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Posts Tagged ‘seinfeld’

U.S. Postal Service to Launch Clothing Line

Today in No, We Don’t Mean the Band News: The U.S. Postal Service, currently suffering from something of a PR crisis, just announced plans to develop its own clothing line with menswear maker Wahconah Group.

Before you ask, this is not a joke–here’s the press release to prove it.

The apparel and accessories line, designed to be “on the cutting edge of functional fashion”, will be called “Rain, Heat and Snow” in honor of the unofficial USPS motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

It won’t just be the usual shirts, hats and footwear–it will include “wearable technology” like jackets with built-in iPod controls so mailmen can more effectively ignore the outside world while on their usual routes, controlling the free flow of information.

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G.E. Is Totally Cool With 30 Rock, You Guys

30 Rock Tina Fey Alec BaldwinSay you’re a PR/branding exec at a big corporation. Say there’s a certain sitcom that’s been making fun of you mercilessly for seven years (while appearing on a network that you once owned). What would you do?

Well, if you’re General Electric and that sitcom is 30 Rock, you embrace it after maintaining an adversarial relationship for more than six seasons. G.E., which has seen its “Six Sigma” super-productivity culture mocked repeatedly by Tina Fey, recently decided to let the public know that it is totally in on the joke.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed the company’s weird “thank you” commercial on last week’s episode. Global director of brand management Linda Boff explained everything to Ad Age, saying “G.E. employees and G.E. executives have laughed for the last seven years along with the rest of the audience.”

Oh yeah? Something tells us that former CEO/conspiracy theorist Jack Welch (aka Jack Donaghy) didn’t even chuckle, but at least somebody has a sense of humor.

It’s a bit of a rebranding, really:

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Whoops: Subway’s ‘Footlong’ Doesn’t Quite Measure Up

Subway SubmanHey, what’s an inch between friends?

If it contradicts the selling point behind your signature product, it can be a big deal. So when a curious Australian Subway customer discovered that his “footlong” sub sandwich was, in fact, only 11 inches long, he decided to vent his frustration in the most modern way: he took a picture of the offending item beside a ruler and posted it on the company’s Facebook page along with the simple request “subway plz respond.”

And then, of course, everybody went nuts.

So is this a PR mess, or what?

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Netflix Gets Creative With Arrested Development Promos

Netflix Arrested Development Like most of the armchair critics in the civilized world, we regard Fox’s tragic Arrested Development as the second-best sitcom of all time. (Before you object, consider the fact that Seinfeld had nine seasons to develop–and if you even mention Friends, we will unfollow you on Twitter.)

We were both excited and skeptical last year when streaming king Netflix, in something of a PR coup, announced that it would produce an entire season of new episodes including everyone’s favorite characters like ham-lover Carl Weathers and always-capable attorney Barry Zuckercorn (aka The Fonz), who might just get a chance to jump that infamous shark one last time:

This week, Netflix got creative in its efforts to build the hype for Season 4, which will debut some time in 2013. In a sly move uncovered by the experts at SplitSider, Netflix added some of Arrested Development’s greatest fake shows and movies to its Instant Watch collection.

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Arby’s Re-Branding Misses the Mark

Arby’s, a chain best known for focusing on roast beef instead of chicken or chuck and offering some decent curly fries, has decided to go big and mean after being bought out by Roark Capital Group in 2011.

The sandwich-maker just unveiled a new logo created by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, Adrienne Weiss Corporation and Alcone Marketing. We have to agree with the folks at Brand New: the new look is both shinier and more generic than before, and its font makes Arby’s look like a software company. We liked the Western-style serif on the old logo, but maybe that’s just us.

The company also directed CPB to remake its advertising presence. The resulting spot was aggressive, knocking competitor Subway for slicing its meat out in middle-of-nowhere Iowa instead of right behind the counter as Arby’s apparently does (Iowans didn’t much care for this ad, by the way, and Arby’s had to pull it off the air). Will this line work? We’re skeptical.

The most surprising element of this advertising fail is the fact that the spots were directed by former Seinfeld scribe Larry Charles. Come on, guys: We’ve got the best possible Arby’s commercial for you right here.

It would be worth the royalties. Trust us.

Wayne Knight Still Happy to Be Known as ‘Newman’

Pity the one-hit wonders: the Mark Hammils, Jaleel Whites, Peter Framptons, and Dexy’s Midnight Runners of the world who achieve a moment in the spotlight and then disappear, leaving us with a single song, film or sitcom character to remember them by.

According to Dan Amira of Daily Intel, Mr. Wayne Knight, who made an appearance at the Democratic National Convention this week on behalf of The Creative Coalition, is quite happy to be known, now and forever, as Seinfeld‘s Newman, despite the fact that his wife is “tired” of strangers stopping him on the street and asking him to say “Hello…Jerry.”

Based on the seventh season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (which we take to be 100% true to life), we feel like Knight now views his best-known character with more fondness than does Jason Alexander, who has voiced a certain displeasure with his inability to transcend George Costanza.

So, publicists: Should actors, musicians and other creatives who are known for a single role or song embrace their claims to fame or spend the rest of their lives aiming to move beyond their one big moment in the sun?

Hey Yahoo, When Does a Joke Become Tasteless?

Today Yahoo! News’s official Twitter feed felt the wrath of an easily offended internet.

The company debuted the #HashOut tag to promote their upcoming “social media talk show” of the same name with a message making light of the recent two-year jail sentence handed down to Russian anti-government punk bad Pussy Riot. Yahoo! tweeted:

“Last week, a Moscow judge sentenced a punk band to two years in prison. What musical act would you send to lockup, and why?”

We guess we can see why they thought this one would work: Everybody has opinions about music, everybody read something about Pussy Riot last week, and everybody likes to be interactive. But Yahoo!’s opening shot fell a bit short: While a few angry re-tweeters noted that the suppression of free speech by authoritarian governments is no laughing matter, we just didn’t think the “joke” was very funny. Read more

Seinfeld’s New PR Strategy: Do Nothing!

I know that guy from somewhere...Well, not really. Despite the headaches and last-minute dramas that plague the PR industry, the best way to bring positive attention to yourself and your product is sometimes the simplest: Just do your thing and talk about it to anyone who will listen.

Of course, it helps if your name is Jerry Seinfeld. Most entertainers and media pros aren’t quite blessed with Jerry’s cache: Despite some dubious career choices, he will always be the star and co-creator of scripted comedy’s once-and-future-king, a show whose ratings will almost certainly never be surpassed in an era of splintering audiences and dwindling returns.

As Mediabistro’s newest property LostRemote reports, Seinfeld has apparently revived the struggling Sony Pictures venture Crackle on the power of name recognition alone by taking every opportunity to hype his new, extremely low-key project “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (with the help of a few obscure thespians like Larry David and Ricky Gervais). Is it funny? That doesn’t really matter: It has certainly led to new interest in Crackle, and Sony now plans to develop original scripted series for the site in the interest of competing with Hulu and Netflix.

Bottom line: Seinfeld seems to have made himself relevant again, and the workload involved so far has been light enough to make even George Costanza proud.