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Posts Tagged ‘Jay-Z’

Can Anyone Guess What Beyoncé Will Do Tomorrow?

A Jay-Z post deserves a Beyoncé follow-up, right? Well, this week everyone’s favorite star-spangled pop star made a very…strange video announcement. We only know this thanks to the clip below and the #BeyHereNow hashtag. It’s not an Oasis reference, but it is trending on Twitter as everyone tries to figure out what the hell the announcement is all about: A new single? Another baby? A government grant for robotics research in Beyoncé’s name? Whatever it is, it’s a great promotion.

All this six-second clip tells us is that Queen Bey will make an announcement about something tomorrow and that she has officially begun to make the transition from human to machine.

Do you guys have any idea what this is all about?

(H/T to Flavorwire for the tip.)

Jay-Z’s Newest Gig: Big-Name Sports Agent or Marketing Man?

Jay-ZYou may have heard something about Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s decision to expand his business empire into the world of sports management and PR. You may have also heard about the newly-founded Roc Nation Sports‘s first big win — swiping New York Yankees all-star Robinson Cano from Scott Boras, the most powerful agent in baseball. Makes for a nice press release, doesn’t it?

This is all well and good, but it raises a question: what, exactly, is Jay-Z’s role in this venture? Is he really a sports rep, or is he just doing his usual thing as master of promotional initiatives?

Something tells us that this latest story is closer to Carter’s relationship with the Brooklyn Nets than the traditional sports rep game. While the Nets paraded the rapper/mogul in front of any media outlet that would listen in 2012 (aka all of them), hyping his managerial skills and his participation in the team’s logo and jersey design, Jay-Z ‘s responsibilities within the organization are minimal. He owns a tiny share of the property, and the part he played in the Nets’ debut clearly had a lot more to do with getting press coverage than actively guiding operations.

(On a side note, we find it a little curious that Jay chose to slam the very media that fawned over him for “diminishing” his stake in the Nets.)

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Hip-Hop Mogul: Turn In Your Guns and Get Free Beyoncé Tickets

Something tells us this wasn’t what Michael Bloomberg had in mind when he started the “Demand a Plan” campaign–but it has potential. Hip-hop mogul Michael “Blue” Williams, whose clients include Cee-Lo and Outkast and who doesn’t claim to be the world’s best manager despite choosing the Twitter handle @TheBestManager, has proposed a campaign called “Guns for Greatness” designed to reduce the number of firearms on New York streets by offering “mentorships” and free Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert tickets to anyone who turns his weapons in to the police department.

Sure, it sounds a little ridiculous at first, but according to a letter Williams sent to the NYPD earlier this week, he’s already three quarters of the way toward his goal of raising $100,000 to fund the initiative.

Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the NYPD have yet to sign off on the proposal, but top cop Ray Kelly did tell the New York Daily News that “We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it.”

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Celebrities on NYC Subways Make for PR Gold

Google's Sergey BrinWhile regular commuters use New York City’s (in)famous subway system to get to work, the rich and the famous often use the subway when working in a public relations capacity.

For example: Jay-Z took the R Train to his own show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (a.k.a. Chez Jay-Z), and now Google co-founder Sergey Brin has been spotted on the 3 train sporting Google Glasses, which are basically the Internet on your eyes. Are they “everymen” now? Of course not. But we love them for it.

Though the public often has a complicated relationship with fame, we appreciate it when members of the more glamorous classes do “regular people” stuff like riding public transportation. Savvy PR professionals know that with the limitless social media platforms and digital devices out there, it doesn’t take long for someone famous on the subway to end up trending on Twitter. That’s valuable publicity for a mere $2.25.

Taking the subway demonstrates a connection with the public and the realities of our lives. Even star-struck commuters don’t reach for a pen and paper and ask, “Can I have your autograph?” They ask, “What are YOU doing on the subway?”

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Livestream: Not Yet Mainstream But Clearly a Game Changer

Streaming events in real-time alters the dynamics for event organizers, impacting the scope of the audience, press coverage and sponsorships. Livestream is a key provider of real-time event coverage services–and while Mitt Romney’s infamous forty-seven percent fund raiser video wasn’t livestreamed, many A-list happenings are: examples include the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala, The World Economic Forum in Davos and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

PRNewser spoke with Jessica Kantor, livestream’s head of marketing and content, at November’s Digital Hollywood conference and met recently with Kantor and her colleague, Sam Kimball, EVP of advertising and brand sales, at Livestream’s New York office (left) and here. Below are highlights of our conversation on the Livestream model.

Elements of Livestream’s successful equation include:

1. Brand snapshot and evolution: “To viewers, Livestream is entertainment and live TV”, Kantor explained. “Anyone in the world, both individuals and companies, can broadcast their events”, Kimball added. Viewers can also see past events by accessing Livestream’s online channels.

Adoption of Livestream during the past five years has been steady, but it wasn’t easy early on. “Event organizers may have been nervous at first, since nothing replaces being there in person”, Kantor said. “Livestream isn’t mainstream yet, though more people use it now.”

2. A myriad of usage occasions. Entertainment and music events are popular, and musicians often tape segments at Livestream’s studio as part of their press tours. Livestream is also available overseas, and “as long as an internet connection exists, you can go live”, Kantor noted. Livestream’s most remote customers without internet acces, such as SpaceX and the Volvo Ocean Race, need to rely on a satellite feed and proprietary equipment.

Political candidates frequently Livestreamed events this fall; Kantor said that Obama’s campaign used the service extensively. “The President’s dedicated video team made it a priority, including the final rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z”. Another political customer is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who Livestreams his press conferences. (They’re also entertaining, thanks to his sign language interpreter.)

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Jay-Z and Beyoncé Can’t Trademark Their Kid’s Name

We’re not quite sure why Jay-Z and Beyoncé  would want to fight a Boston-based wedding planning company for the rights to the phrase “Blue Ivy”. The only possible scenario we can imagine involves a special line of Rocawear for toddlers, but something tells us that’s already a thing (please tell us that’s not already a thing).

At any rate, today The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office let the world’s richest entertainment power couple know that they are not the only people in the world legally allowed to repeat their own child’s name–and that the Massachusetts firm Blue Ivy may continue to operate under the title it has used since 2009.

OK, here’s the backstory: In February the couple sought to trademark their daughter’s name after “fashion designer Joseph Mbeh submitted an application [for] “Blue Ivy Carter NYC” on January 11th, only four days after the child was born”. Shameless!

Mbeh claimed (unconvincingly) that he didn’t plan to use the name himself–he just wanted to pitch his “Blue Ivy” fashion line to Hova and bride while owning the rights to said brand. Hmm…that sounds a little bit like blackmail, no? It’s almost as bad as the toy company that released a pair of dolls named “Sasha and Malia” back in 2009, claiming that the fact that the dolls shared the names of the new President’s daughters was just an incredible coincidence.

Glad that’s all settled, but for the record we’re still a little weirded out by the fact that the pair has “plans to reserve their child’s name for possible use as a brand name for a line of baby-related products, including carriages, diaper bags and baby cosmetics”. Would that plan really work?

Most importantly, we hope Blue Ivy’s delicate ego will survive this unfortunate branding fail.

Jay-Z Was Never Really into Occupy Wall Street

See, we thought Jay-Z was totally cool with the Occupy Wall Street movement. He certainly didn’t have a problem co-opting their message for his own benefit last year when his clothing company, Rocawear, started selling T-shirts labeled “Occupy All Streets.”

And yet, after reading his interview in last weekend’s The New York Times style magazine, we don’t know if Hova’s heart was ever really with the folks who made so much noise down in Zucotti Park. Here’s the key quote:

“I’m not going to a park and picnic, I have no idea what to do, I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know? Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.” Hmm.

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Not Feelin’ It: Jay-Z Sues Top Chef

Song-and-dance-man/branding expert Jay-Z and chef Mike Shand used to be tight like that, but the sparkle on their relationship seems to have dimmed: Jay just filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Shand for failing “to to perform on significant aspects” of a contract that named him as head honcho in charge of remaking the baseball-themed 40/40 Club‘s menu into something really special (as opposed to the overpriced bar food lineup now featured on the club’s website).

Following a January re-launch, this is the second big move that Hova has made in an ongoing attempt to improve his Flatiron District sports bar/nightclub’s reputation for…closely resembling a cross between a sports bar and a night club. And he didn’t pick Shand out of thin air, either: The reported California native also served as personal chef to both Jay and wife Beyoncé on recent tours. We’re guessing Shand didn’t care for “Watch the Throne” either, huh?

We can’t imagine this story will hurt business at the 40/40 club too much–who goes there to eat a fancy dinner anyway? But Mike Shand might have some trouble getting work as a high-end celebrity chef in the near future.

Spin the Agencies of Record

The stars have certainly aligned for Steve Stoute’s agency, Translation: Hip-hop juggernaut Jay-Z, film legend Ron Howard and iconic American beer brand Budweiser, along with a host of other talents, marketing gurus, PR experts and businesspeople are joining forces to create a film based on the two-day “Budweiser Made in America” film festival to be held in Philadelphia, PA, in September.

Sovereign\Santander has chosen Arnold Worldwide to represent the bank’s rebranding in a review competition that included Mullen and SapientNitro. Santander, the Spanish brand that bought Sovereign—and its 722 branches—in 2009, hired Arnold Worldwide to position the brand and execute its sweeping marketing and advertising efforts.

The Marcus Graham Project, an intensive summertime program designed to help rectify the ad industry’s lack of diversity, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by announcing that the project is going full time. This evolution, named Locomotus, will require $2.6 million in its first year.

Co-founder Lincoln Stephens emphasized the investment will benefit the industry as it seeks to remain competitive in a globalized and diversified marketplace and bolster the careers of motivated, talented, young professionals. Dan Wieden, MGP supporter and co-founder/global executive creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, explains “Locomotus takes the best of what portfolio programs and student-run agencies have and moves it to the next level.”

Stalwart anti-spyware brand McAfee, recently bought by Intel, has chosen Daniel J. Edelman’s Zeno Group as its AOR. This marks an account boon for Zeno, which is expanding its tech portfolio in its Silicon Valley office. Zeno will presumably be promoting McAfee’s digital products which give users the option of customizing their security settings.

Moet & Chandon USA has chosen Miami-based BRPR to head its digital strategies, sponsorship integration and brand communication across all platforms in the USA.

Jay-Z, the Nets and the New Face of Celebrity Branding

A fascinating story in The New York Times today considers a strangely uneven relationship: Despite the fact that rapper, producer and super-mogul Sean “Jay-Z” Carter owns only a fraction of a percent of the NBA’s Brooklyn-bound Nets franchise, his heavy hand is visible in nearly every corner of their re-branding project.

Not only is Jay-Z headlining opening week at Brooklyn’s monster Barclays Center venue, aka the Nets’ new home field; he also helped design the team’s logos and advised their PR squad on everything from music selections (more indie, “less Jersey”) to security practices (“be sensitive” when checking attendees for weapons).

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