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Posts Tagged ‘things we almost like’

Facebook’s New Ad Campaign: ‘We’re Still Relevant!’

Someone at Facebook read all your headlines. The company knows that you’re not as excited by your friends’ political rants as you once were and that you really don’t get the new algorithm (just like you didn’t get the need for a “news feed” back in 2006).

In response to this perceived decline, Facebook released a set of ads created by Weiden + Kennedy and designed to remind you of its own usefulness in terms of that whole “interacting with friends/co-workers/elementary school classmates” thing over the past month or so.

Here’s one:

And a couple more after the jump.

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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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Local Paper Crowdsources the Editorial Process

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Mistakes, I’ve made a few…

If you want to get a little sad about the current state of local journalism, look no further than our friend Jim Romenesko, who posted this story earlier in the week.

It concerns the publisher of the Florida-based St. Augustine Record and her plan to turn the copy editing process into a “find the typo” contest for readers. Yes, you did just hear a groan emanating from newsrooms across the country.

The problem is that, while the paper’s content does “[go] through about four or five people” before reaching your mailbox or tablet, those pesky typos just can’t stop/won’t stop.

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Someone Didn’t Think About This One Direction GMA Hashtag

Oh ha ha, you went there, Mr. HyperVocal. So many innuendos today.

We can blame this on the marketing department, right Choire?

Zombies Swarm London…for Fake Anti-Smoking PSA

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.

The White House Plans, Executes Flawless ‘New Puppy’ Rollout

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…)

What, you thought we’d post the slo-mo clips before the jump???

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Top PR Pro’s Guardian Q&A Illustrates Familiar Industry Stereotypes, Challenges

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.

And:

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.”

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About That Bert and Ernie New Yorker Cover…

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:

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Sorry, LinkedIn Users: You’re Not All That Special

Good question! If you’re one of the 200 million people around the world who maintain a LinkedIn profile and you have more than, say, 50 connections, then you almost certainly received some version of this recent email: LinkedIn email promo The nice yellow “read more” button leads to a “letter” from the company’s SVP that encourages members to share their new status as “influencers” via every available social media platform. It’s instant, thought-free self-promotion!

We hate to discourage everyone, but you shouldn’t get too excited about this–it’s a clever marketing scheme. How does it work, you ask?

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MTA Press Release Hypes Org’s Fierce ‘Storm-Fighting Posture’

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.

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