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Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Apple Promises More Diversity in Its Emoji Department

iOS-Emoticon-300x300In case you thought MTV had lost its cultural influence, think again. This week Apple’s communications department agreed with the youth network and its unofficial spokesperson Miley Cyrus: the emoji family needs to diversify.

Inspired by Baby Daddy star Tahj Mowry’s Twitter lament over the lack of explicitly African-American emojis, MTV’s Joey Parker emailed CEO Tim Scott about the issue and got a response from the top of the PR team. Worldwide corp comms VP Kate Cotton wrote:

“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms.  There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

No word on how or when this change will come about, but we just know that it will be a generation ahead of us.

While we admire Apple’s responsiveness and its desire to better serve its incredibly diverse fan base, we have a few emoji questions of our own…

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Ellen Broke a Record with Samsung, Breaks Hearts with her iPhone

Ellen Selfie

At 2 million retweets and counting. How many iPhones is that anyway, Samsung?

In case you were asleep like half the viewing audience, this picture was taken by Ellen DeGeneres in the audience — a selfie tweeted ’round the world. As covered by our Tonya Garcia, it was a record-breaking picture eclipsing the shot taken of President Obama getting handsy with the First Lady.

Good times, right? Not if you are Samsung.

You see, if you have the Oscars on the DVR, rewind it to the historic selfie and you will see a clear positioning of product placement for Android phone manufacturer, Samsung. Of course, no one cared one bit that it was a Samsung phone because they were too busy gawking at the beautiful people. However, Samsung paid some nice coin for that advertisement.

And then Ellen had to do this…

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iOS 7 Motion Sickness Complaints Keep Rolling In: Time for Apple to Step In?

8C9208494-130929-health-ios-1155a.blocks_desktop_smallIn the world of tech updates, change is always stressful, but it doesn’t usually make people physically ill; so, while Apple likely expected some complaints regarding the updated look and experience of its iOS 7 software, it probably assumed the naysayers would be a few fuddy-duddies resistant to learning something new, not large numbers of people complaining of motion sickness and headaches.

As someone with a vestibular disorder (Mal de Debarquement Syndrome or “MdDS”), I am always wary of things that may cause false motion sensations (the feeling that one is in motion when actually still). Since I am currently in a remission, I avoid such things at all costs. With this in mind, just moments after my fiancé downloaded and began using the new iOS 7 software on his iPhone, he burst out onto the porch where I was enjoying a cup of tea, and said, with an unusual sense of urgency, “Hun, if you haven’t downloaded iOS 7 yet, don’t! It’s even making me dizzy.”

Only hours later, I received updates from both the MdDS support group to which I belong and the Vestibular Disorders Association, informing me that iOS 7 may worsen symptoms for those prone to motion sickness and vestibular issues. It was at this point I realized Apple may have accidentally alienated people with vestibular problems, but I didn’t think it would turn into any sort of larger issue for the company — I mean, I also can’t see movies in theaters, take long trips, or play video games, so just because it’s a problem for me, doesn’t usually mean it’s a problem for most people.

But then I noticed that the story was being covered by major news organizations, like Time, Forbes, and NBC — regular people were experiencing these problems, and in large numbers. Read more

Sure, Your iPhone is Updated, but is it a LEGO Masterpiece in the Making?

It’s true what they say about technology — as soon as you’ve got the latest thing, something cooler comes along.

If you thought your iPhone — complete with its fancy new iOS 7 update — was the niftiest gadget on the block, LEGO and Belkin have some bad news for you. Unless your phone’s case allows you to turn your device into a high-tech cog in a LEGO masterpiece, you’re still a step behind the curve.

LEGO has been hitting it out of the park when it comes to PR and promotion opportunities over the past year, and cozying up to the iPhone is a great way to bring adults back into the block-playing fold. Combining our favorite grown-up toy with one of our favorite childhood ones? Double the fun!

Has the Apple Brand Lost Its Edge? (Yes, It Has.)

It’s tough to be a luxury brand—no, really. Just ask Apple, whose “most important thing in the world ever” iPhone rollout seemed designed to appeal to both lower and higher-end consumers but failed to impress either (according to the tech blogs).

There were no surprises today. The products were pretty much what we expected: there was the “cheaper” 5C phone (which is still expensive once you consider monthly data fees, etc.) and the “fancier” 5S phone with “a better camera” and the much-touted “Touch ID” technology that allows you to unlock your phone by touching the screen rather than typing and swiping. The rumored gold phone is real, but it’s not really fabulous. Oh, and there’s yet another new operating system. iTunes Radio could be cool, but again it’s nothing new, and to many this all feels like Apple trying to catch up to its competitors.

What happened?

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Apple’s ‘Keep ‘Em Guessing’ Press Strategy Works Wonders

Oh wait, actually we are.

We’re still a little amazed by how often journalists mention Apple—just do a Google News search and you’ll see what we mean. The company’s PR team doesn’t even really need to pitch anyone for all that  earned media, right? It’s enough to make you jealous.

A great example: no one knows exactly what the company plans to do this fall beyond releasing yet another iPhone, but they’re all still reporting on the brand’s plans to do something. Apple encourages this rampant speculation by toying with journalists’ desire to break a story—any story.

Here’s the famously press-shy company’s latest release, sent out to tech journos by CEO Tim Cook this morning:

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(Alleged) New Apple iPhone Offers Old-School Pawn Shop Trade-in Deal

It’s hard for the public not to roll its eyes at yet another Apple iPhone upgrade. The juggernaut brand is a PR master of that intersection between human desire and technological promise–a netherworld that offers the chance for elevated social status in the nerd universe of early adopters.

Throughout the years we’ve witnessed long lines of techie geeks, hipsters and wannabes sleeping in tents during sleet storms all for guaranteed access to the latest upgrade, even if the revamped version isn’t that different than the device currently buzzing in the pockets of their skinny jeans.

For outsiders, the upgrade game is wearisome and annoying because after a while it begins to feel less like a capitalistic scheme and more like a corporate scam. Seriously, does Apple expect everyone to simply hand over their current device in exchange for the latest version? Who has that kind of money, and time? Well, apparently, lots of people do. And Apple wants them in their stores. Read more

‘Apple’ and ‘Volkswagen’ Unveil the ‘iBeetle’. Yes, Really.

So…it seems the iBeetle is a thing.

While a car featuring Apple-compatible features is nothing new, the Volkswagen iBeetle takes that integration to an entirely new level, working with your iPhone to allow both the car and the device to do things never before possible.

Because if there’s one thing drivers need, it’s more tech-related distractions!

Thanks to a docking station, drivers will be able to use their iPhone for navigation, hands-free calling, and listening to their favorite iTunes playlist. Also, a special Volkswagen app available through the App Store will include extra dashboard extensions and access to Spotify, social networks like Facebook, and the iPhone’s camera (so you can take a picture of the cliff you’re about to drive off while updating your Facebook status and rocking out to Justin Bieber).

The car even looks like an Apple product with its silvery color, sleek design, and chrome trim, so Mac enthusiasts who have always wanted to crawl inside their McBooks and live there will be able to make that dream a reality in the near future. The iBeetle will be abailable in two different models sometime in early 2014, and if you just can’t wait that long, you can pre-order the car in October 2013.

 

Tony Siragusa Depends on Humor to Sell Adult Diapers

Let’s face it: the marketing industry is partially responsible for promoting the stereotypes that we all seem more than willing to embrace. Real men are interesting, handsome and confident. Real women are sexy, supportive and apparently love to do laundry. And then there are the rest of us, the real people.

Brands want us to think that we need their products to land that dream job, take that dream date home to bed or be that perfect parent to our children. Reality, of course, is much more complicated. Unlike the actors in commercials, not everyone in life has straight teeth, perfect hair or the driving ability to park an SUV atop a mesa.

Marketers, of course, believe that by selling us a varnished version of our tarnished real lives, the public will gladly hand over its money for a taste of the life exalted in the advertising. And that’s fine. This is how human beings have sold products to each other for centuries. This dynamic, however, may be changing. In many respects, the public is becoming more self-aware and self-accepting. The public wants models that look more like regular people and products that don’t specifically target stereotypes of men or women.

The public also wants brands to recognize our humanity, and that humanity includes our need to be old, vulnerable and far from perfect. Enter NFL star Tony Siragusa, the new face of Depend Guards and Shields—products aimed at men with bladder leakage problems. You heard that correctly, leakage. It’s not a word many advertising copywriters would circle and say, “Let’s leverage the power of this word.” Read more

Damage Control in China: Bow Down Before Your Leaders!

PR in China: it’s a brave new world! Yet, despite all the talk of a dirty “black PR” industry and the impressive propaganda powers of a one-party government, damage control campaigns in the People’s Republic seem to be very simple. Based on the recent PR fails and recoveries of Western brands like Apple, KFC and Volkswagen, a big “yes sir” apology seems to be the way to go.

This issue is very relevant because, as the economy grows more global by the hour, every company that doesn’t sell artisanal pickles in Williamsburg, Brooklyn wants to build a strong reputation in China.

Here’s the backstory:

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