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Posts Tagged ‘Mental Floss’

Roll Call: Ogilvy, The Associated Press, and More

Ogilvy Public Relations announced that Dr. Jennifer Scott, global managing director, strategy+planning, will  now serve as the agency’s New York office gead, effective immediately. In Dr. Scott’s new position, she will work closely with the New York office’s practice group heads on overseeing client accounts, business development, talent and office operations. Dr. Scott previously served as global MD, strategy+planning, in which she led a cross-disciplinary team of senior practitioners who consult with clients to elevate strategy, creativity and campaign excellence. Dr. Scott joined the agency in 2006 as managing director, insights & research. In this role, she worked across a spectrum of industries and geographies providing counsel to clients on using research to inform reputation management and crisis response, strengthen new and established brands, advocate for public policy initiatives, inspire behavior change and measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, Dr. Scott was president of StrategyOne, Edelman’s specialist research company.(Release)

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POLL: Should Publishers Use Editorial Staff to Create Sponsored Content?

How does one go about making sponsored content that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb? A few bold publishers are answering that question by turning to their own in-house editorial teams to get the job done.

Mashable has been writing posts for sponsors for some time, but Ad Age points out a more interesting case study: Mental Floss founder Mangesh Hattikudur’s U.S. Open live-blog/trivia session post, sponsored by IBM.

Hattikudur notes that IBM did not approve the content before publishing—and he’d planned to cover the event regardless.

The point is that content created by a publisher’s editorial staff will feel more authentic and therefore bring more value to the sponsor as readers grow increasingly skeptical of advertorials.

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WATCH: Steve Jobs Preps for His First On-Air Interview

Rough Monday morning? Here’s a consolation prize via our sister site TV Spy (who snagged it from the beautiful people at Mental Floss).

This 1978 clip, which appears to be pre-air prep for a lost promotional interview, reveals that even the mighty Steve Jobs had a little trouble with media appearances at 23.

Jobs, who’d just begun his journey from basement geek to tech world demigod, was fascinated by the concept of watching himself on-screen, exclaiming “Look at that! I’m on television!”

We’re most amused by his ability to keep his Skywalker-era hair shining so brilliantly despite the fact that he was “deathly ill, actually, and ready to throw up at any moment” (he was “not joking”).

Oh, and the beard. Good God, that beard.

The Weather Channel Is ‘Branding’ Storms Now

As we walked through the light (so far) snow on our way to the office this morning, we wondered: who named this supposed superstorm “Nemo” in the first place? Of course we all know that hurricanes have names, but winter blizzards?

Thanks to the sharp folks at Mental Floss, we have our answer: It’s all part of a slick branding scheme by The Weather Channel. Last November, the channel announced its plan to name winter storms in order to “raise awareness”, “[make] it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress” on social media…and create hashtag alerts that all lead back to The Weather Channel’s own content.

Smart, you guys. Very smart. We love how TWC “reserved” classic names like Brutus, Iago, Gandolf* and Yogi for the 2012-13 storm crop. Someone has a sense of humor–but it’s not the good people at the National Weather Service, who are totally not on board with this whole “branding the storms” deal (because they can’t stand TWC getting all the attention).

And here we figured it was all part of Disney’s plan to convince everyone in the Northeast to stay inside and re-watch Pixar movies this weekend…

*We’re not even Tolkein dorks and we knew that Gandalf’s name does NOT include an “o”. Come on!

PR Challenge: Stars Who Trash Their Own Projects

Angus T. Jones of Two and a Half MenWe were more than a little amused yesterday to read news of one Angus T. Jones, an actor better known as “that kid on Two and a Half Men”, pulling what looked like an outright effort to sabotage his own show.

Jones appeared in a bizarre YouTube video that just happens to double as a promo spot for The Forerunner Chronicles, a multi-media project pushing the “end times” Seventh-day Adventist movement. He makes his new-found allegiance to God quite clear in the pseudo-interview while bemoaning his current gig, telling viewers to “please stop watching Two and a Half Men” and “filling your head with filth” and encouraging the public to “do some research on the effects of television and your brain” because “it’s bad news.”

This little incident provided the Internet with more awkward chuckles than a Charlie Sheen rant while creating a huge headache for anyone who makes money producing, promoting or performing on what remains one of TV’s top-rated sitcoms (and that’s quite a few people). Based on follow-up reports, it seems like the only folks happy with Jones’s online outburst are his friends at Forerunner Chronicles and the Valley Crossroads Seventh-day Adventist Church–because everyone loves free PR from a semi-famous “soldier of truth.”*

Anyway, we had to ask: why would a massively successful actor pull a stunt like this? And how can the show’s PR team contain the damage done?

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Is Prince Harry’s Strip Poker Scandal Really So Bad?

OK, so the web has been abuzz with news of Britain’s wild child, the fiery ginger Prince Harry, and his recent all-nude Vegas review. We agree that it looks pretty bad (and yes, we just linked to TMZ. Now we feel like taking a long, hot shower).

But is this incident really a big PR problem for the royal family? The British public seems to turn to them for entertainment in tough times, and the royals occasionally make concerted efforts to showcase their sillier side. So certain, uh, slip-ups might actually make them more relatable, especially in the land that invented tabloids and reality TV. Despite their history, the Brits do sometimes manage to keep it classy: their mags have refrained from publishing the nude photos themselves at the request of the royal family’s PR team. Color us surprised.

But this is really just another day in the life of the crown. Our trivia-minded friends at Mental Floss remind us that the royals have seen far worse: Read more