“Social media is a thorn in the court system’s side,” said the man at the front of the room to the pool of potential jurors nervously awaiting our turn to avoid being picked, but really he wasn’t just a regular court employee, he had some kind of pull, some kind of position of power, enough that he interspersed his inspirational speech about how jury duty is the quintessential building block of a just society with slightly indignant reminiscences of his efforts to streamline the system.
He wants our email addresses, no, we won’t automatically be called again if we give them, because that will save on postage, did you know it can take up to three. whole. stamps. to get one potential juror in the seat we are now in? That’s because we all want to be scofflaws and giving our email address to the City of Philadelphia won’t fix that but it will save on postage and that’s not his money he’s talking about it’s taxpayer money so give up that @ will you please. Continue reading →
It’s 8 AM, and I’m standing in front of what looks like a mix between a celebrity transport and a secret-ops van — matte black with tinted windows and indistinct silver trim — waiting to go drink beer. More accurately, continue drinking beer, since the day before I’d spent on the event floor of the Great American Beer Festival, hopping from tasting table to tasting table with 40,000 other beer fans.
Glancing around, I see one person I know slightly and several I don’t know at all. By evening, I’ll feel like I’d known them all for years.
Ed Yashinksy, the Troegs manager who appears to be somewhat in charge, herds all dozen of us onto the black bus and gives the driver the okay. We’re off, pulling out of Denver on our way to spend the day in the nearby brewery mecca of Fort Collins. It’s 8:30 AM.
“Ready for liquid refreshments?” someone yells, and coffee is swapped for cans of breakfast beer in hands all down the facing benches. Continue reading →
It’s easy to buy Twitter followers — you can get them for as little as a penny each. We have friends who’ve done it. For brands, it can make a big difference in perceived credibility. But if you’re going to do it, don’t make it obvious.
We came across an account today (set up by someone we have met) that shows what it looks like when you pay to look cool, but end up coming off as a fool.
It’s clearly a new account. And yet it has a whopping 2,333 followers while following only 10 others. Unless you’re a movie star, pop star, sports star or robot rover on another planet, that’s a highly unlikely ratio for a just-started account to have. Continue reading →
(Or, Never Let Photography Get in the Way of Tacos)
She flew all the way in from Salt Lake City just to make tacos. Not regular tacos — those can be found in various Tex and Mex styles all over the East Coast — but an entirely new kind. And I missed them.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (presented by Pom Wonderful) is proof that we have beaten bin Laden. Or at least, provides hope for the future of the American way. Morgan Spurlock (who you might remember from fast-food takedown Super Size Me) faces commercialization and product placement head on, and in exposing it, finds positives. He finds sponsors that understand where he’s going with the film and are fully behind the idea. They’re in on the joke, and that‘s a great selling point. It’s also good for the consumer.
Greatest Movie examines the effects of self-awareness on advertising, and finds the two are not mutually exclusive. This is a good thing. Advertising is not going to disappear any time soon; it has become part of our global culture. And even if it could, would we really want it to? Marketing and advertising are effective methods of disseminating information. What we don’t need is false advertising. The more enlightened companies are – in terms of what goes into making their products and what their customers are looking for – the more progress we can make as a society.
One of the major goals of humanity – of existence, in general – should be to become more self-aware. To explore the boundaries of awareness, as beings in this universe (as part of this universe). How much can we realize about the “now,” the present? How far does our perception extend, and what factors are influencing it, in real time? Continue reading →
If you are not a TV-watching type, you might be surprised to discover that a) there is a whole channel called Home & Garden Television, and b) it produces a top-rated show in its fifth season on which designers compete for a chance to win.
Win what? Why, their own show on the same channel. It’s a gloriously self-propagating scheme.
HGTV Design Star is currently holding open casting calls for their sixth season, and will be in Philadelphia this coming Monday, Jan 10th. Who do they want? Someone with:
Extensive design knowledge
Personality that pops
Passion for design
Lots of energy and enthusiasm
A clear and unique design perspective
No biggie! Of course, in addition to a good portfolio, you have to look the part (headshots are a required part of the application — this is a visual medium, after all).
Not sure what kind of design skills they’re seeking? Considering the name of the host channel, we gather it’s interior designers they’re after.
You’ll no doubt get to buy all kinds of kitschy tchotchkes, and maybe even use power tools, while the network finds ways to plug product placements from their sponsors.
You don’t even have to attend the casting event to apply – just send in a home video. For anyone interested, click the image for a PDF or see below:
Monday January 10, 2011
10 AM to 1 PM
Embassy Suites Hotel
1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
A bit of advice for HGTV: looking at your PR/marketing materials, you should find some relatively-skilled graphic designers before anything else.
Is that Cole, Elvis or KD Lang hugging the orange pregnant Heidi?
Why are random children playing in Cole’s bed?
Is this apartment in a hovercraft to obtain that angle of view out the window?
Anyway, bringing this up now because if his pitching is not up to par in today’s game 2 of the National League Division Series, I put all blame on the creative director who came up with — and subsequently approved — these ads.