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Posts Tagged ‘things we assume we wouldn’t like’

App Gets Far Too Much Press Coverage for Saying ‘Yo’


Yo, we’ve never been able to resist a passing bandwagon, so we’ll mention the app that everyone’s covering today.

What does it do? It allows users to set up accounts and send a single-word message to fellow users: “Yo.

It’s like an independent version of Facebook’s super-creepy Poke–and it has led to some serious queries among the journalistic community this afternoon…

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Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Anchorman 2 Content Marketing: Too Much of a Not-So-Good Thing

shutterstock_171546986If you knew someone who knew someone who lived near a working wi-fi connection in late 2013, then you probably heard about Anchorman 2.

Chances are you saw clips from at least one of Will Ferrell‘s many, many “content marketing” projects: the Dodge commercials, the local TV appearance, the journalism school event, the underwear commercial, the in-character interviews, etc.

There’s no question that the campaign was one of the largest in history and that it will serve as a model for future big-name movie promotions.

Here’s the problem, though: it didn’t really work.

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Shape Tries, Fails to Push Native Ad Boundaries

Adco-superJumboEarlier this week we revisited the fact that native ads are nothing new with more than a little help from Adrienne LaFrance and The Awl.

Now Shape magazine has given us a great example of how the game has changed since the days of traditional print advertorials: the rag received a smackdown from the National Advertising Division after making what seemed like an earnest attempt to gin up some revenue by “editorializing” all over a product it created.

At first we thought “what’s wrong with a publication promoting its own ‘snake oil’ (not our words)?”

The worst part about this story, though, was the painfully obvious spin.

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It’s Official: Google Glass Is a Bust


Even Shutterstock thinks so

For all the talk of tech in 2013, we can’t think of a single product that truly altered the landscape. Nothing came anywhere close to the innovation of, say, the iPad. Smart watches seemed mildly interesting, but the biggest “breakthrough” was supposed to be Google Glass.

After reading this Mat Honan Wired account of a year spent with the device, we can safely call it a dud. For now.

Key quotes after the jump.

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Will the Public Love Verizon’s Valentine’s Day Phone?

Verizon Today is the first day of February, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The public views Valentine’s Day as a symbol of everything that is both right and wrong with our society. Love deserves a day of celebration, but no one should have to choose between buying a bunch of overpriced nicknacks and sleeping on the couch.

Nevertheless, the commercialization of Valentine’s Day is an unstoppable beast, so we all must comes to terms with it on a personal level. There will always be people who embrace holidays with a fervor and passion that requires decorating the banister, dressing the dog in a ridiculously-themed holiday outfit and wearing a gaudy sweater that commemorates the occasion as only an uncle with a steel plate in his head can.

So we can’t blame Verizon for wanting to cash in on the Valentine’s Day bonanza. There will be plenty of people eager to buy the brand’s hot pink Valentine’s Day edition Motorola Droid RAZR M, which comes with a holiday discount for $50. So if hot pink is your thing (or your significant other’s thing), then this is the phone for you this Valentine’s Day.

But is this a step too far?

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Will the World End at Midnight? (Hint: Nope)

This week we asked ourselves the World’s Most Important Question: Why do these 12/21 End of the World Nibiru cataclysm folks get so much attention? How did they score such a massive PR coup? (Oh, a quick note because you asked: The reason that the world will supposedly end tonight instead of tomorrow night is that it all begins in New Zealand, which is a day ahead of us. Or something like that.)

Well, all this nonsense pretty much comes down to one woman who is—get ready for a shocker—slightly insane.

The whole “Mayans predicted the end” deal isn’t new, but the idea that an “interplanetary object” known as Nibiru (which might be a star or a planet) will bring about the end by crashing into the Earth came to us in 1995 courtesy of a nice lady named Nancy Lieder, who claims to communicate with aliens and started an awesome site called ZetaTalk to let everyone know that the end was near.

She initially predicted  that the date of judgment would come in 2003, but she quickly revised her calculations after that didn’t happen, claiming that the “government” conspired to conceal the real date so it could implement martial law, trapping citizens in cities and ensuring their slow, painful deaths. Believable!

But the most annoying thing about this lady isn’t that she is a nut or that her theories have spread, like a viral video, around the End of Times community since the mid-90’s.

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Postmortem: Rihanna’s Crazy Mess of a Tour

Rihanna 777 TourSince we feel like covering the indulgent lifestyles of pop stars today, we’d like to offer a postmortem assessment of Rihanna’s recent PR disaster disguised as a whirlwind international tour.

See, the very concept behind this extended promo event demanded the “stunt” label: The pop star planned to play seven countries in seven days, and she invited approximately 150 music journalists to join her on her Boeing 777 mega-jet (we don’t really get the “7” theme).

Anyway, chaos quickly descended upon the unfortunate entourage. These journalists relayed news of on-plane streaking, hunger, sleep deprivation, lack of bathroom access and general anxiety while receiving very little attention from an apparently disinterested Rihanna. The star’s heart just didn’t seem to be in it: She received boos from fans in Berlin after forgetting the lyrics to her own songs and denied all interview requests during the trip as some journalists began to wonder whether she was on the plane at all.

On first glance, this all looks to be something of a PR disaster. On second glance, it looks even worse.

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Stunts: ‘PR Bounty’ Media Placement Contest

We’d never heard of the Pine Brothers “softish” throat lozenge company before today, but they definitely have some…unconventional promo ideas.

Companies usually contact PR firms before designing a strategy, but Pine Brothers’ CEO Victoria Knight-McDowell (best known for creating the popular Airborne “immune support supplements”) decided to completely skip the usual way of doing things… by turning the whole deal into a contest.

The “PR Bounty” stunt works like this: any individual (professional or otherwise) who manages to place a feature story on Pine Brothers in one of its CEO’s preferred publications will get paid—after the story runs. It’s not just print media, either: anyone savvy enough to score a full segment on Anderson, Dr. Phil or The View or other talk shows will earn a cool $25,000!

This isn’t the first unusual stunt from Pine Brothers, by the way: they recently offered free lozenges to professional opera singers. We were curious to learn more about their latest plan, so we communicated via email with Rider McDowell,  company chairman and husband of Victoria.

Keep reading–it’s worth it:

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Goldman Sachs PR Chief Dishes on Damage Control

Many media outlets have labeled Greg Smith’s investment banking expose Why I Left Goldman Sachs disappointing; some in the financial industry have gone so far as to call him a classic “con man”. That doesn’t mean Goldman’s top PR guy Jake Siewert can rest easy.

A veteran of the Clinton administration and former adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Siewert signed with Sachs earlier this year to help the firm’s principals “put the mistakes of the financial crisis behind them” and improve their company’s public image.

Mere days after Siewert’s hiring announcement, The New York Times published Greg Smith’s defamatory op-ed decrying the Goldman Sachs culture of greed as “toxic and destructive”—so you might say he hit the ground running.

Most of Siewert’s damage control efforts over the past six months have amounted to “off the record” conversations defending the firm’s reputation, but yesterday he sat down with New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose to discuss the politics and challenges of reputation management.

We won’t reprint the entire interview, but here’s an interesting tidbit on why Goldman chose to shoot the messenger:

“Why not just issue a generic statement saying, ‘Goldman Sachs is committed to serving its clients’ needs’ and leave it at that?

That hasn’t worked out so well in the past. And frankly, we didn’t know what was in the book.”

Siewert is predictably guarded, but it’s still worth a read.

PR pros: How big is the challenge facing Siewert? Was Goldman right to attack Smith?

What the Hell is Brad Pitt Talking About?

We guess we should applaud Chanel for being bold enough to choose a male face for its iconic No. 5 perfume, though we will venture that Brad Pitt was hardly the riskiest choice. We always imagined his favorite scent to be some enticing combination of stale cigarettes and marijuana, but who are we to say?

On watching Mr. Jolie’s first spot for Chanel, we share a common response: What the hell is he talking about? And how will this string of cosmic nonsense inspire more people to buy Chanel?

Well, that was…pretentious. We can only assume that the “it” he mentions is life, the universe and everything. Double rainbow, man. Unfortunately, the second spot released today is no better: Read more