NBC’s “2008 Olympics/Mummy 3” Cross-Promotion Is Appalling

Last night, NBC premiered a two-and-a-half minute cross-promotion aligning their Universal Studios’ upcoming release of “Mummy 3” with their coverage of the 2008 Olympics in China.

Click here to watch the commercial.

I expect that there will be a backlash from the media and sports communities, as this TV commercial is insulting to Olympic athletes and viewers alike. If you haven’t seen this commercial, you probably won’t understand the vitriol to follow.

NBC may as well have lined up every single 2008 Olympic athlete and systematically spat in their faces. These athletes didn’t ask to be trivialized as poster children to recoup loss on a terrible movie with which they have nothing to do. The ad strips Olympic athletes of their dignity.

From this TV ad, I remember a tasteless quick-cut from a CGI battle scene into stock footage of an actual Olympic boxing match. I also remember a clip of Brendan Frasier shouting something like, “We’re the good guys!” cutting to stock footage of an American runner winning a race.

From a business perspective, this isn’t rocket science and it makes sense. Universal Studios spent a ton of money making “Mummy 3” but it’s going to be a huge flop if it doesn’t get some serious help. So, NBC as the parent company of Universal Studios decides to do some damage control. They decide to take an angle which apparently justifies the aligning of “Mummy” with the 2008 Olympics: They are both filmed in China… that’s it. That is NBC’s angle.

As tasteless as it may be, the business logic behind it makes sense, which makes it that much more tasteless. This is NBC telling us, the American public, just how stupid they think we are:

Barbara Blangiardi, SVP of Strategic Marketing and Content Innovation for NBC, has this to say:
“The shared location of China represented the opportunity to do something special together.”

Wow. Let’s get this straight: NBC overtly trivializes the Olympics, the Olympic athletes and the viewers of the Olympics on the large scale to recoup a few dollars on a bad movie… and they think we’re stupid enough to not notice. The sad thing is that most people really are that stupid. Are you one of them?

Who’s the bad guy, now?

[UPDATE:] This TV spot is just the beginning of NBC’s roll-out marketing campaign aligning “Mummy 3” with The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. This ad will be featured in movie theatres, theme parks, airlines and digital displays in 4,700 NYC taxi cabs (a full-third of the NYC taxi fleet)… the list goes on. My prediction is that the most impression intensive period of this campaign will take place during NBC’s coverage of the latter portion of the Olympic trials and the beginning of the 2008 Olympic Games

[SIDENOTE:] I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this ad premiered during NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, the one program on television which arguably retains the stupidest audience in the country. As evidence, some focus-group preferred the title “America’s Got Talent” over “America Has Talent”, the latter of which, anyone who is not retarded would prefer. Also, does anyone else find it strange that two out of the three judges on “America’s Got Talent” are British? I digress.

New readers: Your opinion is welcomed in the comments.

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Your Telephone Procedures: They Are Incorrect

I loath when people do following:

*my cell phone rings*

Me: Hello?

Idiot: Who’s this?

Me: You called me. Who is this?

Idiot: *click*

If you are one of these idiots, you need to revise your procedures.

When telephoning someone, it is imperative that you identify yourself at the very beginning of the conversation. You may then choose to name the party with whom you wish to speak or the reason for your call.

For example:

Me: Hello, this is PissedAndPetty.com calling. May I please speak with the idiot who just called me and hung up. I would like to speak with them for a moment in regards to their abysmal telephone etiquette. Thank you.

Don’t be an idiot.

MTA Fare Hike: Even Trains Depressed

Around midnight, I was waiting for an A train at 145th St., when I saw something that made me sad. Well, I’m kind of always sad, but this made me a little sadder. I saw this poor little train sitting in the station, crying. Just sitting there, bawling its poor little train eyes out.


Little Known Fact: Trains’ tear ducts are located in their once frozen, but now melting air conditioning units.

Suicidal Train

I tried not to stare at the train. I didn’t want to make an awkward situation more awkward. I figured that the train was just having a bad day and needed a few minutes to cry it out. No problem, we’ve all been there.

I turned to the guy standing next to me on the platform and asked,

“Why do you think that train is crying?”

The guy turned around and walked away from me quickly. I guess he didn’t know why the train was crying. I was still very curious.

I put on my sunglasses so I could watch the train more closely without it knowing I was doing so. Suddenly, I became very alarmed.

This train is trying to commit suicide.

The train’s tears are streaming down its cheeks directly into its on-board high-voltage transformer box, which is becoming filled with water, and in turn, leaking directly onto the live third rail.

I couldn’t bare to watch.

I took a cab for the 12 blocks home and demanded to pay with my credit card.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, MTA.

For comprehensive, concise, and detailed information on the new MTA fare hike, see this post by 2nd Avenue Sagas or this post by East Village Idiot.

Grand Theft: Intellectual Property

Foreword: Please place your comment/advice hats on your heads. Thank you in advance.

Possible Scenario:

A well-known company has run out of ideas for marketing their new product line. This company posts a job listing seeking a Marketing Professional to develop and implement fresh marketing initiatives to raise awareness of their new product line among their target market.

The company interviews candidates for the position. Candidates are asked to draft a few original marketing initiatives to propose for consideration of employment. Upon submission of their original proposal, candidates are narrowed down to a select few. The remaining candidates are then asked to draft another proposal, only this time in a completely different arena, for instance, a highly technical proposal on Search Engine Optimization and various Key Word Providers. Some candidates comply, some candidates bow out of the competition.

Days go by.

None of the candidates ever hear from the company again.

Did this company hold ruse interviews to pick the brains of industry professionals, with no intention to hire, and every intention of obtaining free ideas and consultations from job-seeking professionals?

***

In hindsight, this seems like something that would be filed in the “oldest trick in the book” department, but I honesty can’t remember ever hearing of such a thing.

Has anyone ever heard of this before?

Wanted: Your Insight, Opinion or Input of any sort.

Suggested Points of Discussion:

As relating to this situation, what are the accepted reasonable and definable expectations of job candidates when qualifying themselves to a potential employer?

At what definable point does a candidate’s compliance with the interview process become “consultation”?

Are Intellectual Property laws applicable here?

Are there any definable and enforceable audits or other alternate measures in place to prevent employers from doing this at will?

Please, discuss. Comment link is under article header.

Holy Hangover, Batman!

I was in a particularly foul mood this morning for my subway commute as I had a scorching hangover. Certainly, I was in no mood for the overzealous subway preacher than entered my car and began to scream about some nonsense regarding how he used to be a crackhead and the lord saved his life, blah blah blah.

Usually I just shake my head in disbelief that anyone would be silly enough to buy into this garbage, let alone wake up at ass-o’clock in the morning to not only admit to people that they buy into it, but actually try to convince other people to buy into it too. Unbelieveable. Anyway, this morning, I was not in the mood to pacify this moron.

I decided since he was considerate enough to force me to listen to his convictions at the crack of dawn while I’m trying to sleep on the train, it would only be fair that I let him in on some of my beliefs. Here are some choice excerpts. Everything I said was perfectly audible to anyone on the train, especially him. No matter what I said, or how loudly I said it, he completely ignored me and kept on preaching. I guess God blessed him with selective hearing as well.

Subway Preacher: I know you can’t tell, but I used to be a crackhead.
Me: Actually, I can tell.

Subway Preacher: God wants you to praise his name from our lips.
Me: No, God wants you to stop shouting at people at eight o’clock in the morning.

Subway Preacher: Like I said, I used to be a crackhead.
Me: Like I said, I can tell.

The woman sitting next to me was really offended by my comments.

Thank God.

Class Distinction

Sunday afternoon, I went to the deli to grab some Gatorade. I was in a wicked bad mood after having just received a phone call informing me that I had been fired from my job because of this blog. There was a guy behind me in line at the deli who was dressed in all white and carrying a white boom-box on his shoulder. Said boom-box was emitting the sort of sonic catastrophe reminiscent of one of your old friends that thinks they’re a DJ and sends you a weekly e-mail about where they’ll be “performing”. This guy was buying a quart of milk. That’s it. I’m not shitting you. Picture it.

Being that he was directly behind me in line at the deli, he checked out a couple seconds after me and followed closely behind me as I left the store, his quart of milk in tow, no bag. Upon following me out of the store he cranked up the volume on his boom-box to the redline, ensuring that I could enjoy his music just as much as he did.

The usual Washington Heights hubbubin`s were in full swing. People hanging out on the stoops, hanging out on the corner, hanging from the fire escapes with one arm while gripping a bottle of Corinita in the other, congregating in completely illogical places as to disrupt the flow of foot traffic as much possible, seemingly on purpose.

The fruity guy with the stupid white clothes, quart of milk, crappy music and desperate need for attention was still following, basically breathing down my neck.

I’d had it.

I was wearing dark sunglasses so I did the “fake-look-over-my-shoulder-into-the-distance-when-I’m-actually-looking- you-square-in-the-face-to-get-a-read-on-you-because-you’re-following-so- close-that-you’re-kinda-freaking-me-out-and-pissing-me-off-at-the-same- time” thing. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

That’s when I saw that he had those stupid white contact lenses on his eyeballs. I almost threw up in sheer disgust of his gimmickry.

“I have a pair of earphones that I’m not using, do you want them?” I asked.

“WHAT?” he screamed over his music.

Everything fell deafly quiet as I took the liberty of hitting the ‘pause’ button on his boom-box and shouted as loud as I could,

“I HAVE A PAIR OF EARPHONES THAT I’M NOT USING, DO YOU WANT THEM!?”

He stood with me face-to-face and stared at me, shocked, for about four seconds. That’s four seconds in real time, people.

One-one-thousand.

Two-one-thousand.

Three-one-thousand.

Four-one-thousand.

He flipped me off and walked away. Simple as that.

I think it made us both feel better.

I’m Fired.

It is official. I have been fired from a great job because of this blog.

I have been working for a nameless worldwide intelligence and investigation firm for the past couple weeks. They specialize in white-collar crime intelligence/investigation and business security. If I told you who they were, I’d have to kill you.

12:00p, Friday:

I checked my blog stats and found that I had received several hits from within my company, from a computer that was not mine. They came to my blog through a link on my myspace page. I had told no one about the existence of either website. Almost immediately, strange things started happening.

Due to the nature of this company’s work, I began to get a little nervous that these hits were coming from inside the company. I tried to put it out of my mind and began to gather my notes and whatnot. I was due to cover the executive desks support team as they were leaving town/going to lunch, respectively, at 12:45p.

12:30p, Friday:

My immediate supervisor approached me and told that the executive desks were unusually busy this day, and that someone with a little more experience would be covering the desks because the CEO had just returned from a long business trip, and that I could “just hang out” for a while.

I have a finely tuned bullshit detector, and this didn’t sit right with me. No one had ever expressed doubt that I could handle anything and everything that was thrown at me. In fact, quite the contrary.

2:00p, Friday:

Throughout the day, my day-to-day work that is usually routed across my desk, slowly stopped coming. Combine this with the internal hits on my blog, and the weirdness surrounding the executive desks, and I started to get paranoid. These events may not seem so strange to the reader, but I had a feeling that something wasn’t right. It’s hard to explain. After seeing what this company is capable of, it’s easy to start triple guessing yourself about the simplest things. You have to understand that you are working with spies. Actual spies. Sure I was being paranoid.

5:30p, Friday:

As my boss had instructed, I was “just hanging out” at my desk. It was the end of the day and I was responding to some personal e-mails, reading fark.com, when my supervisor approached me and told me I could leave for the day. He spoke to me in a manner that was inconsistent with previous conversations.

I left the office to go to a friend’s birthday party.

8:00p, Friday:

That night, I mentioned these events to some friends, but the unanimous decision was that I was just being paranoid. Everyone agreed to think I might have slight reason to be concerned, due to the nature of the company’s work, but that I really shouldn’t worry.

Wrong.

11:30a, Sunday:

I received a call from the agency that had placed me in the position. They told me that my contract had been terminated and I was not to report to work Monday morning.

What?

This was particularly hurtful to me because I really liked the work I was doing for this company, and I put everything I had into it. It was a new industry for me, and I found myself riveted by their work. I spent my non-working hours reading anything I could get my hands on in order to educate myself about their business and industry. During work hours, when I didn’t have an assignment, I would research company materials and closed case files to further familiarize myself. I really liked all the people I worked with, and I feel I was well liked in return.

I could maybe understand that due to the nature of the company’s business, after reading some of the material on my blog, no matter how good an employee I was, that they just weren’t willing to take the risk. “What risk?” you ask. I don’t know. I suppose that they simply aren’t in the business of taking chances.

In the long run, I believe that I would have been an invaluable asset to this company. I feel they have made a mistake in their decision to terminate my contract due to my blog.

Footnote: This author believes it is fair for the company to formally acknowledge to the author’s employing agent that his termination was do to circumstances not relating to his job performance, and in fact, quite the contrary.