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Posts Tagged ‘The Onion’

Netflix to Amazon: ‘We’ve Got Bigger Drones Than That’

We appreciate Netflix’s efforts to play the “spunky upstart” role by poking fun at its rivals and we agree that Amazon makes for a more reasonable target than HBO, because you will lose if you try to compare House of Cards to The Sopranos or Game of Thrones. The drone delivery service spoof making its way around the Internets this morning isn’t the funniest thing ever, but it scores a couple of chuckles while confirming that Netflix doesn’t have either of its rivals’ production budgets.

The stunt mocking a stunt does make one good point: “rush[ing] unproven technology to market” could be the subheading of both the drone and “wearable” tech movements.

And when it comes to the Netflix browsing experience most of us know, The Onion offers a shockingly accurate summary:

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What Does the Publicis/Omnicom Merger Mean?

We’ve all heard enough about this weekend’s Publicis/Omnicom merger to know that it’s too big for our limited minds to even fathom, much less evaluate.

So many questions followed: will it lead to mass layoffs or protracted battles over antitrust laws? Will it doom boutique agencies that don’t get picked up by major “holding company” conglomerates? Will it change our jobs in profound and permanent ways?

These are all valid, fascinating issues that must be considered—and for now we’ll let other people do the thinking for us, starting with those smartasses at The Onion.

Surprisingly accurate! That headline stings a bit, though we finally understand why they didn’t hire us for the grad school internship we wanted so badly (should’ve learned to code in high school, dammit). On a more serious note, Richard Edelman is skeptical of this supposed sea change, writing:

Bigger does not mean better. My 84-year-old mother’s first reaction yesterday was that this reminds her of AOL’s* merger with Time Warner. “They were all screwed up for years,” she said.

In other words, don’t freak out…at least not yet. But there will be blood.

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What Happened to The Onion’s Twitter Feed Last Night?

We generally love The Onion for its hilarious headlines and The AV Club‘s great arts coverage (no, we never actually read the articles, but we’re not the only ones). But in the midst of last night’s Oscars ceremony, between Seth MacFarlane‘s musical boob jokes and Jennifer Lawrence‘s wardrobe malfunction, the magazine’s Twitter feed dropped this stunner:

We don’t even know how to respond except to say: what the hell? Sure, MacFarlane was a little out of line when he said–about a nine-year-old girl, mind you–that “it’ll be 16 years before she’s too young for Clooney”. But this was just ridiculous. Was it supposed to be funny? We hope, for the sake of whoever posted it, that he was very drunk at the time (we’re about 99.9% sure it was a he, because no lady we know would ever use that word in public).

We can’t say that we’re offended on her behalf like Wendell Pierce, aka Bunk on The Wire:

But this was definitely the worst attempt at humor we’ve ever seen on behalf of The Onion. And we have a feeling they’ll be issuing an official apology by the end of the day.

The Onion Helps Brands Discover Their Sense of Humor

The Onion is all about funny, satirical, almost believable stories. When we first heard about Vladimir Putin’s plan to pump up Russia’s fertility rate with a Boyz II Men concert, we immediately thought of the magazine.

But now we know that’s not all “America’s Finest News Source” can do. See, Digiday taught us something this week: The Onion also helps brands discover (or re-discover) their sense of humor via its in-house ad/marketing/advisory team, Onion Labs. This strange experiment all started last year when Microsoft Internet Explorer, desperate for a rebranding, decided to embrace its reputation as “The Browser You Loved to Hate” and ask The Onion‘s advisory team for ideas (one of which was this cute “Child of the 90′s” video). The project grew rapidly from there.

Onion Labs is still relatively new, but the group’s site features a series of funny spots for brands as disparate as Jack Links and 7-Eleven. They’ve also worked on social media campaigns like the #vacationitis project for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

We can certainly see why the Onion Labs aesthetic appeals to so many brands–if you’re not comfortable making fun of yourself then you’re going to have trouble appealing to that crucial 18-30 demographic. Here’s one of the Lab’s commercials pitching Dove deodorant to men by making light of the fact that guys don’t really like to deal with their dry skin problems:

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People’s Daily Runs With Kim Jong-un ‘Sexiest Man’ Spoof

Kim Jong-unThe People’s Daily unambiguously describes itself as “the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China”. Based on that description and a few handy stereotypes, you might expect the rag to be a humorless collection of articles offering nothing but effusive praise for the nation and its single-party government—and you’d be right!

Today, however, we also note that the editors of the Daily seem to be missing a crucial snark detector. A quick glance at the site’s English landing page reveals a feature based on the recent Onion spoof naming North Korean Communist dictator-by-birth Kim Jong-un as “The Sexiest Man Alive”, reprinted with nary a hint of irony.

The best part about it? The editors didn’t just run the story—they added their own 55-page slideshow to highlight all the best things about their favorite ally/supreme leader/murderous despot.

Did they really not get the joke? The fact that they reprinted this ridiculous quote in full makes us wonder:

“With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.”

And here’s a picture of him riding horseback, because that’s just the kind of thing sexy men do.

Kim Jong-un again