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Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Bill Nye’s Evolution Campaign: Good PR or Bad PR?

Bill Nye is most commonly known as “The Science Guy”, a popular children’s entertainer famous for making science (and general geekiness) cool for a generation of Americans now in their 20’s and 30’s. His Disney/PBS show ran for five years and 100 episodes, and it remains a popular in-class resource for American science teachers.

Last month, however, he decided to get political by taking a public stand on the “issue” of evolution in a short video produced by Big Think and encouraging parents not to teach creationism to their children or bring it into the classroom. The spot has gone viral with over 4 million views to date, inspiring a series of responses and online debates that continue to make headlines today as he travels the country lecturing university students on the value of scientific study and personal ambition.

Nye was quite blunt in an Associated Press interview, saying “The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.”

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Miley Cyrus and the PR Power of a Haircut

It's Miley! The problem with child celebrities is that they grow up. The public hates to see the famous children of their respective generations mature because as they age, they remind us that we too grow old—and this means eventually we will die. Thanks a lot, Screech. Is there a “Wonder Years” fan alive who would want to buy adult Fred Savage a beer and discuss the security situation in Egypt? Probably not. “Whatever happened to Wendy?” they’d ask. And now Hannah Montana has left us. We know because of her hair.

Hair makes a public statement. Hair is one of the most obvious ways in which people share their “personalities” with the outside world. Hair defines generations and stages in individual lives. Hair is powerful PR, and it helps us stand out–just ask Dee Snider, Mitt Romney or the Queen of England. Read more

Dr. Seuss, Branding Genius

The doctor is inToday in unexpected nostalgia: By the time they come of age, most American children have in some way experienced the multimillion dollar brand that is the estate of writer/illustrator Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Multiple generations got to know the good doctor through his colorful, award-winning children’s books, TV specials and a string of hand- and computer-animated films of varying critical and commercial success.

Anyone with a soft spot for Seuss’s work will get a kick out of this online exhibit, recently made available by the Library of the University of California, San Diego. His instantly recognizable visual brand shines through in a series of amusing pre-war ads for companies as disparate as Ford, NBC, Ajax, GE and Standard Oil. Like contemporary Walt Disney, Suess knew that there was no better way to humanize a brand than with adorably anthropomorphic creatures; he was a master of developing a unique visual signature that somehow tied back to the product in question.

Does a cynical age embodied by the increasingly sarcastic tone of Disney and DreamWorks properties still allow for the whimsy of a Seuss? We hope so.

JT’s PR: No New Music Anytime Soon

Preppy!We know you were wondering: When will Justin Timberlake release a new album? Sadly, the answer is “right after he wins an Oscar,” aka never. Reps for the former Disney star/tween pin-up/blue-eyed soul singer-turned actor went into overdrive yesterday after a producer named Jim Beanz (we’d never heard of him either) told Digital Spy that he was working on a “new project” with the recently engaged JT.

Unless that project and the upcoming Timbaland album are one and the same, dude had his details all wrong. Or maybe he was just trying to get thousands of people unfamiliar with his work to Google his name, in which case we must give him a slow, unenthusiastic clap.

“Director’s Cut”? Ooooooooh:

Revolving Door: MSNBC, Salon, and More from the News Corp Hacking Scandal

MSNBC’s top spokesperson Jeremy Gaines is heading to the Gannett Company to lead the corporate comms division as VP, effective May 21. Gannett owns USA Today, a number of broadcast stations, and tons of other media properties. NBC News’ lead spokesperson Lauren Kapp is heading to The Huffington Post as of April 30. NBC has not announced replacements for either position. [via]

Speaking of USA Today, two of the papers journalists say they’ve become the target of a “smear campaign” after reporting on “government propaganda contractors.” We tweeted the PRSA response; here it is as well. [via]

Salon has a new look. Thoughts? Separately, the site’s press release for the redesign says the number of monthly unique visitors has grown 30 percent to 7.7 million since 2011. [via]

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Jane Goodall is the Spokesperson for Disney’s ‘Chimpanzee’

Primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall is serving as the spokesperson for Disneynature’s new film Chimpanzee, which follows the story of Oscar and his chimp family in the African forest.

Goodall appeared on the red carpet for the movie’s premiere in Orlando on Friday, and has been making the rounds with the media, including a stop at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Clip after the jump.

Profits from the movie’s opening week will go to the Jane Goodall Institute. Other Disneynature films include Earth and Oceans. Each of the film’s has been accompanied by a charitable donation. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has made a total of $20 million in donations. Seriously, how can you resist that little face?

The movie opens this Friday, which is just before Earth Day on Sunday, April 22.

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We Will Be Inundated With Movie Marketing Forevermore

Still smarting from the huge losses tied to the film John Carter, Disney is now banking on The Avengers, the Marvel comic hero extravaganza that opens May 3, but had its Los Angeles premiere last night. And unlike John Carter, which can attribute its losses, in part, to the marketing effort, Disney is backing this film up with promotional power.

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‘Prometheus’: One Movie, Six Videos

We know you’re getting your outfit ready for the big Hunger Games premiere, but there are other movies you know. One that we’re excited about (because we’re huge fans of the first two Ellen Ripley Alien flicks that still manage to scare us after repeated viewing) is Prometheus, a kind of prequel to these dark, outer space classics, also by Ridley Scott.

Among the stars of the new movie are Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, and the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace. In the months leading up to its premiere — Prometheus doesn’t come out until June — the studio is already taking its marketing to interesting lengths.

In light of the disaster that was the marketing effort for John Carter, this is a smart strategy. John Carter fell even further in this weekend’s box office, and there’s news today that Disney is taking a $200 million hit from the movie. Damn!

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‘John Carter’ is a Flop and Marketing Takes a Chunk of the Blame

So John Carter is a bust. It cost $350 million to make this movie and market it. It brought in $30.6 million in the U.S. over the weekend (though it was a hit in Russia). The Lorax, which had mediocre reviews and was harshly criticized for some egregious product tie-ins, earned $40 million in its second weekend.

Because of the movie’s pedigree — it’s a Disney flick from Andrew Stanton, the creator of blockbusters like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E — John Carter should have ruled the box office. But there were indications that things were not going to go well.

The New York Times points out some of the issues during the movie-making process including Stanton’s inexperience with live-action film-making and the studio’s decision to give him as much freedom as he wanted. And one of the big missteps was the marketing approach for the film.

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Roll Call: Former ABC News Reporter Joins Ogilvy PR

Emmy-winning business journalist Betsy Stark is joining Ogilvy Public Relations as MD of content and media strategy, a new position at the firm. In this role, Stark will provide clients with counsel on media strategy (including social media) and help produce original content. Stark, who’s also a Peabody award winner, was previously an ABC News reporter, making appearances on shows including GMA and World News. She also covered the Obama inauguration and other current events issues during her 12 years there. She has been working with Ogilvy for the past year on a consultant basis.

Disney‘s president of movie marketing, MT Carney, has left the company after just 20 months. She worked on films including The Help and Cars 2. Immediately prior to her departure, the New York Times published a lengthy article about Carney’s struggles to overcome her “outsider” position in a role the paper calls “Hollywood’s most influential marketing position.” Prior to joining Disney, Carney was founder of the New York advertising firm, Naked NY.

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