product placement mk 2

for about 6 seconds during I AM Legend while Will Smith wanders through an empty Times Square there’s a glimpse of a giant billboard poster advertising Batman Vs Superman. This sent the geek universe into a whirl with anticipation of this film and License! global even pointed it out as a big branding opportunity of 2009. The film wasn’t real but a reference to a failed idea from 2002 and ain’t it cool news was infinitely dissapointed.

Seems Jerry Bruckheimer (the money magnet who made Pirates of the Caribbean) was taking notes because Empire is reporting he’s about to unveil the poster for summer Blockbuster/ Jake Gylenhaal vehicle Prince of Persia in the background of the more imminent Confessions of a Shopaholic. I don’t really get how the two demographics crossover, ones a Sex and the City clone (albeit one starring the amazing Isla Fisher) the other is a computer game adaptation, I’d say it was appealing to the boyfriends dragged to see Confessions but I’m not sure the type of people who look forward to computer game movies often have girlfriends.

Either way the idea has grabbed column inches so clearly it was a good one and I reckon it’ll lead to more films advertising films or TV, (Heroes posters in Watchmen anyone?)

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the obligatory 2009 prediction post

It’s the beginning of the new year and so like everyone else I feel compelled to tell you what’s going to happen next so here are my predictions for the year:

Music

I’m usually pretty good at the music, last year I called the Ting Tings (after two years of trying to work out who sung that song about being called Stacey) and Duffy (who severely dissapointed me with her album) however I said Vampire Weekend would never go any where and they were easily the best of the year. I think I objected to the name more than the band.

Every year the BBC puts together it’s hot in 2009 list, decides a winner then plays them over and over again on Radio one to make sure they were right.

My favourite off that list is undoubtedly VV Brown the ‘Doo wop’ singer, one listen to ‘Crying Blood’ and you’ll be jiving like Chris Norton at a wedding and singing it non stop

also on that list this year are Empire of the Sun, who I’ve been hearing here and there for a while and think they could follow in MGMT’s foot steps

One act who seems inevitable to become massive and drive me to distraction on a daily basis is Lady Gaga, I’m not putting in a video because I don’t want to encourage her.

My wild card picks for the year are The Asteroids Galaxy Tour who you’ll recognise from the I-Pod adverts

And I’d love to see Laura Marling get some recognition, she put out the best album of last year and no one noticed because they were too busy listening to Duffy’s all filler no killer offering.

 

Live Music

There’s only one gig this year and that is the Blur reunion, I’ll be there. ’nuff said

Film

Can’t wait for Watchmen, judging by the book it’ll be The Wire with superheroes

 

Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (yes thats how its spelt) is going to be incredible; it took about 5 years to write, was bought on the day it was finished and began production 5 weeks later (most take months, even years to get to that stage). Plus it’s has the best cast Tarantino has ever had and is undoubtedly the only war film ever to feature a film buff sniper (that’s a sniper that is a film buff not a sniper that kills film buffs.).

Micheal Mann’s new film, Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale going all Bonnie and Clyde and should be good.

If we’re really lucky there’ll be an Arrested Development movie at the end of the year, I can’t imagine anything better than two hours of Arrested Development

I think this will be a big year for Mary Elizabeth Winstead (most notable for being in Death Proof) and Evan Rachel Wood who’ll hit it big off the back of The Wrestler.

Television

Look out for the Dollshouse which should fill a Buffy shaped void

Dexter season 2 just started on ITV, Dexter is one of the best shows on TV and the second season shouldn’t be missed (unless you’re watching season 3 on FX later this year.)

90210, the remake of Beverly Hills should make for some quality trash viewing

Kings, if it ever makes it to the UK looks pretty cool

FX keep promising to show Generation Kill, an Iraq drama from the guy behind The Wire which means it is entirely possible it will be the best show ever.

Will Ferrell’s new show East Bound and down looks awesome

Though the premiss isn’t great Cupid is being made by a personal hero so I’ll definately be looking at that.

In the returning TV category I’ll be geeking it up with the end of Battlestar Galactica (another contender for best show ever), Damages is good for some highbrow drama, Flight of the Conchords will be deservardly big in 2009, I guarantee it, Chuck should be good and Rock of Love is the most brilliantly trashy TV ever created.

(sorry for the rubbishy formatting but I’m yet to find a blog writer for the mac I can work)

Chinese Democracy: the finest PR campaign never performed

Today sees the release of Chinese Democracy, Guns ‘N’ Roses’ first album since 1994. If you don’t know the back story to the album best catch yourself up with Wikipedia. Suffice to say I was 9 when they started recording the album and even I’m holding my breath in anticipation.

cool AxlThe last anyone knew Chinese Democracy had cost $13 million, Axl Rose was the only original member of the band left and the world should have forgotten about the album long ago. Add that to their last album, the atrocious ‘The Spaghetti Incident’, going down like a lead balloon and Axl Rose should be clawing for fame on Celebrity Big Brother. He managed to stick around though due to a series of leaks, celebrity cameos, corporate backings and stunts which any PRO would be proud of.

In 1996 just as the band started recording CD Slash left the band in a blaze of sour grapes shortly followed by bassist duff. Losing a member has been enough to kill better bands (see: Blur, The Libertines) especially if that member is a rock god but G’N’R just called in Brian May, Nine Inch Nails, then Dave Navarro making headlines every time. (even Shaquille O’Neal had a go)

Around 2000 people started to suspect that maybe CD wasn’t ever to be released, one rumour said it was called Chinese Democracy because just like Chinese democracy it didn’t exist. The mere fact, that the album had taken so long(eased along by the odd comment from Axl’s ‘friends’) it started generating buzz and rumours from no where, the album had accidently created the type of word of mouth campaign agencies spend thousands creating.

When coverage in Rolling Stone dried up an album track leaked, followed by another completely different version of the same song. The internet lit up for two weeks with argument and suddenly everyone wanted to know when the album was due again, the campaign went viral.fat axl

Rumours started circulating that Axl was a nut so Guns ‘n’  Roses went out on tour playing bizarre snippets of songs then cancelling gigs to work on the album further fuelling rumours.

Other bands even started getting in on the act, in 2003 The Offspring released a press statement claiming they’d named their new album (Splinter) Chinese Democracy because they were bored of waiting, they relented when Axl threatened a lawsuit.

Finally came January of this year and after multiple song leaks the album was handed to the record company (an act which usually garners no attention) and a million headlines were made.

In March G’N’R received corporate backing as Dr. Pepper promised to give every person in America a free can of Dr.Pepper if the album was released this year. They’re following through to their credit.

A string of events ranging from the idiot to the bizarre largely caused by Axl’s massive ego generated a PR campaign which resulted in one of the most anticipated albums ever. Did anyone even notice the actual PR campaign?

 

The Welcome Post

So being as I’m the new boy I should probably introduce myself:

Hi, I’m Paul Crouch, you may know me from my admittedly rather abstract post on the Wolfstar blog (I’m going to try to keep it simpler than that, honest). I’m planning to blog more on PR, but as with every other blogger there’ll probably be a few idol thoughts thrown in.

In real life I’m a recent grad pursuing a career in PR. I graduated from Durham in June and, after time out to get chased by fighting bulls, went on to spend a month on work experience at Frank PR before beginning my current placement with Wolfstar.

As Wolfstar is pretty good at social media it seemed liked I should probably fix up and get into the more practical side of the digital world, the result of which is this blog. I do have other reasons: in case I ever have a novel PR thought I should probably have some where to record it, I can drone on about film/ music/ Yak Skiing all I like and no one will complain, Jed will stop telling me to blog but Overall I’m just hoping this will help me stay on top of the whole social media circus.

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