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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Can Mike Bloomberg Really Take on the NRA?

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has a lot of money and he’s very passionate about gun control.

This is nothing new.

His advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety is, however–and this week the group launched its first campaign:

It’s a powerful PSA, though the fact that comments on the YouTube clip have been disabled hints at the considerable communications challenges ahead.

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WATCH: Netflix Goes to Prom, Proves Being a ‘Third Wheel’ Can be Epic

Call me old fashioned, but there’s just something totally un-romantic about propositioning a potential prom date via Twitter. That is, unless you’re courting a major company, not a classmate.

Seventeen-year-old Muthana Sweis, a student at Marist High School in Chicago, sent out the following tweet in January:

Hey @netflix if this gets 1,000 retweets will you go to my junior prom with me?— Muthana Sweis (@muthanasweis) January 30, 2014

In an appropriately-gushing response, Netflix accepted, tweeting:

We said yes! We’re third wheeling to #Prom2014 with @muthanasweis and his date: https://t.co/0AQKYrljxj— Netflix US (@netflix) March 28, 2014

So how exactly does Netlix “third wheel” it to prom? Well, for one thing, by providing some serious wheels.

Sweis got to choose between a few different TV-themed rides, and ended up selecting a classic ’50s Buick from “Grease” and a chauffeur dressed as John Travolta’s character, Danny. Oh, and for good measure, he also got wear a James Bond-esque tux. Read more

#PRFail: Samsung’s Flammable Phone Response Backfires

Burned-Samsung-galaxy-s4Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has a hot deal for the holidays. Its Galaxy S4 is smartly designed, fast as can be and oh yeah, catches on fire while charging. While that last note isn’t something most desirable for the kiddos, Samsung finds itself in a particular crisis communications ballyhoo.

A YouTuber who blasts his selfie videos under the name of “Ghostlyrich” is the reason Samsung hates social media. Why? Because instead of addressing Samsung’s customer service department and fighting through that malevolent hold music of “The Carpenters Greatest Holiday Hits,” he does this for the world to see.

That, and NSFW lingo the cool kids use, after the jump…

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YouTube Spearheads ‘Clean Up the Comments’ Movement

trollololololoInternet comment threads: can’t live with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em…or can you?

If you work in digital marketing or PR then you’ve almost certainly had some experience scrolling through comment sections to answer poorly spelled, logically unsound criticisms of your client or firm. And if you read our sister blog AgencySpy every week then you may well be one of those commentors who spends his or her lunch hour assuming fake screen names to talk smack about rivals’ work. (You can’t see it, but we’re wagging our finger at you right now.)

To those who hate comments as much as the rest of us, YouTube might be something of a savior: starting this week, the king of free videos will attempt to weed out the worst of the trolls by requiring that all commentors first sign up for Google+ accounts. How will this help anyone?

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Abercrombie & Fitch Knows What the Fox Says

Nothing says desperation like grabbing the latest, most annoying YouTube sensation and holding on for dear life (not that it’s much of a workout with abs like these).

Well, that was…bizarre. Now that everyone hates Abercrombie & Fitch due to its stated bias against non-models and hijabs, we suppose that providing cheap grist for the clickbait mill is one way to get attention.

Let’ hope it’s not enough, because A&F is quickly running out of people to offend and we’ve taken more than our share of schadenfreude from the decline and fall of Mike Jeffries’ soft-core empire.

Sorry for making you sit through that one.

Will TV Networks Pay for Publicity via Twitter?

We made it.The natural partnership between Twitter and television has earned a good bit of press over the past year or so, with Twitter taking credit for saving shows like Scandal and breathing new life into brain-dead franchises like The Bachelor. But this has been a free promo forum for networks, so will they pay for the privilege moving forward? And what, exactly, would they be paying for?

Unlike Facebook, Twitter insists that it can help clients more directly promote their products through new tools like Amplify, an ad option that embeds video clips within tweets. It’s like a mini YouTube with each clip sponsored by a brand whose ad runs before it starts, and that third party could make all the difference.

Yesterday the company revealed its first big partnership with CBS, which will try to build buzz for coming shows by doing a little bit of video-heavy content marketing. The problem is that studios still can’t tell which comes first—the ratings bump or the Twitter conversation.

How will the public respond to sponsored TV promos on their Twitter feeds? And how many such developments can we file under “content marketing?”

George Takei Gives the AARP a Sense of Humor

Who said the age of the celebrity spokesperson is dead? Weight loss companies may be struggling to find value in the big but “less credible” names they pay to promote their products, but in many cases a single famous face can change the public’s perception of a brand.

For example, we never would have picked George Takei to promote the AARP, but here he is explaining tech trends to your parents and grandparents in a YouTube series called “Takei’s Take“:

Is Google Glass relevant to the 50-and over demographic, and does this clip directly promote AARP’s interests? We’d say no to both, but the series certainly helps disprove stereotypes about the organization being out of touch with the cultural zeitgeist. The fact that the brand-new channel has earned more than 22,000 subscribers in the last two days and that the pitch pretty much writes itself is a clear illustration of Takei’s value. (But we do wonder how many of the users who watched this clip will qualify for AARP membership at any time over the next 25 years.)

h/t to Steve Hall at AdRants

Volvo Stunt Shows Us That a Hamster Can Indeed Drive a Truck

Here’s a fun pitch: In order to publicize the rollout for its new 15-ton off road vehicle, Volvo‘s UK team staged a stunt designed to answer that timeless question: can a hamster drive a truck down a steep quarry-side road?

High production values? Check. Ridiculous premise? Check. Sharable content? Indeed.

That’s one way to sell an oversized automobile (and to reach 2.5 million YouTube viewers in less than a week).

(h/t to PR Examples)

PR Win: Bloomberg’s Sign-Language Specialist Becomes an Advocate for the Deaf

Hey, remember Lydia Callis? Sure you do—she became an instant YouTube celebrity last October for her repeat appearances at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s side during Hurricane Sandy. Her animated sign-language style and the obvious passion she poured into her job endeared her to millions; she even inspired a Saturday Night Live skit.

So what’s she doing now? She’s parlayed her fame into a new role as an advocate for the deaf in New York. Right now she’s leading sign-language tours at New York Public Library, but her ambitious goal is to make more Americans aware of the challenges their hearing-impaired neighbors face every day. It’s a real problem—deaf customers recently filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for discrimination at the coffee shop’s Manhattan branches.

Speaking to the New York Times about the media frenzy, she said:

Seriously, when is this going to die down? Wow, people just really don’t know much about the deaf community.

Lydia knows of what she speaks: while she is not deaf, her mother and three siblings are, so ASL was her first language. Seems like she’d make a perfect advocate, no?

Here’s the clip in case you forgot:

Russell Simmons’ ‘Harriett Tubman Sex Tape’ Apology Didn’t Go Over So Well

Def Jam founder Russell Simmons has become something of a PR/media man extraordinaire, what with his digital marketing “don’t call us an agency” company and his newly-launched YouTube channel All Def Digital. Seems like his team could sell water to a well, no?

Unfortunately, this week he chose what might have been the worst possible way to roll out his latest product: with a poorly planned satirical clip titled “ADD History: Harriett Tubman Sex Tape” which made light of some horrific aspects of life in the pre-Civil War United States.

In short, the Tubman character encourages a friend to hide in a closet and photograph her having “special time” with her slave master—evidence which she later uses to blackmail him. This quote from Clutch magazine explains why the clip angered everyone with an Internet connection on Wednesday:

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