The King of [Frat Party] Beers?

There really aren’t words … but I’ll try.

HOW DUMB ARE YOU, BUDWEISER? Did no one in your marketing department raise this issue? Did no one think this might possibly be offensive in some (if not all) circumstances? Did no one care that there could be backlash? Did no one factor in the cost of recalling all of those beer bottles? The idiot of the week award goes to ….

Perhaps the Clydesdales could have done better.

At any rate, thank heavens for John Oliver, a voice of reason in this sea of utter madness.

Sleeping with Neil Patrick Harris

Have you seen this ad? Too funny. Below is Hilary Miller’s story from Huffington Post. The moral of the story, I suppose, is that EVERYONE wants to sleep with NPH!!

Do you lie awake at night, tossing and turning in your satin pajamas? You just can’t manage to fall asleep, no matter how hard you try? Has it become such a problem that you just want to sing about it?

Apparently, you and Neil Patrick Harris have a lot in common … at least according to his music video promoting Neuro Sleep.

Harris stars in the steamy music video with rapper Problem and singer Asher Monroe to kick off the “SLEEP with Neuro” campaign. The result is a hilariously gif–able two and a half minutes of the “How I Met Your Mother” star swooning over the sleep aid beverage, seductively licking the bottle.

The ad comes as a response to Neuro’s survey which asked customers who they’d most like to have a slumber party with. The company reports that 35% of those they interviewed went with Neil Patrick Harris and Neuro happily granted their wish with the help of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” director Jon Jon Augustavo.

Trying to sleep as well as NPH croons? Neuro is giving away a million bottles of their Sleep elixir. That should guarantee Harris some restorative shuteye as he prepares to end his nine years on “How I Met Your Mother.” Hopefully, it will help us too.

Marketers on MLK Day: ‘I Have a…Really Bad Idea!’ – PRNewser


Marketers on MLK Day: ‘I Have a…Really Bad Idea!’ – PRNewser.

This is why marketers have such a bad wrap. It’s because IDIOTS are so common in this industry. I can’t imagine anything more crass than trying to use the legacy of a slain civil rights leader to flack your product. It’s wrong on at least a hundred different levels.

Big Gay Tweets

This Scoop Shop’s Secret Sauce? Social Marketing.


Founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff outside of one of the locations of Big Gay Ice Cream, the quirky East Village ice cream shop. |Image:

Great story on Mashable – with video – about Big Gay Ice Cream, the Manhattan-based ice cream truck and bricks and mortar stores of the same name and how they’ve used social media to fuel their brand.

They have found that their quirky take on tweets and Facebook posts have won over fans.

Next time you happen by, try a Salty Pimp. Or a Bea Arthur. You’ll be glad you did.

Barilla Pasta Announces ‘Diversity And Inclusion’ Campaign Following Gay Backlash

Italy’s Barilla Pasta came under fire in September when the company’s chairman made comments that sparked a backlash and boycott from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

On Nov. 4, the company made an announcement that seeks to change all of that, telling that public that they would be introducing a Diversity & Inclusion Board to the company and a Global Diversity Officer. In addition, they would participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index.

via Barilla Pasta Announces ‘Diversity And Inclusion’ Campaign Following Gay Backlash.

Screw you, Barilla. Anybody who doesn’t understand the words corporate pandering doesn’t understand what’s going on here.

Netflix Checks Piracy To Help Decide What To Buy

Netflix has long argued that its service helps counteract piracy by offering a legal alternative; and it seems that the company is putting its money where its mouth is.

In an interview with Dutch tech website Tweakers, Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman, says that it actively seeks out  TV series that have high rates or piracy when making programming decisions.

via Netflix Checks Piracy Stats To Help It Decide What To Buy – Forbes.

More than just a little bit smart.

And why do people pirate? Because traditional media outlets have not kept up with the needs/wants of the 21st century consumer.

Whiny ‘Children’

I read with interest a letter to fans of All My Children and One Life to Live sent by Prospect Park’s (PP) The Online Network (TOLN) on May 16 informing them that the organization planned to reconfigure their distribution methods and release two rather than four new episodes of each show per week.

Then I watched the Internet explode.

The ridiculous hue and cry that was sent up by a vocal minority of viewers was pretty stupendous. It was as if PP had asked, collectively, for everyone to reach into their chests and remove their spleens. Grow up.

Here’s what AMC’s Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt) had to say about it on Facebook:

Everyone has done a Herculean job, truly unbelievable, the shows look wonderful, I am so very proud to be able to be a part of this daring undertaking. Our producers and writers work until 4:00AM nearly every night, I wondered how long this could continue.

The cast of the "new" All My Children includes many familiar faces, including original cast member Ray MacDonnell and longtime co-stars Cady McClain, Jill Larson, David Canary, Julia Barr and others. Image: Ferencomm/The Online Network.

The cast of the “new” All My Children includes many familiar faces, including original cast member Ray MacDonnell and longtime co-stars and fan favorites Cady McClain, Jill Larson, David Canary, Julia Barr, Eden Reigel, Debbie Morgan, Darnell Williams and others. Image: Ferencomm/The Online Network.

And while Jill notes that this is not why the number of episodes being released each week is being cut back, it’s a very important thing to contemplate. If you’ve never worked in a theatre or on a soundstage, you have no idea just how many people it takes to create the entertainment that you’re experiencing. If those technicians burn out, your production suffers. And if you don’t know a dolly grip from a focus puller and why they’re so important, when shut your yammer.

Patterns Shift
Now, what PP did note in their initial communication was that they were as surprised as anyone about how the vast majority of viewers are consuming this material. And, as a marketer, I have no doubt that they are spot on in their adjustments and why they are doing it.

What you have to realize is that buying patterns and entertainment consumption patterns shift over time. Without getting too far into the weeds with marketing geek speak, at the end of the day, if you have data on your audience and you can see how and when they are consuming your material, you have an obligation to the consumer to deliver that material in a way that is beneficial to the majority of your audience.

Quite frankly, I was surprised that TOLN planned five half-hours of material per week (four of story and one behind-the-scenes show). If I was among those with decision-making power here, I might have lobbied for a return to the original Irna Phillips playbook and 15-minute programs because (A) it is at the root of the genre and (B) because of my knowledge of peoples’ online attention spans. [damn short] Of course, I would have in all likelihood been overruled, because while a 15-minute program four times a week and two 30-minute programs per week equate to the same amount of story, the ad impressions double in the half-hour segments and if you understand anything about TV (or its equivalents) you know it’s all about the Benjamins!

The Old School Viewer Weighs In
I guess the thing that really cheeses me off are the people who are accusing PP of creating this “viewing habits paradigm” out of whole cloth to get out of providing four days of programming per week.

I’m going out on a limb here to defend some people I know ZERO about personally, and say, “Shut up, ya ignorant cows.”

And, I can attest that in my experience, PP’s Jeff Kwatinetz is correct. His explanation is exactly how people are consuming online content. Ask anyone who streamed a full season of House of Cards all at once on Netflix. Ask Arrested Development fans how they spent May 26th (ask on the 28th, they’ll be sleeping on the 27th; they were up all night long). If someone has a free hour or two during the day — every day of the week — to devote to watching entertainment programming, please let me know how to get their life.

Hell, even back in the day, the only reason I could continue to watch continuing dramas was because of the advent of the VCR. (Some of us work.) I would tape shows and when I got home from work, I’d watch scenes with the characters I was interested in and fast-forwarded through the rest. Today, I’m happier to spend an hour on a rainy Saturday morning watching All My Children than I am to scurry around trying to find some time in my schedule to watch a half-hour every day. And, I’m less likely to find TWO hours on that same Saturday to catch up on four.

If PP is thinking that fans are watching BOTH All My Children and One Life to Live, then I think two things are important: (1) fan connections to both shows and (2) if subsequent weeks numbers show one show consistently outperforming the other or not.

An AMC Outlier
In spite of being a 20+ year viewer of All My Children, I’m an outlier. I was a diehard As The World Turns/Guiding Light viewer. All My Children was a fluke for me. It was the only then-ABC soap I watched and — with the sole exception of the Kyle Lewis/Oliver Fish storyline (which got botched big time) — nothing ever appealed to me about OLTL. Subsequently, when both shows returned online, I watched AMC and went on my merry way.

Bottom Line: Give PP some room to grow and to figure some stuff out. THIS IS ALL BRAND NEW. Let them play around with it without throwing in the damn towel on the first down and going home in a huff. Listen, they’ve just given you back Billy Clyde Tuggle, for the love of God, one of the greatest characters in the history of the genre. Quit bitching. Shut up. Be thankful. And watch.

Don’t make me have to rant at you again.

(P.S. — Has anyone ever bitched because you only get one episode of your favorite primetime network sitcom each week? And for 24-26 weeks per year, if you’re lucky? Hell, under this new paradigm, you’re still going to get more than 100 new episodes of each program each year. How is this still not a good thing???)


Alec Baldwin Sure Does Hate Ben Brantley


Photo: from Vulture. Ben Gabbe | Getty Images

Alec Baldwin Sure Does Hate Ben Brantley — Vulture.

Baldwin writes that a critic should “never say ‘why bother?'” about something he or she is reviewing, and that “[in] the case of Orphans, Brantley wrote ‘Why bother?'” Actually, Brantley didn’t — though he did call Baldwin’s performance “a mutating cartoon … with only hints of the requisite menace” and said the production was “dispiritingly pallid.”

Okay, this is probably a way for Baldwin to vent his spleen a little, but, you know what? When you strip away all the vitriol from both sides, Baldwin is dead right.

Look, critics have way too much power.

Critics who are looking for a way to tear down a performer or a performance sadly outnumber those who are offering legit criticism.

If theatre marketers were doing their jobs correctly — and I say this with impunity because I was one for years and years — you can make your shows immune in critics. Of course, doing so requires changing your business model and investing more money in marketing, so I’m pretty certain that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

‘Titanic II’ Will Set Sail by 2016 — What the Hell??

‘Titanic II’ Will Set Sail by 2016, Costumes Included.| Mashable

Australian mining billionaire and professor Clive Palmer — and his Blue Star Line company — held a press conference in New York City on Tuesday morning to unveil the new blueprints of the Titanic II, which was first announced in 2012.

Does ANYONE have a good feeling for this? Here’s what I think: the ship Titanic is known for one thing and one thing only. It is etched into the global consciousness as being synonymous with sinking. What’s their new slogan going to be: “This time we may stay afloat??”

A few years ago I was in Inverness, Scotland and we stayed at the Royal Highland Hotel, whose claim to fame is that the staircase there was the inspiration for the grand staircase on H.M.S. Titanic. Nice staircase. Crappy hotel.