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Posts Tagged ‘weird stuff’

Pitches That Worked: UAE Airline’s ‘Flying Nannies’

It’s tough out there for an airline. Even if you don’t happen to be British Airways, sometimes you feel like everybody hates you. Of course air travel brands look for ways to stand out, and after some opted for child free “quiet zones“, Etihad Airways found a nice Bizzaro World alternative with its new “flying nannies” service.

Someone representing Eithad, which is the official airline of the United Arab Emirates because of course it is, thought this story would have wings—and it is indeed quite odd. Here are some choice bits from the press release:

Identified by bright orange aprons, each Flying Nanny aims to provide a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors.

The course includes in-depth training, from the world renowned Norland College, concentrating on child psychology and sociology…

And with this training they will offer “activities”:

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Journalism Is Alive and Well (at the Church of Scientology)

Are you an ambitious, street-smart young scribe eager to expose L.A.’s seedy underbelly to the world at large? Do you decry the decline of quality reporting and live to shame the lamestream media? Most importantly, do you know your current thetan count? If you answered yes, duh, and “praise overlord Xenu!” to these questions, then The Church of Scientology wants you…to write for its in-house magazine, Freedom.

Freedom promotes “investigative reporting in the public interest,” with “the public” meaning Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, and whoever else runs the world’s most secretive tax-exempt organization. In what can only be the most incredible coincidence in history, every single article in said magazine amounts to a little piece of the church’s never-ending damage control campaign.

The most common subject is the fact that church apostates are all a bunch of fat, stupid-head liars who like to tell lies just because they are mean and evil for no reason at all except that every one of them is addicted to drugs and doesn’t get enough vitamins. For what it’s worth, the website does make good use of some strange pop-up animation.

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North Korea Makes ‘We Are the World’ Tolerable With Nuclear Propaganda

We’ll go ahead and say it: if anyone could make an instrumental version of the awful Michael Jackson/Lionel Richie/every other lame pop star in the universe charity single “We Are the World” bearable, it would be North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Kim, whose barely believable PR strategies include giving free candy to babies and announcing the discovery of the ancient unicorn’s secret tomb, seems determined to convince his subjects that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program will soon be mighty enough to straight up destroy all the country’s unfortunate enemies–entire nations of evildoers like, say, The United States. It’s an interesting look at how the other .000001% of the world lives.

The key message: “Despite all kinds of attempts by imperialists to isolate and crush us… never will anyone be able to stop the people marching toward a final victory”. Our favorite part of this bizarre video is the “footage” of America’s doom ripped from the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”

Larger PR lesson: How many times have we told you about the importance of original content?!

Please Tell Us #TweetTheDress Won’t Be a Thing Now

The Twitter DressWe would never go so far as to call ourselves fashion experts. In fact, we have to rely on our wife to tell us not to wear an outfit involving a sweater, pants, shoes and socks that are four different shades of brown.

That said, we were struck by one fashion innovation that did not make its debut at last night’s Golden Globe Awards. Why didn’t it appear on the red carpet? We’re going to go out on a very long limb here and say that most actresses know better than to damage their careers by wearing it. We didn’t think any single dress could be more desperate for attention than Jennifer Lopez‘s famously revealing green thing, but we were very wrong.

CuteCircuit–maker of such novelties as the “Hug Shirt“–just announced a PR campaign for its latest creation, the “Twitter dress”. Celebrity watchers may have already seen it on former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, so we have to take back our previous statement about no one being desperate enough to wear it.

Anyway, the dress literally displays tweets including the #tweetthedress hashtag via a laptop that “transmits tweets from its antennae to a microprocessor tucked away inside the lining of the dress”. We’re not exactly sure how the message selection process works, but a model apparently wore the device on  Today this morning, so we have a feeling that the Internet will be laughing about it soon enough.

This is the least efficient piece of clothing ever invented. It puts Yoko Ono’s open toe, thigh-high boots (for men) to shame.

The question for PR pros: if CuteCircuit were a client, how would you promote it?

Billionaire Invites You to Live on Mars for $500K

Total Recall Are you rich, bored and worried about the future? A new and exciting life on Mars could be yours for the low one-time fee of half a million dollars!

South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is many things: eccentric character, co-founder of PayPal and Telsa Motors, billionaire many times over. He’s also very, very concerned about the future of the human race, and he wants to let you know about his unconventional solution to our approaching overpopulation/natural resources crisis: move to Mars and join a settlement free from the nefarious influence of God and government!

That’s right—in one of the year’s most bizarre PR stunts, Musk recently announced his super-cool plans to build a permanent colony of approximately 80,000 obscenely wealthy individuals on the Red Planet through another one of his companies, a venture called SpaceX that he created to “revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

What, you don’t think he’s serious?

While Musk does “in fact know that this sounds crazy”, he told Bloomberg “I want to die on Mars”. Certainly doesn’t seem like he’s kidding.

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Starbucks Unveils New $7 ‘Grande’ Cup of Joe

We’ve all heard more than enough about the prolonged American recession/unemployment crisis. We can’t blame the public for being confused about the fact that this very same struggling nation can set Black Friday sales records and create demand for—wait for it—a $7 cup of coffee at Starbucks. Huh?

Who, exactly, is spending all of this money on coffee–and where did they get it? Aren’t we all broke, unemployed and burdened by a lifetime of student loans? Champagne taste on a beer budget is one thing, but coffee doesn’t even have any alcohol in it. Has “a cup of joe” become the new glass of wine?

The Starbucks brand hasn’t just changed the way Americans perceive and consume coffee–it continues to guide our tastes and understanding of a substance that plays an increasingly prevalent role in our lives. Part of the coffee appreciation learning curve, apparently, entails pushing the boundaries of the ordinary. Sorry, Pike Place roast.

To capitalize on the public’s ceaseless search for something new, something better and something different, Starbucks now offers “high-end” Costa Rica Finca Palmilera coffee along with an extra-special variety called “Geisha”. Yes, that geisha.

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The NYPD Has a Cannibalism Problem

In a story too sensational to ignore, a member of New York’s Finest has been arrested and charged with making “Law & Order”-worthy plans to kidnap, kill, cook and eat as many as 100 women.

Let that one sink in for a minute—and note that the phrase “bath salts” does not appear anywhere in this story.

The accused, who used his status as a police officer to compile photos and addresses of potential victims, wrote a series of incredibly disturbing emails to an undercover operator. A couple of his more outrageous comments:

  • “[My oven] is big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs”
  • “I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus&cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”

Yikes. He even offered to kidnap a woman on behalf of an undercover agent, writing: “$5,000 and she’s all yours… she will be stuffed into a large piece of luggage and wheeled out to my van.”

Since the (obvious) nut job in question never actually put his diabolical plans into action, everyone should feel free to make as many lame jokes as possible.

We respect police officers for keeping the peace and all, but we have to wonder why this weirdo didn’t set off any warning bells some time ago. The story also gives the public another reason to question the department’s notoriously lax recruiting standards. It’s a tough job, but some murderous wannabe cannibal’s gotta do it.

How does one even perform damage control after a story like this? Chief Ray Kelly had better get ready to plan a whole lot of press conferences.