Posts Tagged ‘things we almost like’
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Yes, the shutdown of the United States government is the big story today. But here’s something that won’t make you want to tear your own hair out: zombies warning Londoners about the dangers of tobacco.
This promo clip is part of a campaign run by for-profit online pharmacy HealthExpress in conjunction with “Stoptober”, an anti-smoking effort organized by the UK’s National Health Service (which is absolutely nothing like ObamaCare, so stop asking). We’d be more impressed if it were publicly funded or if the actors’ makeup were a little more convincing, but zombies are this year’s vampires so there you go.
The main point of this clip? If you smoke you’ll end up looking like an extra on The Walking Dead. Let’s just hope you can do a better job faking a Southern accent than anyone on that show.
In a stunning media coup, The White House finally took to the Internets yesterday to answer the only question that no one ever asked: when will Bo Obama get a little sister? America, meet Sunny. Sunny, America. (Like they needed another daughter…)
— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) August 19, 2013
What, you thought we’d post the slo-mo clips before the jump???
In case you missed it, this week The Guardian ran a story penned by Nancy Brenner of MSLGROUP as part of its “A Day’s Work” series. Framed as a “Q&A” with an open comment thread, its headline consisted of a “what do you want to know?” offer to answer any questions readers might have about our industry. An interesting exercise, no doubt.
In the piece itself, Brenner recounts some of the more colorful stories from her time working for Fortune 500 companies and financial brands. Highlights include:
I sometimes compare working in PR to an emergency room.
I have chased reporters into the women’s bathroom to try to get their attention.
I needed to find someone willing to suit up as Raggedy Ann & Andy in the freezing cold, for a minimum of money, and parade outside of the legendary building north of New York’s Madison Square Park to capture the attention of news vans.
But when I heard the Raggedy Ann & Andy toys mentioned as “a hot little Redhead” on television that night, I knew that I helped the client cut through the clutter and raise awareness for their product.
So…a little nutty, but par for the course at many firms. Here’s the thing, though: tales like these often confirm negative stereotypes held by those outside the industry. In the blog world we call it “troll bait.”
The New Yorker decided to celebrate gay marriage’s (limited) Supreme Court victory with a cover illustrating its signature brand of humor—the kind that inspires quiet chuckles from its readers and confuses or frustrates everyone else.
Everyone’s joked about Bert and Ernie’s “domestic partnership” for some time (along with the fact that Bert is the biggest bad guy since the Wicked Witch), but as a preview of this week’s cover made its way around the blogosphere, quite a few media observers asked “why?”—and a surprising number of people beyond the usual crowd took offense.
Here go the arguments:
This week we told you that no, the press release isn’t dead. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority sort of proved our point today with a “Superstorm Nemo” release that goes to great lengths to explain how the incredibly awesome MTA is so on top of things this time, you guys (and that they won’t screw up royally like they did in 2010).
Beyond claiming that “The MTA network has assumed a storm-fighting posture in response to the severe weather forecast”, the release also takes time to hype its “fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment.”
Now, we don’t want to give anyone the impression that this release stands as an example of great writing or anything–the rest of it is mostly boilerplate stuff about how subway and bus service might be a little less convenient than usual this weekend due to all the ice and snow and notices reminding drivers to “operate at reduced speeds due to wet roadways”. But that first sentence did get our attention. Cheeky!
So if you’re going to issue a press release on behalf of an organization famous for bureaucratic inefficiency and poor customer service, you might want to slip in at least one clever phrase to make sure that it’s not too terribly dull.
Last week we posted on Target‘s sleek new TV ad campaign, which seems to aim for that crucial “real housewives” demographic by turning laundry, light bulbs and bake sales into, like, the sexiest things ever.
At the time we wondered whether the ads were hip or misogynistic, but we have another question about today’s “live tweet-to-runway” event: what the hell just happened?
Here’s the deal: Target encouraged fans to log on to the “Everyday Show” page via Twitter and post messages concerning some product sold in the “Everyday” line. Target describes Everyday as “the most intensely sensible grocery and essentials collection of the season”, which could apply to pretty much anything. Someone in the marketing/PR department chose the “best” tweets, which were then read aloud by models as they paraded down the runway carrying the products in question with the requisite techno beats in the background.
Hey, it’s all about audience engagement, right?
Oh also: the lucky souls who had their tweets featured will receive $20 Target gift cards and “legendary tweet status”, which may be a bit of an overstatement. Here’s a sample clip:
If we were drawing up a profile of the world’s most passionate Martha Stewart fan, we probably wouldn’t include details like tattoos, punk rock and artisanal pickling.
Yet the reigning queen of domesticity seems to have acquired a few admirers on the underside of the pop culture spectrum—the number of under-34’s visiting her main website jumped 40% each month this year. A fascinating profile in this weekend’s The New York Times finds a slew of young(er) creative types living the post-collegiate dream in the East Village, all inspired by Stewart’s “emphasis on craftsmanship and perfectionism.”
Martha Stewart Living editor in chief Pilar Guzman is all over this newly discovered lifestyle trend, proclaiming his readership to be “the intersection between Colonial Williamsburg and Williamsburg, Brooklyn”. And our home borough does indeed appear to have birthed a few Stewart-themed “meet-up groups” for knitters, cooks and DIY interior decorators.
(Just to clarify: the fact that we live there doesn’t make us one of those people.)
Hurricane Sandy is already old news to most Americans, but it’s still a big deal to thousands, if not millions, in the northeast. Some entities (like the MTA) managed to turn the storm into a PR win, and the much-hated Time Warner Cable now appears to be one of them.
It was a multi-step process: First Time Warner deployed mobile power stations around New York City in order to “allow people without power to charge up their phones, use our WiFi”, etc. Then its reps announced a plan to “automatically credit many” area customers who lost power during the storm, effectively paying them back for service they didn’t receive. Some customers whose accounts weren’t caught by Time Warner’s technical sweep may need to call the company in order to receive their credit, but the vast majority of accounts will be credited automatically.
This week brings more encouraging news: The cable giant and several other companies sponsored food trucks that continue to visit the storm’s hardest-hit areas, delivering free grub to those left without power and/or shelter. Selections include pizza, cheese steak and souvlaki–we approve of their taste in comfort food even more than their humanitarian efforts!
We’d love to hear more customer service stories. Has the company made good on its promises? Can a fickle public forgive Time Warner?
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