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Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Media Relations 101: Mila Kunis Shows Us How to Ace an Interview

We have a feeling the team responsible for promoting the upcoming Disney flick Oz the Great and Powerful cringed when watching this BBC interview with star Mila Kunis, in which she and a very nervous correspondent discuss Jägerbombs, Baywatch, UK football and the art of pouring a pint with no foam.

At the same time, we have little doubt that this was indeed the most interesting interview Kunis gave on her press junket–and it even makes us slightly more interested in her movie. Shouldn’t we all encourage clients to be a little more personable when speaking to the press?

On second thought, we probably shouldn’t…

Fox News, Disney and Every Other Brand Scramble for Latino Audiences

Obama UnivisionOh hey, did you hear about the incredible growth of the United States’ Latino population? So did Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign, the Republican House majority and every entertainment brand in the Western hemisphere. Today brings news of Univision and Disney joining forces to create a 24-hour news/entertainment channel called Fusion that will cater to Latinos. Wait, isn’t Univision already a 24-hour channel for Latinos? Why yes it is!

This new brand, however, would serve those with deep Latin heritage who either predominately or exclusively speak English at home and who probably only watch Univision “if they’re at their grandmother’s house” (ha ha). It’s the same audience sought by the brand new Fox News Latino brand. So where did members of this mysterious demographic get their news and entertainment in the past? From the same channels as every other English-speaking American.

The question: can brands benefit from catering to this very specific audience? They certainly seem to think so.

PR pros: have you worked on campaigns targeting English-speaking Latino Americans? How do the relevant messages differ from those intended for the general public?

PR Stunts: Disney Turns London Street into ’8-Bit Lane’

Disney's Wreck-It-Ralph #8bitlaneToday in This Is Actually Kind of Cool News: Disney‘s latest film, Wreck-It-Ralph, takes place in a time when video game graphics weren’t quite so hyper-realistic. Those with a fondness for the pixelated, two-dimensional days of “Super Mario Brothers” and “The Legend of Zelda” will love the company’s latest PR stunt:

In order to promote the film, Disney enlisted artist Aden Hynes and creatives at London’s Truman Brewery to turn the town’s “infamous” Brick Lane into “8-Bit Lane” by filling the block with old-school Nintendo-style reproductions of everyday objects like clouds, pigeons and taxi cabs.

The company then promoted its efforts with a hashtag push and a free public tour of the block. Video after the jump.

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Disneyland Spies Crack Down on Multi-Day Ticket Holders

Pirates of the CaribbeanThe House of Mouse in California is in the midst of a public relations conundrum.

Disneyland is now taking pictures of its guests—including children—in an effort to crack down on the illegal use of multi-day passes.

Disneyland claims that third party “scalpers” often buy the tickets, which cost $205 for three days, then rent them at elevated prices to park-goers on one-time visits. While both parties benefit from this setup, Disney, of course, is upset over the specter of lost profits.

So by taking pictures of multi-ticket holders as they enter the park and comparing those faces each time that same ticket is scanned, Disneyland aims to stop the abuse of its “park hopper” tickets by denying entry to anyone whose face doesn’t match that of the original ticket holder.

This strategy poses several PR concerns for the Disney, though. To many, the brand no longer represents a magical kingdom that brings joy and imagination to children but a capitalistic monolith that leverages its cultural influence to bring itself greater profits at the expense of cash-strapped families. And let’s face it: this crack down isn’t going to help the latter image.

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The Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2012 (With Tips)

We used to think of LinkedIn as an ugly, awkward place for us to post a resume that no one would ever see. But it’s looking a lot better these days, and the advent of company pages and groups turned the site into a great PR tool. Yesterday LinkedIn released a SlideShare presentation highlighting the best company pages of 2012 and offering some tips on making your company or client’s page better — it’s a useful read for anyone involved in branding.

A few brief observations and suggestions:

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‘TheAudience’ Flips the Script on Celebrity PR

Jeremy Piven Ari Goldman EntourageThe public feels a unique combination of respect, envy and resentment toward celebrities. This is nothing new.

But thanks to the wonders of social media, we’re closer to the stars we love and hate than ever before. Now a new company wants to revolutionize the celebrity PR game via social media–and it’s making publicists and agents all over Hollywood very nervous.

What is TheAudience? It’s an alternately “stealthy” and “mysterious” startup backed and promoted by two of the biggest names in the West Coast media world: Napster/Facebook co-founder Sean Parker (who you may know as Justin Timberlake) and Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel (who you may know as Jeremy Piven).

But its driving force is Oliver Luckett, a former programmer, Disney PR man and full-color personality whose hobbies, according to The New York Times, include driving around LA in an Aston Martin and traveling to Iceland (our new favorite country) “to to compete against Bjork in a gingerbread house-building contest”. We like the guy already! His key selling point? He’s figured out a way around the traditional Hollywood PR system.

What does TheAudience do, exactly? The company effectively manages the social media presence of celebrities who don’t have the time (or interest) to do it themselves. But this is no automated status update machine: Team members feed fans a steady stream of content via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus, keeping them occupied with exclusive comments, pictures and videos.

The key difference between old-school PR services and this newfangled arrangement is that the content truly does come from the celebrities themselves:

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Disney Goes High Fashion at Barney’s

Disney's Minnie Mouse in Barney's PromoAnyone notice that Minnie Mouse is looking a bit…slimmer these days? If so, you probably caught a glimpse of Barney’s newest promo campaign, “Electric Holiday”. This collaborative project is the closest you’ll get to an all-out marriage of classic Disney characters and the cartoonish personalities who populate the world of international fashion.

Barney’s CEO Mark Lee unveiled his company’s newest PR offensive yesterday at the retailer’s Madison Avenue flagship store with the help of Disney CEO Bob Iger, fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, and a certain mousy celebrity (who thankfully appeared as the full-sized Minnie).

The campaign, based on Disney’s classic “Main Street Electrical Parade”, drew a bit of criticism for transforming Mickey’s lovably round soul mate–and her friends Snow White and Daisy Duck–into waif-thin caricatures of modeldom. There’s little doubt that the unbelievably slender characters depicted embody a physically impossible fantasy land filled with pouting divas, desperate paparazzi and snooty, unforgiving tastemakers…

Oh wait–we just described the fashion industry, didn’t we? Check out these pictures direct from the Barney’s window display and see for yourself:

Minnie shows more than a little leg

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Roll Call: Edelman, NPR, and Shine America

Edelman has announced the formal opening of Edelman Turkey, its 66thoffice. Edelman Turkey, located in Istanbul, was established in April of this year as an organic start-up operation. The office will now be led by Serra Türk Büyükfirat, who joined Edelman this week as general manager, Turkey. She will report to Chris Dobson, managing director for strategic & emerging markets, EMEA, who has led the operation until now. Edelman’s move into Turkey was driven by the increasing focus this dynamic market now receives from the company’s international network clients. Edelman Turkey’s service offering will mirror that of the global Edelman network, fusing traditional public engagement with an array of digital and mobile services for international and local companies alike. (Release)

NPR has hired Miami-based marketing executive Emma Carrasco as its new chief marketing officer, and has also named PBS executive Loren Mayor as senior vice president of strategy. Carrasco, who currently serves as executive vice president of the creative agency Republica, will begin on Dec. 3. Mayor, the vice president of strategy at PBS, will assume her position Dec. 10. (NPR)

Former Walt Disney Studios Chairman and Disney Channels Worldwide President Rich Ross has been named chief executive of Shine America, a production company owned by News Corp. In his new role, Ross is returning to his small-screen roots. Best known for producing reality TV shows including Fox’s “MasterChef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Shine is run by Elisabeth Murdoch. (LA Times)

Breaking: Disney To Acquire Lucasfilm, ‘Star Wars’

Today in Been There, Done That Media News: Walt Disney Co., fresh off its efforts to turn the once-stellar Pixar into a mediocre sequel factory, has announced plans to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. for a cool $4 billion, thereby taking ownership of the series that defined the childhood of every American born between…oh, who are we kidding? Every kid around the world loves the (original) “Star Wars” trilogy. We’ll just avoid mentioning episodes 1 through 3 (along with certain parts of “Return of the Jedi”), because we’d rather not get our blood pressure up this late in the afternoon.

Anyway: Get ready for more “Star Wars” rides at DisneyWorld!

The worst part of this announcement? ”Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future”–and George Lucas will serve as “creative consultant” on this monster of a vanity project.

Serious question: Did anyone anywhere in the world ask for another “Star Wars” movie? Or is George Lucas just making one last attempt to revive the embarrassing husk of what was once a promising career?

We leave you with the only appropriate response to this announcement:

Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’: The Dog Finally Has His Day

Tim Burton’s latest film, Frankenweenie, opens in theaters around the country today–bringing full circle a project that began twenty-eight years ago.

By now, Burton’s characteristic creepiness and underdog loner heroes are familiar, beloved film staples. Children and adults alike relate to his recurring themes of darkness hiding behind the shiniest of facades, and goodness, light, and love residing in places and in people many would consider strange or even dangerous.

But in 1984, when Burton first filmed Frankenweenie–a live-action re-telling of the Frankenstein story in which a young boy resurrects his beloved dog–children’s movies were dominated by cuddly creatures and knights in shining armor. His short film was considered too dark for the likes of Disney and its counterparts, and it never got off the ground.

Ironically, Burton worked as an animator for Disney Studios at the time, but he knew that his future lay elsewhere. “I realize I was not good at their style. It was quite depressing,” he tells NPR. “Being a bad animator saved me. I’d be some alcoholic in the gutter somewhere drawing cute foxes.”

I, for one, am immensely grateful that he didn’t end up swilling cheap vodka while maniacally penciling wide-eyed bunny rabbits on discarded cardboard coffee cups. Otherwise, those of us who have spent countless hours losing ourselves in his worlds full of spirals and stripes and crooked angles, who have recognized something of ourselves in his misunderstood heroes–and who have a library full of films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, The Corpse Bride, and Edward Scissor Hands to prove it–may never have had the chance to count ourselves among his fans.

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