Dear Entertainment Industry: Get With The Program

To further detail how out of touch the entertainment industry is: I linked a YouTube video  of Adele’s performance at The Grammy’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uVQ0GKhYZU)  but it has been taken down from YouTube due to a copyright claim by The Grammy’s.

You must be kidding me! Wow, not seeing the forest for the trees, much, Grammy’s? I’m giving free publicity to CBS, The Grammy’s, XL/Columbia Records and Adele.

It’s called a “loss leader” — perhaps you’d heard of it while getting your MBA. And you take down the video because you think you’re losing money by people not going here instead http://www.cbs.com/shows/grammys/video/—  except you don’t have the indexing or crowd sourcing power which does YouTube, and your online broadcast content is simply terrible!

Idiots.

This is a great example of why SOPA, PIPA and *ACTA* are death sentences for the internet as we know it — and also our best available free exchange of information.

Sorry, I’m actually mad now.

P.S. I just realized that this is my 150th post on this blog. So, yeah.

Now This Is Good Advertising

I took this picture on the Upper West Side a few weeks ago.

(Click image to enlarge)

Blank Slate

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.

Optimum Online (Cablevision): Who’s That Girl?

Most savvy New York media folks are aware of the polarizing effects of the new Optimum Online commercials, from the obnoxious “Reggaeton” ad to the newer creepy “Stepford Wife” spot. No matter how much you hate these ads, like I do, they are setting response records and they have people talking.

With this said, I think everyone is missing the big picture.

Who is the adorable blonde background singer in the new Optimum Online (Cablevision) commercial? I’m talking about the “Stepford Wife” promo, not the “Reggaeton” promo… and I’m talking about the background actress, not the lead girl.

I mean, whatever, it’s no big deal. It’s not like I’m into her or anything. *ahem*

Anyone?

[UPDATE: Mystery solved. She is triple-threat, Lindsey Thomas.]

–Lindsey, babe, call my people. We’ll do lunch. ;)

Your 59/50 Hat: Why The Sticker?

Take that stupid sticker off of your hat. You look ridiculous.

I work in advertising and marketing for major entertainment entities (TV, Film, Radio, etc.) in NYC. It is my job to wear a suit to work in order to dissect patterns of thought relating to modern trends among various demographics and advise companies on how best to exploit utilize these findings to maximize profit, more or less.

Regardless of my suit or my Welsh/German ancestry, many savvy parties have found it appropriate to pick my brain in regards to several various urban marketing strategies. My clients’ feedback and results indicate that I might actually know what I’m talking about. Fuck, I mean, I did stare Ice-T square in his face while he was rollin’ dirty and he didn’t even try to front.
.

Now that I have sufficiently qualified myself as a man who skips stones across cultural barriers while blindfolded, I feel comfortable admitting that I, in fact, do not know everything about urban culture. Following is a question which has been torturing me for at least five years. I have been asked this exact question by exactly two of my clients:

“Why do urban youth keep the stickers and tags on their hats? Is this something we can use?”

The truth: I have no fucking clue.

What I actually said: “Do you know the Outkast track ‘So Fresh, So Clean’? It’s like that. The freshness of the sticker on a man’s hat is intended to directly reflect a man’s financial security. The freshness of a sticker on a hat has a short shelf life. If a man is consistently seen among his peers with a fresh sticker on his hat, the man is assumed to be financially secure, as he can obviously afford to buy many many hats. This elevates a man’s status among his peers.”

My clients nod maniacally with wide eyes, drooling like they’ve just smelled meat for the first time.

“So, we can really capitalize on this market, right?” they ask.

“Sure,” I said “if you don’t mind your target market paying you with stacks of less-than-fresh stickers attached to perfectly good hats.”

-seriously though, does anyone really know
what the deal is with the stickers on the hats?

[UPDATE: I just found out that the stickers are left on the hat to prove that the hat is genuine, and not a knock off. How fucking stupid is that?]

[UPDATE: Depending on which idiot you ask, there are several other reasons for this.  If I were to repeat these reasons, I am certain that my brain would instantly die. Do your own research.]

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.

To quote Joe Rogan:

Wow, I never imagined having a reason to say that. Anyway…

You know the anti-marijuana TV ad they play now where the dog is telling the girl that he doesn’t like it when she smokes weed? Here’s what Joe Rogan has to say about that commercial. I found it to be pretty hilarious.

I ripped the following from Joe Rogan’s blog:

“Hey Lindsey, I wish you didn’t smoke weed.”

“Really? Well I wish you didn’t freak me the fuck out by talking to me with no warning. You know how to talk? How about a heads up first, motherfucker? Why don’t you start off slow, like maybe write me a note or something? How long have you been able to talk? You could talk all this time, and the first words out of your mouth are criticism? How about ‘hey, I’m your dog, and I can talk!’ Wouldn’t that be a better way to start? Right away with the complaints?”

What’s the message here? Don’t smoke weed or your dog will be disappointed in you?
The same dog that I have to yell at every day to keep him from eating shit out of the cat’s litter box? Is that really a deterrent?
I mean, it’s your fucking dog. Even little kids get to yell at the dog. The dog is the bottom of the food chain when it comes to pull around the house. Who give a fuck what he thinks.

Meanwhile, the craziest thing about the video is that after the dog is done talking, the chick just stands there and thinks about what the dog said.
She doesn’t scream, or call her brother over so he can see, or even ask the dog any questions. She just drops her head in shame over her weed smoking.
Whatever that chick is smoking, it ain’t weed, and keep it the fuck away from me.