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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Britain Finds Novel Ways to Bond with Global Audience

London’s 2012 Olympic Games may have inspired love at first sight among the viewing public and attendees, but from a marketing communications standpoint it’s been a long, drawn-out courtship.

“We’ve been preparing for the Olympics since 2005. To inspire visitation, our strategy has been to socialize the travel experience and centralize content to support marketing and PR,” says Karen Clarkson, VP North America for VisitBritain. She spoke at the Association for Travel Marketing Executives’ Marketing Issues Forum on Thursday in New York, discussing her company’s Olympics efforts and plans for the next James Bond movie, Skyfall.

Britain has enjoyed extended time in the public spotlight this year, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in June to the Olympic Games in July, the Paralympics in August and London’s Fashion Week in September. As Clarkson noted, “It’s been an opportunity to influence information about London and beyond, and not limited to sports related content. For the Olympics, we established digital content partnerships with NBC, Yahoo, The Travel Channel, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Travel & Leisure magazine.” She said that these partnerships helped the company generated $600 million worth of earned media impressions.

While partnership marketing plays a key role in VisitBritain’s operations, “social is at the heart of everything we do,” Clarkson explained. She described a unique pre-Olympics project in which Britain worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to “engage athletes and have them experience Britain firsthand before the Games.” They selected and sent seven American Olympics athletes to Britain in the fall of 2011 “to showcase the destination from a U.S. perspective and to appeal to a younger demographic.” The athletes generated visual content as they interacted with their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter.

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SNL Can’t Seem to Make Obama Funny

Saturday Night Live” started its new season this week, using omnipresent “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean to boost viewership while showcasing a few new cast members—and a brand new president.

We never really understood where Fred Armisen wanted to take his Obama impressions. He was almost always stiff and uncomfortable in the role, playing the part of straight man while others set up halfhearted jokes around him. We’re glad that media personalities got over their initial aversion to making fun of Obama, but writers and comedians obviously still face a big challenge in trying to make the man funny.

New guy Jay Pharoah has a history of impersonating the president in his stand-up acts, so we’re not surprised to see that he is better when it comes to reproducing Obama’s tics, but on watching his debut we didn’t detect much in the way of, you know, jokes–and Jason Sudeikis’s moronic Mitt Romney is even worse.

Our verdict? It’s still a long way from funny. If Obama does manage to get re-elected, we look forward to four more years of avoiding SNL’s consistently lame impersonations. Agreed?

‘Newsroom’ Star’s Topless Tweet: A PR Stunt?

We always (read: never) count on New York’s Daily News to deliver the hardest-hitting stories, and today they brought the bacon! The morning’s top gossip concerns Alison Pillan actress currently starring in HBO‘s “The Newsroom“–and a little accident she had yesterday…

After using her Twitter feed to jump on the NBC hate train and call the network out for airing the now-infamous Kris Jenner breast implant interview during Tuesday’s 9/11 moment of silence, Pill accidentally sent a topless photo of herself to more than 20,000 followers.

Pill quickly retracted the tweet and apologized, blaming her lack of tech savvy and claiming that she had intended to delete the offending pic. Fiancé and human beanpole Jay Baruchel played down the drama, tweeting: “My fiancée is an hilarious dork. #imjustgladitdidnthappentomefirst. Smartphones will get ya.”

Our initial embarrassment on Pill’s behalf gave way to a bit of cynicism: Might there be a chance that she tweeted the pic on purpose? Read more

NBC Tries, Fails to Promote New Sitcom During Football

We can’t help but laugh at the always-hapless NBC‘s attempt to promote its new Matthew Perry sitcom “Go On” during Sunday Night Football by zooming in on the actor seated in the stands as the pop-up promo for his show runs at the bottom of the screen. And we have to admire the skills of the fans who chose to perform this peculiar videobomb: How was their timing so perfect? It’s almost like they were in on it from the start…http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8446/7967505918_e1f7cf0bed_o.gif

We should clarify for the record, though: We will not be watching this show.

Media Training Tips and Cautionary Tales

In the high-risk, high-reward world of media training, major stumbles during television interviews are seared indefinitely in the public’s memory. Nailing an interview is not so easy, even for well-known public figures and corporate executives.

Media relies on basic principles and varied techniques. Today we’re focusing on seven tips–and what can happen when interviewees ignore them. As noted below, not everyone is as well-versed in handling the media as Joe Torre, (left) a former Major League Baseball manager.

Preparation is key since winging it is never a good idea. Interviewees need to wrap their heads around not only the core topics, but also the show, the interviewer and his or her questioning style. An example of what not to do? Herman Cain appeared completely clueless when asked about Libya during a video interview in Milwaukee last November, leaving several seconds of awkward, empty air time.

Keep answers brief, limited to quick sound bites. While Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his rambling remarks, the communicator in chief may need to heed this tip as well: During NYU’s Hospitality Investment Conference in June, NBC’s Chuck Todd predicted that President Obama may not win the first debate this fall, because [almost] no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office–and debates have strict time limits.

Beware softball questions. “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” is not a technically difficult question. Still, it was enough to trip up Sarah Palin during her now-infamous interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 Presidential election that was later parodied on SNL.

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Blows Up Brooklyn

HBO’s well-dressed but underwhelming period drama “Boardwalk Empire” turned heads in Greenpoint, Brooklyn last night the old-fashioned way: by blowing stuff up!

Seems like every city news source reported yesterday on an explosion that would “rock parts of Greenpoint and Manhattan”–and the show’s tech crew did indeed send a line of prop storefronts up in flames just before 11 PM last night. We guess this is a good way to build buzz and emphasize the fact that your show has…very impressive production values.

Anyway, we’ll leave it to NBC New York’s old hand Chuck Scarborough:

Check out The L Magazine‘s photos and get back to us: Were you close to the action last night? (For what it’s worth, we were about a mile away and we didn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. And as much as we may love Steve Buscemi, we feel the same way about the show itself.)

NBC’s ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Lands with a Thud

More bad news for NBC: their new military-themed reality competition show “Stars Earn Stripes”, which attracted some 100 protestors to their 30 Rock studios yesterday, isn’t quite the hit they were hoping for.

The Monday crowd included some very irate military parents, and a list of notable personalities who signed an earlier letter to studio head Robert Greenblatt demanding he cancel the show boasted several Nobel Peace Prize winners who called it “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.” Heavy stuff, that.

This isn’t the first controversy over “SES”: Read more

NBC Can’t Quit the Olympics

The logo was pretty cool though, right? What, you thought that perennial loser NBC would let those priceless rings go? Like Usain Bolt and his record-setting baton, they’re fighting to hold on to this big ratings boost despite (imaginary) threats of disqualification.

Some details via NBC’s press release: this week, The TODAY Show will feature a series of “special contributors” that just happens to include The Fierce Five, gold medal diver David Boudia, soccer phenom Hope Solo, sprinter Allyson Felix, and swimmers Cullen Jones and Katie Ledecky.

Lest you think NBC has actually evolved, the rest of the week’s lineup is back to normal with can’t-miss events like “famed 1990’s boy band 98 Degrees” reuniting to play live for the first time in 10 years.

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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.

50 Shades of PR Strategies: It’s All about Nudity

From Gabby Douglas to #NBCFAIL, the 2012 London Olympics has been a raucous spectacle of PR intrigue, triumph and disasters. For PR geeks, these games have been an absolute blast. And when it’s all over, when it’s all said and done, we’ll all be talking about that one moment of the Olympics that will remain forever etched in our memories: the women’s water polo wardrobe malfunction.

Move over Janet Jackson. Say hello to the lustful carnival of floating skin that is women’s water polo. That’s right, last Wednesday during a qualifying match between the USA and Spain, American player Kami Craig briefly exposed a Spanish player’s breast during an underwater skirmish. NBC aired the incident to the world, which hasn’t been the same since. Just imagine it. An entire breast. Under water.

The salacious chlorinated romp lasted for entire seconds, and will live forever on the Internet. In fact, today, this article headlined the New York Times website. There are plenty of companies and brands that will pay handsomely for that level of exposure PR. Now they all know what to do. Nudity never fails. Sex sells. Every PR expert knows this well, though not every PR campaign capitalizes on this knowledge.

One brand that nailed it is Ragú. Yes, sexy Ragú, that sultry red pasta sauce tantalizingly separated from the public by glass like a prostitute in Amsterdam. Even better: Its’ funny. Take a look:

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