- Nothing but NETFLIX – Whether it’s adding to your queue or watching instantly, Netflix has figured out the formula for success. With more than 2 million new users since the beginning of 2013, Netflix has risen to the top, while bringing the trend of “binge viewing” into the homes of the American public. The online video provider has branched out by creating original content with the launch of its first series “House of Cards.” Netflix also signed a coveted deal with the producers at “Arrested Development” to bring 15 original episodes of the cult comedy back to the small screen to pave the way for a potential movie. Netflix is hot right now, and its lack of commercial content is what makes it stand out from the other big guns of binge viewing. This is a tough nut for brands to crack, but a growing platform with real PR legs if leveraged strategically.
- Courting Martha Stewart? – America’s favorite homemaker sat down with Matt Lauer last week where she confessed to wanting to try online dating, specifically Match.com. This was obviously music to the ears of the folks at Match.com, who coordinated a follow-up special on TODAY featuring Martha and Matt hunting for her online love. Even if she doesn’t find her soul mate, Match.com certainly took advantage of a golden opportunity.
- Get Your Own Gala Gown – With the Met Gala taking place tonight, celebrities have enlisted the help of their glam teams and famous fashion friends to get prepped. Aside from the Oscars, the Met Gala is arguably the biggest fashion night of the year, and a time to make a real statement. Upscale E-commerce giant and event co-sponsor Moda Operandi has partnered with several of the designers to offer the gowns as soon as they hit the carpet in a live streaming flash sale. Get your credit cards ready gals, these gowns will cost you a pretty penny.
- Seacrest and Paltrow Team Up – PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful and E!’s most profitable have signed on to create a 10 episode web based series on AOL’s On Network. The series entitled “Second Chances” will feature Gwyn and her fitness guru pal Tracy Anderson as they share stories of women who have faced and overcome a variety of obstacles in their lives. The series will roll out over the next couple of months, as Ryan Seacrest Productions continues to focus on digital content.
- Mr. President Goes to Hollywood – President Obama took a break from his day to day duties to join Hollywood’s elite for the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner. Conan O’Brien took over as host, while delivering some memorable zingers. Not to be outdone, Mr. President had no shortage of one-liners himself; even getting a few laughs while sporting his wife’s buzzed about bangs. Often deemed the “nerd prom,” the annual White House Correspondents Dinner is a collision of two different worlds, but always makes for some good laughs.
Image courtesy of Netflix
To honor the Boston Marathon events, which occurred just two weeks ago, MMCers brainstormed their Bean Town favorites. Here’s what made the list:
- Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg – they’ve all made it big in Hollywood, but they haven’t forgotten their roots
- Dunkin Donuts
- Boston University College of Communication
- The Celtics
- The accent…pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd!
- The Burren (a bar in Somerville)
- Soundbites (an amazing brunch spot)
- The Citgo sign, a famous Boston landmark
- The first marathon a MMCer ran in Boston in 2003 – that year, Adidas did an inspirational campaign called the “7 stages of marathon”
- Sunset Grill because it has the best nachos, ever :-)
- New Kids on the Block
- Mike’s Pastry (bakery)
According to new data, people are using social media for health-related purposes. In fact, almost half of adult consumers said they did in 2012 and 2011. Are you one of them?
It’s no surprise that that almost half of U.S. pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who were surveyed by KPMG said they planned to increase their use of social media with patients.
Image Courtesy of Google
Social media is changing the way we receive news; I’m sure you’ve heard this or experienced it before. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned of major news, whether it be related to pop culture or politics, through Twitter and Facebook: the passing of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, the reelection of President Obama, the death of Osama Bin Laden, the discontinuation of the Twinkie – the list goes on.
Yesterday I saw an update flash across my Tweetdeck that hit too close to home. It read, “#PrayForBoston”. Having grown up in Boston my whole life and being a Boston University alumna, I know firsthand what a special day Marathon Monday is to the city. It’s a day of happiness and celebration. People from all over the world flood Boylston and Beacon Streets to cheer on strangers as they race towards the finish line. In a matter of seconds this was tarnished, and here I was watching it unfold on Tweetdeck. With my younger sister, and many friends in Boston for the marathon, I began to panic and jumped on the phone to get in touch, only to hear, “The Verizon Wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available.” My parents, who both live in the Boston area and are not quite social media savvy, learned of the news thanks to my (frantic) calls. With phone lines jammed, we all immediately thought the worst. Not too long after, I began to receive Twitter notifications and Facebook comments from friends and family. They turned to their social networks to notify loved ones of their safety. For the majority of the day, that is how I stayed in touch with my little sister and how I learned that my friends and their friends were safe.
Social media has been changing our culture for quite some time. It changes the way we do business and how we find opportunities for ourselves and our clients. It’s fundamentally changing the way we learn things about the world, and how we relay that information to others. Yesterday, for me, it changed the way I connect with loved ones. Who knew a “like” on Facebook or @reply on Twitter could bring such relief? Being connected to social networks is important and beneficial for many reasons, but knowing these tools could be instrumental in alerting someone of my safety or of something of critical importance, changes the way I will be thinking about them, and using them, in the future .
- Sweet Melissa – She’s done it again! Melissa McCarthy is Hollywood’s newest darling and the ratings prove it. She brought in big numbers during her second stint of hosting Saturday Night Live, following a highly applauded first hosting gig in 2012. With one box office hit under her belt already this year (Identity Thief), and with the release of The Heat costarring Sandra Bullock this summer, Melissa shows no signs of slowing down. She is charming, likable and has mastered physical comedy with comparisons to such legends as Chris Farley and Jim Carrey. Women are gaining strength in the world of comedy, and Melissa is just another example to prove it.
- The Even GREATER Gatsby – The remake of The Great Gatsby, brought to life by visionary director Baz Luhrmann has been the talk of the town for years. The film is finally about to make its debut, with a strategic premiere during the Cannes Film Festival. Aside from the actual film, the many released trailers feature exclusive song teasers by some of today’s biggest names including Jay-Z, Lana Del Ray and Florence and the Machine. An interesting vehicle to release new music, and most likely foreshadowing a bigger trend in the industry.
- It’s a Mad Mad World – In its sixth season, Mad Men continues to attract a hefty number of viewers. As the show centers on the inner-workings of an ad agency in the 50’s, it only makes sense for brands to cash in. Over the years big name brands have strategically partnered with the show including BMW, Banana Republic and Unilever. A changing opportunity comes as the show evolves with the times, and the cast is now entering a new era of fashion, food and brand names.
- Festival Frenzy – With SXSW behind us and Coachella this week, it’s officially music festival season! That means big name acts, festival fashion, and soaking up the sponsorship opportunities. It has always been a natural synergy for brands that leverage summer and being outdoors to sponsor music festivals, but more and more brands are seeing this as an opportunity to target a unique demographic. Returning brands signed on to leverage the festival this year include Lacoste, the Ace Hotel, Guess and Levi, with newcomers including Mulberry and Belvedere.
- Who Holds The Power – This week The Hollywood Reporter released its list of most powerful forces in media, and who tops the list is not surprising. Kelly Ripa and newly appointed host Michael Strahan cover the issue, with honorees including the TODAY crew, Good Morning America, Bill O’ Reilly, Wendy Williams, Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Zucker, Arianna Huffington and more. As the media landscape continues to evolve, the movers and shakers on this list are surely ready to evolve with it.
Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter
Beer has passed wine as the favorite alcoholic beverage for women between 18 and 34 years old, according to a 2012 Gallup poll. Additionally, women in their 20s and 30s are in “the sweet spot” for craft beer consumption. Many are even choosing an India Pale Ale (IPA) over a Chardonnay.
Brewing companies like Carlsberg that have an 80 percent male customer base, are working on developing products and marketing them to women. Carlsberg’s approach is to create new recipes that are “lighter in alcohol, refreshing in taste, and perceived as healthy enough to take on wine, champagne, and other drinks vying for women’s dollars.” We’ll see if this is the right formula for going about it.
Moreover, it turns out that beer may even offer health benefits for women. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and noted in this infographic, beer protects bone-mineral density because of its high levels of silicon. Women have a higher predisposition for osteoporosis, which affects 44 million Americans – 68 percent are women.
The infographic also points out that the first professional brewers were women, and that back in the day, brewing beer was considered a very important and noble task for the ladies.
- 90’s Fever – Can you smell the teen spirit? The last few months have marked a 90’s resurgence in the wonderful world of pop culture! First the announcement of a Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World. Danielle Fishel (a.k.a Topanga) even turned up the heat by covering the April issue of Maxim. More recently, Jonathan Taylor Thomas joined his Home Improvement dad, Tim Allen on Last Man Standing and the boys of Hanson just released a new single. Fashionistas are even trying to bring back overalls and scrunchies! Brands should capitalize on this trend quickly, as the nostalgia builds.
- Late Night Lullaby – Déjà vu anyone? NBC has officially announced that in 2014 Jay Leno will be stepping down as the host of The Tonight Show and will be replaced by Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. Seems like a familiar tale as we remember The Tonight Show fiasco that went down with Conan and Leno. The big question is who will replace Jimmy on Late Night? Seeing the hosting success of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, it might be worth the ask NBC!
- Dory’s Story – Years after Finding Nemo dove into theaters, Dory is finally getting her time in the sun! Pixar announced that they will be releasing the sequel to Finding Nemo entitled Finding Dory. Marina Maher Communications client COVERGIRL’s own Ellen Degeneres will be reprising her role as Dory, when the flick hits the big screen in November 2015. Turns out there are only TWO fish in the sea!
- Raise your VOICE – Has Idol finally met its match? NBC’s The Voice premiered this week with two big name judges, Shakira and Usher, who join returning judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Idol (in its 12th season) is the undisputed champion in the singing competition show, but with the new roster of judging talent on The Voice, they could finally get voted off. Both programs have been saturated with strategic brand placements for years, including Starbucks with The Voice and Coca-Cola with Idol.
- Clarissa Loses it All – Melissa Joan Hart is the latest celebrity to jump on the baby-weight-loss wagon by signing a contract with Nutrisystem. After welcoming her third child, she has spoken publicly about the pressures of losing the baby weight. Melissa has already lost 20 pounds with the program, and even rocked a hip-hugging blue dress at the premiere of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Image courtesy of Andrew Eccles/NBC