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Posts Tagged ‘things we think we probably won’t like’

Samsung Tones It Way Down for New Galaxy Launch

Samsung Galaxy S IV Debut 1

Call off the brass section

Last week we asked whether tech companies should stop scheduling big events for every upgrade and “new” product launch. The answer was a nearly universal “no”—and Samsung seems to have gotten the message.

The New York Times tells us to expect less “singing and dancing” and more fawning over gizmos as the company introduces the public to the Galaxy S5.

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United Airlines to Offer $9 ‘Premier Access’ Line at Security

The public has had a love/hate relationship with air travel for decades now. We love the excitement of going somewhere new or visiting people we love, but we hate having our flights cancelled, being frisked in our socks by strangers, getting hit with hidden fees and waiting in line for the infamous full body scanner.

Yet most of us accept these inconveniences as part of the reality of flying. You can’t blame an airline for the weather. Hurricanes happen. So does snow. Most airline passengers sense that we’re all going through this crazy experience together. But at United Airlines, $9 is about to change that dynamic. That is how much United is charging for “Premier Access” to fast-track security lines that offer customers reduced hassle and shorter waits.

How will the public react? This is a tough one. Sure, the airline industry has always offered special treatment to business flyers and the high rollers in first class–but this new “Premier Access” stunt has yet to pass the public’s sniff test. Read more

Will the World Grow Weary of Starbucks’s Unstoppable Growth?

Ok, now this is just surreal. We’ve all heard the jokes about how there is a Starbucks on every street corner, and we know that statement is funny because it is (almost) true.

Everywhere you turn, no matter where you are, you’ll see that green and white logo—beside the gas station, across from your florist, atop the dog groomer’s studio. Starbucks simply appears out of nowhere, like Michael Meyers in Halloween.

But the world is, apparently, not enough: The Seattle-based coffee chain and global caffeine kingpin just announced plans to open 3,000 new stores in the Americas region by 2017, with half of those stores slotted for somewhere in the United States. That is staggering. Where in America is Starbucks going to build 1,500 new shops? And where are all of those customers coming from? Does the US have secret plans to colonize Antarctica? And why weren’t we told?

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Oh, Right: Kate Middleton Is Pregnant

Life & Style MagazineToday in Awkward (sort of) Press Releases News, the communications team at Buckingham Palace confirmed that we will, indeed, meet little Prince William Junior (or Juniorette) in approximately nine months: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is pregnant.

We’re not going to conduct any in-depth analysis of this crucial world-shattering event, but we do wonder: When she agreed to marry the Prince, did Lady Catherine’s thoughts turn to the day when the Associated Press would announce her pregnancy via Twitter? Did she debate whether such a thing is classier than having one’s pregnancy announced on the cover of Life & Style magazine alongside one or more Kardashians?

…and now we return to your regularly scheduled programming. Please feel free to freak out as you see fit–we will take this Very British moment to hope that the third season of Downton Abbey is better than the second.

MySpace Recast as ‘Spotify Killer’

Justin Timberlake MySpace Back in September we reported on Justin “I Don’t Make Music Anymore” Timberlake’s latest role as the public face of the new-and-improved MySpace. A memo that leaked this week offers more details about the company’s future plans; Spotify and Pandora‘s PR teams should take note.

Interactive Media Holdings (née Specific Media) purchased the property from News Corp last summer, jazzed it up and prepped it for a sorely needed relaunch: Despite the fact that traffic on the site went up by 36% over the past twelve months, MySpace is on pace to lose approximately $40 million in 2012–and organizers expect it to lose at least another $25M next year.

According to the leaked pitch materials, the folks at IMC are “holding out” for another $50M in capital so they can officially re-launch MySpace as a Spotify competitor by making use of what they call the “worlds largest music library of 42M songs and 100K music videos” and its “direct relationship with 5M artists”. How do they plan to do it? By starting a subscription model in 2013 and offering users not only streaming mp3s but music downloads, “artist merchandise” and “event ticketing” services. In other words, MySpace looks to become the one-stop shop for all things related to pop music.

It’s true that MySpace already has more members in the US than Pandora or Spotify, because most members never bothered to delete their profiles. The company also appears to have a cost advantage over its supposed competitors:

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Los Angeles Makes ‘Meatless Mondays’ Official

Farmers Market Produce We can all agree that most Americans (ourselves included) would benefit from eating a little less meat. It’s not that meat isn’t delicious or that it’s always unhealthy; it’s just that we tend to rely a little too much on beef and bread.

You may have heard of “Meatless Monday”, a public health PR campaign created in 2003 by marketing vet Sid Lerner and promoted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine‘s Center for a Livable Future in order to make healthy dietary choices more palatable to the otherwise distracted masses. Why Monday? Turns out we’re more receptive to healthy messages after indulging in the excesses of the average weekend (beer, football, BBQ…you know the deal).

Last week the Los Angeles City Council decided, by unanimous vote, to declare all LA Mondays “meatless” and to incorporate the message into its regular operations. What does this mean, exactly? We imagine that the subsequent PR campaign will resemble a much smaller version of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” project. The city’s mayor might even make a guest appearance on The Biggest Loser (hint hint).

Of course, the city can’t require anyone to suffer through every miserable Monday without the delicious life-giving taste of flesh…

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Chinese Billionaire’s ‘Marry My Daughter’ Stunt Will Be a Movie

We’re not quite sure how we missed the story of the Chinese billionaire and his wayward lesbian daughter, but the time has come to share it—because it has inspired the next Sasha Baron Cohen film.

Just over a week ago the world first met Cecil Chao, a Hong Kong real estate tycoon who loves his own daughter more than anything but can’t seem to accept the fact that she’s a lesbian. Back in April, 33-year-old architecture graduate Gigi Chao—who also happens to run the PR/model management agency Haute Monde—flew to France to begin a civil union with her longtime (female) partner, 45-year-old Sean Yeung.

Cecil was apparently so upset that he came up with what may be the world’s least brilliant plan to “win” his daughter back—he offered a reward of approximately $65 million to any man who could “convert” her and convince her to marry him.

We may be wrong, but we don’t think this is the way such things work.

The fact that Cecil is a lifelong bachelor who claims to have had “intimate relations” with more than 10,000 women and that he completely denies his daughter’s elopement adds even more of a circus-like quality to this story. We can certainly see why Cohen loved it.

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