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Posts Tagged ‘Mashable’

Can ‘Weird Al’ Save Radio Shack? Can Tim and Eric Save Pizza Rolls?

DISCLAIMER: We still have a huge soft spot for “Weird Al” Yankovic. We lost track of him in the 90s, but your editor is not in any way ashamed to admit that he still knows ALL the words to “Fat” and “Eat It” (and most of “Dare to Be Stupid”). “Word Crimes” was the best thing we’ve seen/heard from him in years.

That said, the question posed by Radio Shack‘s choice of Yankovic as its new spokesman is, “How can a fading brand reassert its own relevance?”

Here’s the new ad, created by our friends at Austin agency GSD&M, that launched this morning:

It’s funny, but the ending joke illustrates the problem: when you think of Radio Shack, what do you think of beyond batteries? Cords? Earbuds? iPhone cases?

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So What Do You Do, Lauren Drell, Branded Content Editor at Mashable?

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Mashable is one of the headlining members of the “new media” crop. In just a few years, what was once a blog covering technology and social media has become a top news source for everything from brands behaving badly on Twitter to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In recent years, its role has shifted from aggregator to newsmaker — and its content has moved from text-heavy blog entries to multimedia projects.

But Mashable doesn’t just do news. The site was one of the first to experiment with what it now calls branded content, offering would-be sponsors a relationship in which (in the site’s own words), “Mashable’s editorial team produces content presented by your brand.”

The content in question is “crafted to align your brand with relevant themes and to resonate strongly with your target audience, in a format that is native to Mashable.” Many major brands have participated as related projects grow more ambitious, yet Mashable’s policy insists that the creation of said content occurs without the direct editorial input of its sponsor.

Lauren Drell, a writer and former journalism student who now runs Mashable’s branded-content division, spoke to us about the ins and outs of her job — and cleared up some misconceptions about what she does every day. Read more

Mashable’s Branded Content Editor Talks Pitching

LAUREN-DRELL-HEADSHOT-newAt a summer event hosted by AirPR, we met Lauren Drell, who runs branded content at Mashable. Drell was being honored for her work that night, and we were impressed by her claim that she responds to (almost) every pitch she receives — especially after Newsweek writer Zach Schonfeld’s “respond to every pitch for a week” experiment got so much attention back in September.

Fortunately, Drell agreed to give us a few minutes of her time for a “So What Do You Do?” interview; here’s a segment from the forthcoming piece.

What sort of advice would you have for those looking to pitch a client to Mashable’s Branded Content department?

My beat is everything, and I do make an effort to reply to everyone because I never know what I’m going to need to know about the latest niche app.

But the number one way to get coverage for a startup would be to email our startup reporters and/or get in touch with them on Twitter.

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Perez Hilton, Other Famous People Had Thoughts on Advertising Week

Seeing Perez Hilton at Advertising Week is kind of like seeing Kid Rock at Cannes or the Kardashians at Paris Fashion Week: you get why they’re hanging around, but you wonder who invited them.

Nonetheless, quite a few names-you-might-know showed up at a red carpet event sponsored by social networking service Keek and agreed to talk for a few seconds about the state of things.

Here’s Mashable founder Pete Cashmore on management:

Perez and more after the jump…

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Will the YouTube/Michelle Phan Lawsuit Change the Influencer Game?

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In case you missed it: Michelle Phan, the “make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur” who became a prime influencer by posting short YouTube videos with titles like “Beach Beauty Essentials” and “How to Take the Perfect Selfie”–and earning nearly seven million followers in the process–got sued last week.

The suit, which could be worth several million dollars, stemmed from the fact that Phan allegedly used music by Ultra Records artist Kaskade in her clips without permission.

Phan is at the forefront of the social media influencer movement, earning more than $5 million in 2012 thanks to brand deals and appearing in ads for YouTube itself. The suit filed against her marks something of a first and raises some big questions about the future of one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Will it change the way the influencer game works?

Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand.com, who spoke to us about using influencers to market to Millennials last month, has some thoughts after the jump.

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All San Francisco Chronicle Employees Will Learn to Master Social Media (or Else)

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That’s not quite what last night’s Mashable headline read, but we figured we’d dramatize it because clicks.

Speaking of clicks, most of the journalists we read are pretty good on social, but the San Francisco Chronicle apparently plans to begin putting all its reporters through “a startup-style incubator” that will teach them to master the digital world, increase traffic and, hopefully, stall that ongoing revenue slide.

We can feel worlds converging as we type this post…

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Something for Your Favorite Flack’s Christmas List: the Ostrich Pillow

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We have all been here. It’s a late night cramming for that huge RFP. The team just isn’t collaborating the way they should, arguing about page numbers on the proposal or something stupid like that. You can’t keep your eyes open and need to crash.

Have no fear, kids. Introducing the Ostrich Pillow.

Bringing sexy back, huh? Just yesterday, we opined about HubSpot’s CEO Brian Halligan’s advocacy to take naps on the job. Whelp, guess what said major domo should find in his Christmas stocking by that certain office brown noser?

Thanks to the story by Mashable, we discovered these options for the desk sloth:

The thoughtfully designed pillow has four holes: two for your arms, one for breathing from your nose and mouth, and one for your neck. It’s available in three colors: sleepy blue, sunset siesta and mellow yellow.

And then there’s this. Click on the story for another delightful picture that resembles someone who got caught cramming her head into the ass end of a Thanksgiving turkey. MEMO to Ostrich Pillow owners: Take the thing off before you look up to discover your picture being taken for Facebook.

(Photo via Mashable)

Twitter (Finally) Adds a Woman to Its Board of Directors

We’re all aware that Twitter has received some well-deserved negative attention at the most important moment in its history for neglecting to include any women on its board of directors. That changed this morning when the company announced, via SEC filing, that former Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino will sit on its board at least through 2014. She even started her own account to spread the news:

Mashable‘s Todd Wasserman made light of the company’s public perception problem this morning:

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Google Gets Into the #GivingTuesday Spirit

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Google knows charity. Today the search masters have taken an extra step to promote the Giving Tuesday event, hosting a 12 hour “Hangout-a-thon” in order to connect those interested in giving to the best non-profit and charity organizations.

Moderated by Mashable, the event has 24 non-profit partners including such big names as Save the Children and UNICEF as well as newcomers like Charity Waterthe Malala Fund and Girls Who Code. Its stated purpose is to “spread awareness about under served charities“, and we’re also very interested in hearing from the TOMS and Warby Parker founders on the notion of “gifts that give back.”

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Regulators Might Have to Stop and Frisk Your Native Ads

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Do these kids even know the difference between “ad” and “editorial?”

Regulators at the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (which operates under the Council of Better Business Bureaus) have heard PR and marketing talking a big game about “content”, but they aren’t sure exactly where to draw the line between “paid promotion” and “editorial”. In other words, they think your latest sponsored post looks suspiciously out of place, so they might just have to give it the once-over.

Should you be worried?

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