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Posts Tagged ‘Justin Timberlake’

What Is ‘Sonic Branding?’

“Sonic branding” sounds like a complex concept, and it is a relatively unexplored aspect of the PR/marketing world–but it surrounds us every day. Think about sounds or jingles that you associate with brands: surely you’re familiar with this one or this one or this one. You might even remember this one.

That’s sonic branding in action.

The power of music and sound transcends language, culture and all things visual, which makes sonic branding a huge part of the promotional game for many companies. For example, anyone anywhere in the world can hear the simple tune “I’m Lovin’ It” and instantly think of McDonald’s (in fact, Justin Timberlake wrote a track around the original five-note jingle). The process of “distilling a multimillion dollar brand into a few seconds of sound” can be long and challenging, but it pays off–sonic branding signatures can be more recognizable than company logos or spokespeople.

How can sound help an established company rebrand itself? Here’s a great case study: Univision, one of the biggest names in Spanish-language news and entertainment, recently chose Man Made Music as its sonic branding agency of record in an attempt to establish a fresh image. Here’s the final product, a reworking of the network logo spot:

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Justin Timberlake Hypes New Music in Most Pretentious Way Possible

We’re not sure what’s worse: this butt-level video of Justin Timberlake “heading into the studio” to lay down some hot new jams, the countdown clock that follows, or his ambiguous series of “I think I’M READY” tweets.  But hey, what do we know? We clicked on it, didn’t we?

OK, so there will be a new full-length, it will be produced by Timbaland, and both artists will collaborate with Beyoncé on her new solo record and a Destiny’s Child reunion project. It’s cool–we kinda miss the late 90′s too.

Pepsi and Beyoncé: The New Sponsorship Model?

Beyoncé and PepsiPepsiCo recently signed a sponsorship deal with Beyoncé worth a reported $50 million—but we’re not terribly concerned with news about a pop singer promoting a soda company.

We’re more interested in the nature of the relationship between the two parties, which seems to have broken new ground when it comes to sponsorships and invites the question: Who is promoting whom?

Pepsi calls the contract a “brand ambassador” deal, and the accompanying New York Times headline mentions Pepsi’s focus on “collaboration”. What do these terms mean, exactly? Well, Beyoncé won’t just appear on Pepsi products, star in commercials, and perform in next year’s Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl: Her contract also includes “a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.”

Correct us if we’re wrong, but this move is unprecedented—or at the very least extremely rare.

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MySpace Recast as ‘Spotify Killer’

Justin Timberlake MySpace Back in September we reported on Justin “I Don’t Make Music Anymore” Timberlake’s latest role as the public face of the new-and-improved MySpace. A memo that leaked this week offers more details about the company’s future plans; Spotify and Pandora‘s PR teams should take note.

Interactive Media Holdings (née Specific Media) purchased the property from News Corp last summer, jazzed it up and prepped it for a sorely needed relaunch: Despite the fact that traffic on the site went up by 36% over the past twelve months, MySpace is on pace to lose approximately $40 million in 2012–and organizers expect it to lose at least another $25M next year.

According to the leaked pitch materials, the folks at IMC are “holding out” for another $50M in capital so they can officially re-launch MySpace as a Spotify competitor by making use of what they call the “worlds largest music library of 42M songs and 100K music videos” and its “direct relationship with 5M artists”. How do they plan to do it? By starting a subscription model in 2013 and offering users not only streaming mp3s but music downloads, “artist merchandise” and “event ticketing” services. In other words, MySpace looks to become the one-stop shop for all things related to pop music.

It’s true that MySpace already has more members in the US than Pandora or Spotify, because most members never bothered to delete their profiles. The company also appears to have a cost advantage over its supposed competitors:

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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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Can MySpace Rise Again?

Today brings the return of a familiar face to our computer screens. No, we’re not talking about Justin Timberlake, though he is a wise choice to play the role of public representative for the brand new MySpace.

This new video dropped on Twitter yesterday, and we have to say that we are somewhat impressed that MySpace has so obviously improved upon its famously awful interface!

Hmm…that was more of a tease than anything, but the new MySpace seems to combine elements of Facebook, Spotify and especially Pinterest (the visual layout is all but a carbon copy). This change is a wise move:

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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:

Tools Round Up: Facebook and Skype; Radian6 and Twitter; JT and MySpace

Facebook has announced a partnership with Skype that will bring video calling to the social network’s 750 million users. Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion and has been a Facebook partner for some time. Today’s announcement also included a new chat design and the addition of group chats. More info is available on The Facebook Blog.

Perhaps you heard that the President hosted a Twitter Townhall today? Radian6 will be working with Twitter to analyze those tweets. Pre-townhall research conducted by Radian6 yielded a number of findings, like national security and financial security are two topics that drive tweets. Additional findings are available here.

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Timberlake’s Tequila Awards $25k to Young Filmmaker

Malachi_Rempen.jpg

901, the premium tequila brand launched by Justin Timberlake smartly went with a real prize for their user-generated video contest: $25,000, a trip to Vegas, and the title of Executive Vice President of Big Ideas.

Malachi Rempken‘s winning video best embodied the brand by artfully depicting all the ugliness–including not getting any–that can occur from not starting the night with other types of booze. The 22-year-old short-form filmmaker will likely use the cash for to finance his next project.

You can view “The only way to start your night” here.

RELATED: Name Yellowtail’s New Chardonnay (for $96 bucks)

Ken Sunshine On Tiger Woods: ‘His People Mishandled It’

Sunshine and Sachs Founder Ken Sunshine appeared on the CBS “Early Show” this morning to talk Tiger Woods. For those of you who may have missed it, Woods was involved in a car accident on his own property early last Friday morning in which he was injured and taken to a local hospital. Woods refused to speak with local law enforcement, and details around the accident have led to speculation that Woods may have been having an affair and the accident was related to an argument with his wife over the situation.

“If Tiger Woods were to call you today, what advice would you give him?” asked “Early Show” host Harry Smith. “You should have called me a couple of days ago,” joked Sunshine. Getting serious, Sunshine said, “It’s the perfect storm…and his people mishandled it.”

“The whole goal with these things is to make the media go away,” said Sunshine, and Wood’s actions – issuing a statement three days after the accident and “stonewalling” law enforcement – didn’t help his case. Sunshine’s agency has worked with a number of high profile celebrities over the years, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbra Streisand, Ben Affleck, Michael Moore, John Mayer and Justin Timberlake.

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