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Elizabeth S. Mitchell

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WATCH: GoldieBlox Shows You ‘Your Brain on Princess’

Now that the much-discussed spat between GoldieBlox and The Beastie Boys has been settled, the gender-stereotype-challenging toy company is back with a new, equally-clever (but probably less legal action-inducing) commercial.

The spot, titled “This is Your Brain on Princess,” is a threefold masterpiece. Not only does the ad’s focus on an egg perfectly spoof that classic “This is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, but it’s perfectly-timed for Easter toy-buying, and manages to hammer home the point that little girls, like eggs, either crack under the pressure of a beauty-obsessed culture, or hatch by fully recognizing their multifaceted potential. Pretty brilliant.

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STUDY: Millennials Seek Validation About Purchases, but Not Through Advertising

Moosylvania Millennial Purchasing Study

When older generations have sought validation or reassurance that they are making good purchasing and brand-loyalty decisions, advertising has valiantly stepped in to pat them on the back for a job well done or a smart choice made. But when Millennials seek that same approval and reassurance, they don’t look for it from advertising, but from their friends and family members, often through phone calls, texts, and social media channels throughout the purchasing process.

This is the major takeaway revealed by the 2014 Moose Millennial Study Data, conducted by Mooslyvania, which showed that while Millennials identify themselves as very self-confident and independent, they seek constant reassurance from friends and family when it comes to shopping. This is true whether the individuals in this age group shop alone or together — they still remain digitally connected to the people they trust most, seeking advice, guidance and approval via text, phone call and social media.

So, if brands aren’t gaining Millennials’ trust and loyalty through traditional advertising, how are they going about it? Read more

Roll Call: Allison+Partners and Esurance

Allison+Partners announced that Alan Weatherbee has been named as senior vice president of talent search responsible for driving US and global talent acquisition to keep pace with the evolution of the business and expand its commitment to recruiting the best talent from across industries. An experienced HR practitioner, Alan will work closely with the senior team to align entrepreneurial professionals with unique, challenging, career-making opportunities within the agency. He will be based in Boston. Previously, Alan served as vice president, Human Resources at Cone Communications. There he managed talent acquisition as well as all aspects of the HR function to support staff and enhance the culture and career experience of its people. Preceding Cone, Alan was director of recruitment for IPG agencies GolinHarris, Weber Shandwick and Rogers & Cowan in Los Angeles; where he led all strategic recruitment initiatives and focused on hiring across all brands and practice areas including consumer, convergence, corporate, entertainment, and digital. Prior to IPG, he had a management role within AppleOne, a private staffing firm in Los Angeles. (Release)

Esurance has hired Alan Gellman as chief marketing officer. Gellman will oversee all of Esurance’s marketing and advertising efforts, including direct marketing, online and offline advertising, search, brand partnerships, communications and customer experience. Esurance is owned by Allstate Insurance. Most recently at Wells Fargo in San Francisco, Gellman spent the past 10 years in various executive marketing roles, including senior vice president of digital marketing. He also led their recent lead agency of record search and focused on integrating marketing efforts and capabilities across disciplines. Previously, he led strategy, research, and analytics for Wells Fargo’s consumer credit group, where he established a customer engagement strategy. Gellman began his marketing career in advertising before moving to consumer packaged goods with General Foods, Kraft and ConAgra. Later, he spent six years with Blue Shield of California leading consumer marketing and then building and leading their e-business division. (Insurance Journal)

Mazda Recall Is an Arachnophobe’s Worst Nightmare

*Someone needs to give me a medal for inserting this image into this post without yielding to a complete mental breakdown

Disclaimer: This PRNewser writer is the definition of an arachnophobe — meaning, I would sooner hop into a burning car than one filled with spiders. Think that’s kind of a strange and specific example? Think again.

I learned about this bit of news via a text from a loving family member who has spent our lives demonstrating that love through acts of spider-related harassment. “Hear about the Mazda6 recall?” it read. “It’s your worst nightmare.”

According to Reuters, for the second time in three years, an eight-legged engineering challenge called the Yellow Sack Spider has caused Mazda Motor Corp to issue a major recall for Mazda6 sedans in North America; the spider, which likes the smell of gasoline (who doesn’t?) weaves a web that blocks a vent in the engine. These webs can restrict fuel flow, reducing fuel tank pressure when the emission control system releases vapors from the evaporative canister. This can put extra stress on the fuel tank, which could potentially crack and leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire.

That’s right. Spiders are trying to blow you up. Read more

Creators of ‘SkinneePix’ App That Slims Your Selfies Seem Undeterred by Criticism

600Can incessant positivity and unwavering insistence save a company’s product from rampant, biting criticism? The creators of the new SkinneePix app — which lets you shave 5 to 15 pounds off that selfie you just took  — are doing their damnedest to prove that the answer is “yes.”

The app is the first one released by company Pretty Smart Women, comprised of Phoenix residents Susan Green and Robin J. Phillips. The couple got the idea for the app while on vacation with friends; everyone kept taking selfies, but no one liked how they looked in them.

“It’s not that they hated their body, they just didn’t like how they looked in the picture,” Green told the LA Times. “For as long as anybody can remember, there has always been that thing: the camera adds 10 or 15 pounds to you. That’s why we’re not going over 15 pounds.”

But not everyone is buying the claim that the app has nothing to do with self-hate or the controversial societal norm of digitally manipulating human beings to reach unattainable ideals. Read more

Stephen Colbert Responds to #CancelColbert Controversy As Only He Can

So, in case you missed it, The Colbert Report made fun of somebody via Twitter, and it became a threefold lesson in PR.

The tweet in question poked fun at the the owner of the controversially-named Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, after his ham-handed attempt at shedding positive light on the decidedly non-PC team name by announcing the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

The tweet read, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

In context, it’s a hilarious parody that successfully illuminates Snyder’s poorly-executed attempt at cultural sensitivity; but taken out of context, the statement could obviously be viewed as, well, culturally insensitive.

Therein lay the problem. Read more

Roll Call: Rubenstein PR, Backbone Media

Rubenstein Public Relations (RPR) announced that Shay Pantano and Alyson Leiter have joined the agency as vice presidents in the Health & Wellness and Real Estate Divisions, respectively. Both women bring more than a decade of media relations and publicity experience to the agency, as well as influential relationships with top producers and journalists.

In her position as vice resident, Pantano will develop and execute campaigns for RPR’s Health & Wellness division. She will lead the day-to-day operations and brand elevation for clients. Prior to joining RPR, Pantano was vice president at Creative Media Marketing, where she led several teams, including the Broadcast Division.

Alyson Leiter served as the managing editor of Real Estate Forum and Mid-Atlantic Editor for GlobeSt.com. As VP, Leiter will spearhead the public relations services for RPR’s Real Estate division, creating brand awareness for clients. Before joining RPR, Leiter was an account director at Great Ink Communications. (Release)

“Premier active lifestyle” agency Backbone Media hired former Patagonia president/CEO Casey Sheahan to fill the newly created role of senior advisor. According to managing partner Nate Simmons, Backbone hired Sheahan to use his extensive experience in the active lifestyle sector to better advise clients on strategic concerns.

Sheahan stepped down from his role at Patagonia after eight years in February. Prior to joining the company, he served as president of outdoor product brand Kelty; earlier in his career he was vice president of marketing at Merrell Footwear and category marketing manager at Nike ACG.

He also published and edited the skiing magazine POWDER. (Release)

OkCupid Blocks Firefox to Protest CEO’s Opposition to Marriage Equality

Anyone who has recently attempted to access dating site OkCupid using a Firefox browser has been greeted with the following message:

okcupid-firefox-boycott-hed-2014

This is a statement that’s pretty hard to miss–not only does it reach every single Firefox user attempting to log in to the dating service, but it calls attention to the inequality in question by literally blocking people from seeking companionship with the same ease and freedom as others.

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Spider-Man Delivers Your Mail in This Cross-Promotion Campaign

spider-man

“Spiderman, Spiderman
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Delivers mail, so watch the skies.”

Wait, those aren’t the lyrics? Someone better tell the US Postal Service.

In a world in which brands and blockbuster movies are pairing off faster than teenagers before prom, the latest movie/business cross-promo coupling is between the Postal Service (specifically Priority Mail) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” set to hit theaters May 2. The USPS and Sony Pictures are collaborating on a multi-channel marketing campaign that will run through the end of May.

Not sure the Postal Service has much in common with the web-slinging superhero? The Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at USPS, Nagisa Manabe, would beg to differ, saying in a statement:

“Our Priority Mail products share many qualities with a Super Hero of Spider-Man’s caliber, namely those of speed, agility and reliability. Like Spider-Man, our priority has always been the people we serve. We pride ourselves on our commitment to public service and delivering for our customers, and we are excited about enlisting Spider-Man to help promote our Priority Mail offerings.” Read more

Joss Whedon Preemptively Apologizes for Making a ‘Mess’ of Seoul During Avengers Filming

Why Joss Whedon Is Already Apologizing for The Avengers_ Age of UltronLike we needed another reason to consider Joss Whedon a class act.

If you’ve ever lived in a city that was taken over by a film crew, you’re well aware of the headaches involved — celebrity sightings never seem worth the extra-long commute, the complete lack of access to your favorite coffee shop, or being treated as though you’re the outsider and the one in the way.

Even just an acknowledgement or a thank-you from someone involved in the filming might make up for it, but when does that ever happen?

It just did.

Filming for the new Avengers flick is set to begin in Seoul, Korea on March 30, and before his cast and crew swoop in and disrupt the goings-on of the city’s residents, director Joss Whedon released this preemptive video apologizing for the “mess” the process will inevitably make of the city. The tone of the video comes across as genuinely gracious, grateful, and appreciative of not only the city’s cooperation with the filming, but appreciative of the city itself, which Whedon seems excited to portray to an American and world-wide audience. Read more

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