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Super Bowl Highlight: Buying David Beckham’s Underwear With Your Remote

David-Beckham-launches-hi-007

At some point during this year’s Superbowl, David Beckham will appear on your screen in his underwear.

Do I have your attention?

Good, because for those of you with a Samsung Smart TV, it gets even better — thanks to the first television spot of its kind, you’ll actually be able to interact with what you see on screen…albeit, probably not in quite the way you’re hoping.

While Beckham models H&M‘s underwear line during the retailer’s Superbowl ad, presumably-hypnotized viewers will be able to purchase the product (the underwear, not the model) by using their remote to navigate a pop-up menu that will appear on the side of the screen.

But in a world of insta-purchases being made on mobile devices all the time, is there a place for interactive TV ads? Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Delivery Agent, the agency behind the ad, certainly seems to think so. Read more

Urban Outfitters Stops Selling ‘Depression’ T-Shirt After Backlash

ht_urban_outfitters_depression_tee_2_sr_140116_16x9_608To Urban Outfitters, it was a t-shirt with a logo on it, but to many livid customers, it was an offensive piece of clothing boasting the name of an oft-misunderstood and stigmatized illness.

The article of attire in question, a white cutoff t-shirt with the word “Depression” plastered all over it, has been pulled from the retailer’s website after numerous outraged people took to social media to complain. Here are a few tweets that were lobbed in Urban Outfitters’ direction:

The company responded to the uproar over the weekend by halting sales of the shirt and taking to social media to both apologize and explain the origin and intention of the top. Some key phrases in the retailer’s tweets were the following: Read more

Evernote CEO Does Damage Control via Blog Post

Here’s a unique case of damage control in the tech world.

As you can see from the tweet above, popular tech journo Jason Kincaid wrote a blog post laying out his complaints with Evernote‘s performance and calling it “the bug-ridden elephant”. While Kincaid wrote that he loves the service enough to be “familiar with [its] warts”, he also can’t handle certain shortcomings in terms of memory and customer service. Fair enough.

In a move that reflects the way tech does things, Evernote CEO Phil Libin contacted him personally and then responded in a shockingly respectful post promising better software quality in 2014.

Read more

This California Crop Circle Is Your New Favorite Marketing Stunt

In case you haven’t broken out that Led Zeppelin CD box set recently, here is an especially groovy crop circle (pic via these dudes):

crop-circle-15

And here’s Jen Hsung Huang, CEO of software maker Nvidia, explaining how his company’s marketing team created its own crop circle in a clever ploy for attention—and a certain dorky reporter discovered the secret message within:

It’s basically an opening shot to win the company a little attention ahead of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, and we’d say it worked.

Read more

It’s All About Her Because Siri Is Gonna Cut a Beyotch

her-movieIn theaters now is one of those artsy-fartsy movies by Spike Jonze (which means it’s all Oscar buzzy) simply called Her.

To summarize, Joaquin Phoenix is this ascetic hermit who lives as a writer by day and a miserable dude by night, eventually developing an unhealthy attachment to a certain “voice software” agent. According to the media, this phenomenon may soon become a regular thing. Who knows: are voice software and phone sex really so far apart?

Yes, Joaquin falls in love with … her. 

Cute, right? I mean, people ask Siri all sorts of randy questions, so naturally, some homer living in his mom’s garage was going to mistake a talking phone for a high-tech blow-up date.

Apparently someone at Apple is one sick, twisted and “oh, so, I’m-feeling-you-my-brother-or-sister” cool dude. Siri “herself” rolls her neck, snaps her fingers, tears out her weave and gets ready to get to scratch when you ask her about Her.

Watch the video and then try it with your own phone. G’head, try. I double dog dare you.

Ezra Klein Is About to Leave the Washington Post

ezra_klein_2_0Flacks, notify Cision and Vocus. Interns, update the databases. This one is going to hurt a little.

For those not in the know about reporters, writers and journos as a whole, Ezra Klein is a pretty big deal. (Due to respect to Ron Burgundy, of course.) In fact, some would argue along the Beltway that his pet project, Wonkblog, is the sole reason Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com fame even had a paper to purchase in the first place.

According to several reports, Klein is about tell Bezos to place his position at WaPo on Amazon, because he is interested in seeking “an eight-figure investment” for a project that would be “a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy.”

Why can’t Daddy Warbucks pay eight figures to keep that guy?

Read more

Hackers Teach Snapchat a Lesson in Security: Millions of Usernames and Partial Phone Numbers Published

acura-sent-100-followers-a-snapchatPicture and video-sharing startup Snapchat has just been made a public example of how not to handle a potential security issue.

About a month ago, a group of white-hat hackers called Gibson Security (white-hat meaning they do not exploit security flaws, only find them) privately contacted Snapchat to warn the company about two security weaknesses that could be easily exploited to gain access to users’ real names, usernames and phone numbers, through Snapchat’s Android and iOS API.

Rather than taking immediate action, Snapchat reportedly ignored the warning. Finally, after receiving no response from the company and seeing little improvement in security, Gibson Security published its findings publicly on Christmas Eve.

Read more

AllThingsD Founders Relaunch with Re/code

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 10.46.39 AM

2014 just started, but it’s already brought us a new place to pitch our tech clients.

AllThingsD founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg bounced back from the Wall Street Journal‘s earlier announcement that it would not renew the property by launching a new tech news/reviews site called Re/code. The news broke on Twitter just after midnight, of course.

The AllThingsD name will be no more. Its former URL redirects to ”Digits”, the WSJ‘s behind-the-paywall source for news on things that buzz and transmit data.

Today Swisher posted this quote on the new site:

“While we think tech news is important, it’s a better day to refresh, reimagine, reinvent and, most of all, rest.

But get ready: Re/code will launch at midnight ET, January 2″

We’ll be watching—as will anyone who cares about what’s going on in tech.

STUDY: Bad Customer Service Costs US Companies $41 Billion a Year

excellentcustomerserviceIn news that should somewhat vindicate those of us who have spent countless hours being passed around from one unhelpful/unfriendly customer service rep to another, a new study shows that when we “vote with our pocketbooks” by switching service providers, brands, or retailers, it truly does make a major impact on those companies. New research done by NewVoiceMedia reveals that U.S. companies considered to have poor customer service are losing a whopping $41 billion a year.

Take that, endless hold music!

The survey revealed that 44 percent of U.S. consumers are taking their business elsewhere as a direct result of poor service, and 89 percent of that group have switched at least once or twice in the last year.

Read more

Celebrity Endorsements Are Basically Worthless

Never heard of her

Last week TechCrunch ran a story that bears repeating for everyone in PR. As our friend Jeremy Pepper put it:

Let’s explain…

Read more

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