The ongoing conflict between satellite provider Dish Network and the basic cable giant AMC Networks has been dragging on for weeks now and, as is common in such disputes, it's the consumers who are getting stomped on. Imagine not having been able to enjoy television's best drama - AMC's "Breaking Bad" -- these last few weeks. There ought to be a law ...
There is nobody in the entertainment business quite like James Franco, the over-achieving actor-writer-producer-director-student-etc. who often appears to be simultaneously juggling more creative projects than any ten celebrities combined. That would seem to make him the perfect choice to star in a commercial showcasing a device that enables its user to do several things at once - in this case the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
There are legends and there are heroes, and then there are people who have picked up the phone when destiny called, listened intently, and replied with a steely, "Yes, I am the champion of virtue that you seek, and I accept most major credit cards." My preparation, selflessness and resolve in the days leading up to our move to the 'burbs qualifies me for that latter group.
There's war being waged in the shadows, and for once it doesn't involve CIA operatives funneling arms to quasi-militias in unstable Latin America outposts. No, this war is far more grave and sinister: It's a war for jerkyfied-meat mindshare. Specifically, mine. Wherever I venture on the web, I am met with beef jerky ads., I cannot dodge the jerky. I'm not frustrated by this so much as I am fascinated. Are e-targeters really that wired in to the online habits of the me-so-hungee crowd?
The dumbest reason to be annoyed by circa-2012 online video is an excess of product placement. At this point in our commercial and cultural evolution, railing against product placement is like railing against shoes, or against the arrival of night. Product placement is a fact of life. No matter how much it may irritate scold-ier viewers, no fiscally conscientious production will refuse those dollars. This is the way it is, and the way it will be.
It sounds like the kind of idea birthed by chucklehead college kids on a late-night bagel run. "Dude, you like cream cheese. I like cream cheese. Surely there are others who are similarly enthusiastic about cream cheese and the slathering thereof." An online community congealing around a shared affinity for cream cheese? On the other hand, I have real-world friendships built on far less.
I don't get it. I mean, on some level I get it: Those high-culture knockabouts at The New Yorker want people to buy their iPhone app and, to that end, have birthed a video promoting it. I understand the concept of promotion. Promotion is designed to encourage the purchase of televisions, baked goods and other items, usually via the vehicles of publicity and advertising. This makes sense to me.
Alcohol marketing featuring an aspirational or mirth-radiating mascot is like a ham featuring a triple-swabbed raspberry glaze: It works, man, it just does. The presence of swashbuckling lecher Captain Morgan transformed a spittle-grade rum into sorority nectar. The whimsical antics of pansexual dog-god Spuds MacKenzie temporarily elevated Bud Light above Busch and Schaefer in the desperation-beer hierarchy.
As I've noted before, my main problem with cats is that they have targeted me for brutal death by allergy. Which is why I'm so surprised by how much I enjoy "The Great Cat Debate," a series of videos curated by the litter-box magnates at Fresh Step. Unlike every other campaign in the history of catstuff marketing, it acknowledges the possibility that maybe, just maybe, cats are not as universally beloved as Nelson Mandela or Meryl Streep.