsi, Samsung and the Brooklyn Nets. Also: Drake is a reliable presence at games who’s been known to hang out with LeBron, so it’s a more natural fit than, say, Will.I.Am and Intel.

Now what will Drake do, exactly?

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Spin the Agencies of Record

“I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn’t itch.”—Gilda Radner

WORKHOUSE one of the country’s leading public relations and integrated creative agencies, announced that it has been selected as public relations and agency of record by B MICHAEL AMERICA, the American couturier and ready-to-wear designer who is known for his glamorous designs made exclusively in America and worn by many of the world’s most stylish women.

As the hallmark of the brand’s “Advanced American Style” heritage, B Michael remains committed to designing and manufacturing his collections in America, creating jobs for garment workers in New York City and supporting the heart of the U.S. fashion industry since 1999.

Fashion innovator, pacesetter and legend B Michael began his career as a milliner and honed his skills as a fashion designer and couturier while working in the ateliers of leading designers including Oscar de la Renta. Mr. Michael launched his own label in 1999 and is now at the helm of a multi-faceted brand that includes ready-to-wear, accessories and the treasured couture collection. A favorite among some of the most photographed women in the world, Mr. Michael’s designs have been worn by Cate Blanchett, Beyonce, Halle Berry and Cicely Tyson, among others.

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Beyoncé’s Big Chicken Order: Innocent Meal or PR Stunt?

BREAKING: Beyoncé‘s entourage likes chicken. A lot of chicken.

After a concert in Essex on Saturday, she ordered what was almost certainly the largest delivery in the history of Nando’s, a South African/UK chicken chain: $2,200 worth of wings, fries, veggie burgers…and 48 whole birds.

So the lady’s team loves their fowl. But The Cut sees a PR strategy beneath all the oil and hot sauce: this isn’t the first time Mrs. Carter has made news for being a generous customer. She spent four figures at a Nando’s in Ireland earlier in the year, and a New Orleans bakery got some attention last month when she called after closing time to request a big post-show order that inspired the business to reconsider its “no delivery” policy.

The Cut might have a point: a simple Google search for “Beyonce chicken” reveals that pretty much every blog everywhere is on the Nando’s story. It’s not like she was going for anonymity, either: the name on the order was “Beyonce K.”

That simple choice was really three things in one: clickbait for pop culture bloggers, great publicity for Nando’s and yet another way for Beyoncé to remind the world that she’s just like us. Win-win-win.

Brands Can Make Their Own Damn Instagram Ads

Instagram is in a bit of a pickle. After backtracking on its “brands can co-opt users’ photos and use them in promo campaigns” deal, Facebook‘s hottest “food porn” property has hit a few bumps in creating new “sponsored” revenue streams. Brands, of course, are all anxious to advertise themselves on a forum that inspires more than 8,500 likes and 1,000 comments every second.

What have they done? According to AdAge, they’ve started making their own commercials to run on the feeds of their celebrity “ambassadors”. Here, for example, is an ad obviously created by Pepsi but posted as just another picture on Beyoncé‘s account:

319,000 is a whole lotta likes.

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Beyoncé’s Big Reveal Is…a Pepsi Ad!

The spot doubles as a sort of video retrospective and a vehicle for the premier of her new single “Grown Woman”, but we’re still a little disappointed. Where are the robots, Bey? Oh well — such are the trials and tribulations of a “brand ambassador.

Anna Wintour Is Condé Nast’s First ‘Artistic Director’

Over the past few months we’ve published a couple of posts indicating that publishing giant Condé Nast is adopting a new approach to PR and communications. Today we bring you more evidence of that fact via our sister site FishbowlNY: after parting ways with publicist Maurie Perl and shaking up its internal communications team, Condé Nast just named longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour as its new “artistic director”–a role created just for her. Company CEO Charles Townsend explains:

The establishment of an artistic director is a reflection of our commitment to preserve and champion all that exists ‘Only at Condé Nast.’ In today’s business environment, it is critical to promote and foster our established creative authority. This is the ideal time to leverage Anna’s extraordinary vision and leadership to amplify and elevate the profile of Condé Nast U.S. both domestically and abroad. Anna is an icon in the worlds of fashion, business and the arts, she has the foresight and wisdom to influence the major trends of our society and is respected globally as an accomplished businesswoman.

So she’s going to use her famous name and face to promote the brand and its products via the power of association? Sounds a lot like a celebrity spokesperson to us. Apologies to Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Will.I.Am., Alicia Keys, etc.: this whole “big-name creative director” trend may be much simpler than we thought.

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