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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

This Fake Japanese Furby Ad Is a Little Insane

A writer once said, “Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.” If this is true, then we’d say the makers of this parody of a Japanese Furby commercial have won.

If you, like us, spent countless childhood sleepovers awake all night, fearing your friend’s demonic little Furby would steal your soul the moment you let your guard down, then you know that the blatant Satanism portrayed in the video is only a slight exaggeration.

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Jon Hamm’s Publicist Defends His Manhood

Jon Hamm GQThe Internet discovered some time ago that Mad Men star Jon Hamm has been blessed with some…attributes that endow him with a certain easily exploitable notoriety. The actor’s publicist, however, was not amused by the fact that the New York Daily News recently devoted a few valuable inches of its gossip column to discussing Hamm’s tendency to crowd a room with his gifts (which are apparently creating a problem on the show’s set).

An “inside source” says the extra-tight pants of Mad Men‘s upcoming sixth season, set in the late 60′s, have required AMC‘s design team to work a little Photoshop magic on promo images of Don Draper–but Hamm’s rep naturally doesn’t want to discuss this massive scandal.

The long and short of it: enough with the Dick (Whitman) jokes!

We have to say, though: We understand why Hamm’s flack is sick of reading this sort of easy click bait, but we also don’t really see how the star is getting shafted by the press. It’s all in good fun, right?

Apparently not: the very irritated rep told the Daily News that “It is ridiculous and not really funny at all. I’d appreciate you taking the high road and not resorting to something childish like this that’s been blogged about 1,000 times.”

Correction: make that 1,001.

‘The Startup Legitimizer’: Instant PR!

The Startup LegitimizerSometimes the key for a startup or other new business venture looking to break out can be a single article in a big-name magazine or newspaper. What startup founder looking for “Angel investors” wouldn’t want to say “did you see us in the Wall Street Journal?”

Of course, in order to receive such press mentions, businesses usually require the services of people called publicists or PR professionals who specialize in pitching the story of the scruffy startup to big name glossies, trade papers–or even lowly blogs like ours!

But for those who want to get all those press mentions on your website without actually, you know, doing the work, we present The Startup Legitimizer–a single webpage that can fill all your startup PR needs with a few simple clicks. Which publications would give your cred the biggest boost? The New York Times? TechCrunch? BuzzFeed? TED Talks?!

These famous names, divided into the “kind of legit” and “really legit” categories, even come in pre-organized bundles like “innovators” and “game changers”, which are totally different things. Just choose your favorites, copy and paste the HTML code and say goodbye to pesky PR flacks forever! Check us out!

(Just kidding. Startups absolutely should invest in PR services. And thanks to Digiday for the tip.)

Guy Fieri Satire Site Goes Viral

What’s a little Internet mockery when many already see your brand as low-hanging fruit? After Pete Wells‘s scathing New York Times review of Guy Fieri‘s new restaurant went viral, we said “meh”. Nobody ever mistook Fieri’s brand for fine dining, so we felt like all this negative attention might actually be good for him.

Now Fieri is in the news again: a certain Internet jokester realized that Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar had yet to secure its own URL and decided to create his own as a joke.

At this moment, the site consists of a single-page mock menu hawking hilarious items like the “Olive Garden” side salad, “Football: the Meal” and “Guy’s Big Balls”, or “two 4-pound Rice-A-Roni crusted mozzarella balls endangered with shaved lamb and pork and blasted with Guy’s signature Cadillac Cream sauce until dripping off the plate.”

Again, we can’t see this stunt damaging Fieri’s reputation. But the copy is pretty funny.

Vena Cava Brings Humor to High Fashion PR

Time for the totally true generalization of the day: the world of high fashion has a very tenuous connection to reality. It operates at a disconnect from the general public–and we can’t think of a single big-name designer brand that does the thing we call “humor” well (if at all).

One of the most obvious signs of the distance between Fashion with a capital F and your average dude/girl on the street are the unbearably artsy “fashion films” that design houses use to launch new campaigns. For that reason, we love Vena Cava‘s new short, created to promote the label’s “economy” line Viva Vena and brought to our attention by the quick wits at the Fashionista blog.

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The Onion Helps Brands Discover Their Sense of Humor

The Onion is all about funny, satirical, almost believable stories. When we first heard about Vladimir Putin’s plan to pump up Russia’s fertility rate with a Boyz II Men concert, we immediately thought of the magazine.

But now we know that’s not all “America’s Finest News Source” can do. See, Digiday taught us something this week: The Onion also helps brands discover (or re-discover) their sense of humor via its in-house ad/marketing/advisory team, Onion Labs. This strange experiment all started last year when Microsoft Internet Explorer, desperate for a rebranding, decided to embrace its reputation as “The Browser You Loved to Hate” and ask The Onion‘s advisory team for ideas (one of which was this cute “Child of the 90′s” video). The project grew rapidly from there.

Onion Labs is still relatively new, but the group’s site features a series of funny spots for brands as disparate as Jack Links and 7-Eleven. They’ve also worked on social media campaigns like the #vacationitis project for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

We can certainly see why the Onion Labs aesthetic appeals to so many brands–if you’re not comfortable making fun of yourself then you’re going to have trouble appealing to that crucial 18-30 demographic. Here’s one of the Lab’s commercials pitching Dove deodorant to men by making light of the fact that guys don’t really like to deal with their dry skin problems:

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G.E. Is Totally Cool With 30 Rock, You Guys

30 Rock Tina Fey Alec BaldwinSay you’re a PR/branding exec at a big corporation. Say there’s a certain sitcom that’s been making fun of you mercilessly for seven years (while appearing on a network that you once owned). What would you do?

Well, if you’re General Electric and that sitcom is 30 Rock, you embrace it after maintaining an adversarial relationship for more than six seasons. G.E., which has seen its “Six Sigma” super-productivity culture mocked repeatedly by Tina Fey, recently decided to let the public know that it is totally in on the joke.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed the company’s weird “thank you” commercial on last week’s episode. Global director of brand management Linda Boff explained everything to Ad Age, saying “G.E. employees and G.E. executives have laughed for the last seven years along with the rest of the audience.”

Oh yeah? Something tells us that former CEO/conspiracy theorist Jack Welch (aka Jack Donaghy) didn’t even chuckle, but at least somebody has a sense of humor.

It’s a bit of a rebranding, really:

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Deadspin Shows Donald Trump the New Way to Do PR

Sports blog Deadspin received far more attention than usual this week thanks to its blockbuster reporting on the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend scandal/PR stunt (we still think he’s full of it, but time will tell).

In fact, the article even got a bit of unsolicited praise from everyone’s least favorite hair-challenged blowhard, Donald Trump. And Deadspin used the opportunity to demonstrate its own frank version of public relations:

Deadspin Donald Trump

Well then! Of course, this quickly inspired Trump to rethink his opinion of the site and the people who run it:

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Whoops: Subway’s ‘Footlong’ Doesn’t Quite Measure Up

Subway SubmanHey, what’s an inch between friends?

If it contradicts the selling point behind your signature product, it can be a big deal. So when a curious Australian Subway customer discovered that his “footlong” sub sandwich was, in fact, only 11 inches long, he decided to vent his frustration in the most modern way: he took a picture of the offending item beside a ruler and posted it on the company’s Facebook page along with the simple request “subway plz respond.”

And then, of course, everybody went nuts.

So is this a PR mess, or what?

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White House Posts Epic Response to Death Star Petition

We recently told you that a petition urging the US government to build its very own “fully operational” Death Star garnered enough signatures to require a response from the White House.

Well, ladies and gentlemen (and wookies and Ewoks), this weekend brought us the official response, and while the Obama administration has decided (unsurprisingly but disappointingly) to deny the American people our very own Death Star, it has demonstrated both a sense of humor and an admirable level of geekiness in its response.

Some of the reasons the White House will not be building a Death Star are pretty predictable (the fact that it would cost roughly $850,000,000,000,000,000 and would therefore not help the deficit, and that the administration does not support blowing up other planets, blah blah). But even the most dedicated Star Wars fans couldn’t argue some of the other justifications. As chief science guy Paul Shawcross writes, “why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship”? Touche, sir.

The administration also urges us not to be too disappointed, because even though “we don’t have a Death Star…we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers”. Fair enough, we suppose.

Click through for the response in full. Its title alone assured us that we weren’t about to read an average cookie-cutter form letter, but one that might actually be worthy of its impassioned, Force-filled audience:

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