5 Things You Might Have Missed!

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For the best, brightest and most bizarre social media marketing, viral marketing and digital branding stories, you only need one thing: our weekly list of Five Things You Might Have Missed.

  1. American Apparel’s big, fat backfire: We knew American Apparel was sleazy, but who knew the company had no sense of humor? The company was not laughing when Nancy Upton entered the brand’s sexist plus-sized model competition with hilarious photos which mocked the entire contest. And they really weren’t laughing when Upton won the contest with a landslide of online votes. In a grouchy statement, the AA-holes said they would be giving the prize to someone else. Upton emerges from this mess an online star and American Apparel looks old and out of fashion.
  2. Winklevoss Watch 2011: Those beefy twins made famous for crying about how Mark Zuckerberg stole the Facebook idea from them are back! Los Winklevosses joined the ranks of fellow Z-listers like Snookie and Keyboard Cat when they appeared in a Get Crackin’ pistachio commercial. While the ad, which gently jabs Zuckerberg, is not funny, the existence of these social media celebrities continues to amuse.
  3. Lego’s perfect puzzle: In a series of new print ads, Lego has created word searches that use Lego pieces to make things like spaceships and tractors. The result is a series of ads that ignite the imagination just like Lego’s products.
  4. Candy Corn comeback: Let’s be honest here, nobody really loves candy corn. But the folks at Brach’s have done the impossible and made the seasonal treat seem cool, homey and essential to the season with this adorable online commercial.
  5. Speaking of comebacks: Chrysler continues to roar back; the company cemented its status as an online branding giant with the launch of the new Fiat. Sure, we’re kind of over the J-lo thing, too, but her music and presence in the campaign signal that both the car company and the singer are doing everything just right.

5 Things You Might Have Missed!

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If you’ve already been swept up by Harry Potter mania (and subsequently haven’t been near your desk in days), don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We rustled up 5 things you might have missed from the world of digital branding and social media marketing that even the squarest Muggle could love.

1. Art, Inside Out: JR’s global participatory and TED-winning art project, Inside Out, was kicked into full gear this week when the YouTube channel devoted to the project was launched. The project, which inspires people from around the world to transform urban landscapes with their portraits, is equal parts inspiring endeavor and punk rock art.

2. Kenny Powers, MFCEO: The loveable d-bag athlete from Eastbound & Down, Kenny Powers, has returned to HBO for another season — but he’s also shown up in a series of hilarious viral videos for K-Swiss. You don’t want to miss this ridiculous online promo magic, which should sell shoes and a few DVD sets of the show’s hilarious first two seasons, as well.

3. Hooray for Spotify: The blockbuster European online music service Spotify arrived stateside this week to rescue Pandora listeners from hearing Shakira’s She Wolf for the 12 billionth time. The site is sure to be a hit and makes our list for shaking up our online radio doldrums.

4. Let the Toddler Drive: ToyToyota, the series of smartphone apps from the car company, recently released Backseat Driver ,which is sure to enchant the little ones on long road trips. The app turns your phone into Junior’s own virtual car. Toyota has wisely developed mobile marketing apps with the whole family in mind — and this one is sure to be a hit.

5. The Netflix Backlash: Okay, we’re pretty sure you couldn’t have missed this one… but just in case you did, here’s a great Click Z News blog about why the beloved brand suddenly became a target for online consumer hate. An email marketing message from the movie delivery company informed its users that the prices were going to be hiked. Now watch as all hell breaks loose.

Did Digital Kill the Movie Marketing Star?

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I trotted off to the multiplex with my family over the weekend to catch one of the animated holiday films currently dominating the box office. As we settled in, I couldn’t help feeling like the ceremony of watching movie trailers had totally lost its luster. No, it wasn’t just because the movies looked bad (which they did), but because I had seen all of the trailers before. Trailers, to many film lovers like myself, have always been a crucial part of the moviegoing experience. Yet thanks to digital branding and viral campaigns, there is nary a trailer in the theaters that you can’t watch online first. I will mercifully forgo the “when I was a kid, you used to have to wait until you went to the movie theaters to see a trailer” hurrang; online trailers have dominated for years and studios design entire campaigns around their release.

Look at the current crop of summer films. Most of them have had digital campaigns for at least six months. Whether it’s The Hangover 2, The Smurfs or Transformers, studios are pushing these films early thus inspiring the age-old complaint that you feel like you have seen the film in its entirety before it reaches the theaters. Warner Bros’ film version of The Green Lantern has been feeling the digital pinch; almost daily, there are new trailers, sneak previews of posters and new photos of the movie. Yahoo has partnered with the film to offer even more exclusive peeks into the film. The Green Lantern also has big-time dominance on Facebook with 90,000-plus likes. By the time Green Lantern opens on June 17, audiences will either eat it up or pass on it because they’ve already OD’d on the lime-colored hero.

You can’t blame Hollywood for cranking up summer movie marketing, though. The box office has been in the dumps for months. The video-on-demand category looks to sink movie theaters as we know them. So times are tough. Still, you can’t help but wonder if digital desperation is the best way to sell movie magic.