I’m not a literary snob. My reading these days consists of Entertainment Weekly or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, if I’m able to focus on a page at all. And yet, when I read this week about a new video game designed to help students understand Shakespeare, I nearly lost my mind.
Tag: Kristin Ament
The British have waged war on American soil, only this time we can pass on the tri-cornered hats and tight breeches. Which, considering the increasing girth of Americans, is a sartorial blessing. After a sneak preview last weekend, tonight marks the official broadcast premiere of ABC's "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Though you'd never know it from the network's fat-headed decision to air it during the Friday ratings dead zone, it could very well be the most important television program in years.
AshleyMadison, of "Life is short. Have an affair." fame, trotted out this Avatar-themed spot for broadcast during Sunday's Academy Awards. Then, in a move as predictable as an over-the-top Sharon Stone reaction shot, ABC banned it from the telecast. Funny that the nation's leading adultery enabler ends up flaccid on Oscar night. Why did those frigid execs give Ashley's aliens the cock block?
We recently voiced optimism that the Super Bowl launch of Dove's Men+Care line would challenge the alpha male ad genre, just as its revolutionary Real Beauty spot from Super Bowl XL confronted unhealthy female beauty standards. On Sunday, our optimism swirled its sad little way down the drain.
The Unbound Edition players, wisely sporting plastic-lined undergarments, take the stage to present the season finale, "Shut the Door. Have a Seat."
Help yourself to the prime rib and the fillet of sole and move to the front of the theatre as the Unbound Edition Players present "The Grown Ups."
Grab yourself a steaming bowl of Rice-a-Pony and sit back while the Unbound Edition Players present "The Gypsy and the Hobo."
After 40 years of lying, cheating and stealing together, the Unbound Edition Players and their barely functioning livers reunite to present “The Color Blue.”
Fresh from a vacation on the lunar Hilton, the Unbound Edition Players now present "Wee Small Hours." (curtain up)
Bitter and jetlagged, the Unbound Edition Players present "The Souvenir."
Still wearing yesterday's clothes and reeking of alcohol, the Unbound Edition Players do the walk of shame to the stage to present this week's performance of "Seven Twenty Three." And no, they don't want to talk about it.
The Unbound Edition Players now present "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency." Heads up, front row. In the second act, you'll want to grab that plastic sheeting you saved from the 1984 Gallagher show.
With dramatic, pre-epidural era panting and groaning, the Unbound Edition Players now put their feet in the stirrups and push out this week's episode, "The Fog."
As part of their court-mandated "Revive a Tall Blonde Singer and His Wee Mustachioed Sidekick" charity work, The Unbound Edition Players now present "the Arrangements."
After a brief delay to buy nacho cheese Doritos and Visine, the Unbound Edition Players casually amble across the stage to take their places for this week’s presentation of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Who’s up for a Taco Bell run at intermission?
The Unbound Edition Players now take the stage for "Love Among the Ruins," alternately titled, "The One Where Betty's Father Takes Up Way Too Much Screen Time."
After nearly ten months of making ends meet by twirling signs outside of Jiffy Lube, the Unbound Edition Players dust themselves off, oil their squeaky joints, and take the stage for “Out of Town.”
Last night, So You Think You Can Dance celebrated its 100th episode. In addition to featuring encore performances by the greatest dancing talents to grace its stage over the course of seven seasons, it finally treated audiences to the uber-hyped performance of “brilliant” song-and-dance genius...um...Katie Holmes?
On Tuesday’s DVD release of Mad Men’s second season and across recent promotions for the August 16 premiere of season three, we’re seeing an inspired, Draper-esque approach to making 60s era ad culture relevant to today's audiences. Mad Men’s marketing blitz blends past with present as skillfully and successfully as Weiner himself. This mashup of reality and fiction, a strategy also used to great effect by HBO’s True Blood and its advertisers, proves that brands willing to go off script are endearing themselves to new, loyal audiences.
In the span of a week, we lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays. Each had unique talents, became a pop culture icon, and enjoyed career longevity far beyond the norm of the media and entertainment industries. Interestingly enough, they’re connected through the legacy of some very memorable advertisements. With nothing but respect, I pay tribute to the fallen four in the form of top ten life lessons to be gleaned from their commercials:
The mouse may be dead to many netbook users, but if Disney has anything to do with it, The Mouse will remain alive and well for young technophiles. This week, Walt’s little company announced that it has collaborated with the unfortunately-named ASUS to launch the Disney Netpal.
This week, fans of “Mad Men” were treated to some real-life drama about the upcoming third season of the acclaimed AMC original series. Strangely enough, a television show about an advertising guy and his model wife set more than four decades ago may be at the forefront of new revenue models for television advertising.
Yesterday, I came across the most outrageously ludicrous fake marketing story about Del Monte and a James Bond tie-in from the geniuses at the Onion. Hoot! Holler! Sides splitting open! Then I realized it was REAL. I swear, I haven’t been so crippled by fear since Denise Richards was cast as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones in “The World is Not Enough.”
The American Idol finale will easily win the ratings war this week. Despite another year of declining viewership (and the disappointing coherence of Paula Abdul), it remains the number one show on television. This year’s final battle between aw-shucks Christian boy-next-door Kris Allen and aw-hell that boy ain’t right queen-of-scream Adam Lambert may have looked like red versus blue state politics personified. But truth is, the secret of Idol's success is the same popular narrative playing out over and over across American culture today. With the economy in the proverbial terlet and our own future uncertain, we take comfort in cheering on the average Joes and the biggest losers as they claw their way toward transformation.
Something shocking has happened at McDonald’s, the likes of which we haven't seen since the embezzlement scandal that sent Mayor McCheese to white collar prison in the mid-80s. For the first time in its almost 30 year existence, the Happy Meal's freebie is a piece of media rather than a cheap, plastic doodad. Clouds part, angels sing. And sing they will, to the jaunty tunes of Kidz Bop.
The gloves are off (and the hand sanitizer, on). While the world searches for the latest facts and figures on the swine flu, some are singling out Twitter for drumming up global panic and spreading misinformation. Have the old media dinosaurs exposed a genetic flaw in the new social media species, or are they bellowing in vain as they sink deeper into the tar pit?
If Disney’s latest strategy works, moppets across China will be saying “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” in a most delightful way. And with perfect diction.
If brand abuse was a crime, Ovaltine would be sporting unflattering horizontal prison stripes for a long, long time. The beloved chocolate drink, trusted by parents for nearly 100 years to get nutrition into kids, has squandered its positive reputation in a horrifying 41 seconds.
So in the 70’s, marketers embraced the fact that sex can sell anything from shampoo to car batteries. And over the past several decades, we’ve been treated to an endless array of genetically altered babes and double entendres, so much so that we became numb to the obvious methods of product whoring. Those were good times, in retrospect, considering the skin-crawling fetishism of two current sandwich peddlers who have spoiled my appetite.
We already know Dora the Explorer can crank dat, but who knew that a brand extension would crank out such controversy?
Call me some kind of wacky, old fashioned romantic, but I generally prefer Valentine’s Day campaigns that do something other than make me want to run out and bludgeon the first woman I see sporting a green suit.
I’d like to thank T-Mobile for tapping into one of my lifelong fantasies. Mind you, I’ve never met a befringed surrey I didn’t love. I grew up knowing jolly sailors really should bust out in into choreographed numbers more often and was really ticked that I didn’t have six sisters, a barn, and a bunch of lumber laying around so we could all do this on a lazy Sunday. Yes indeedy, we all just need to break out into song and/or dance numbers in public more often.
Oh, Barbara Millicent Roberts, you clever little minx. I had been relatively successful at hiding my girlish sentimentality until you hit me with this commercial, just in time for the holidays.
Um, no. I am most decidedly not ready for that. Thanks.
The Unbound Edition Players now present “A Musical Salute to the Uterus,” their interpretation of the season finale, “Meditations in an Emergency.”
The Unbound Edition Players, jetlagged from traveling to both coasts to perform this week’s production, now present “The Mountain King.” When the evil villain Dr. Greg shows up and twirls his moustache, feel free to boo and hiss.
Ditch all of your commitments and responsibilities and watch as the Unbound Edition Players present "The Jet Set," otherwise known as "The One Where Don Flips His Wig and Goes Native."
Grab your inappropriately aged soulmate and gather ‘round as the Unbound Edition Players, still delusional from too much Benadryl, present “The Inheritance.”
The Unbound Edition Players now present “Six Month Leave.” Be sure to pick up one of our UE-branded catheters at the gift kiosk on your way home this evening.
As the Unbound Edition players prepare to present “A Night to Remember,” you might want to pack a suitcase. We’re all going on one hell of a guilt trip.
Please take your seats as the Unbound Edition players present “The Gold Violin.” Heads up to the front row: you might want to have some Gallagher-esque plastic sheeting on standby.
Leave your soul at the door, grab a bottle of whiskey, and watch as the Unbound Edition Players present their entire performance of “Maidenform” from outside, their sad little noses pressed against the window.
Break out your specimen collection cups and toast the Unbound Edition Players as they present “The New Girl.”
Begrudgingly, the Unbound Edition Players lumber across the stage to present “Three Sundays.” That clunking sound you just heard is the prop guy bringing in an artificial respirator to try to breathe some life into this corpse.
This week, the Unbound Edition Players take the stage for their interpretation of “The Benefactor.” Just a warning: afterward, you might not want to shake their hands.
This week, the Unbound Edition Players, accompanied by their love children, present their interpretation of “Flight 1.”
After nine months of unemployment and government cheese, the Unbound Edition Players finally return to the stage in “For Those Who Think Young.” Kindly refrain from heckling or hurling your Jujubes. They’re a little rusty.
After what seems like the longest hiatus in history, the Unbound Edition Players are, at last, ready to return to the stage for the second season of "Mad Men" recaps. The only potential hitch is that the players just moved to Atlanta, where the wardrobe department doesn’t seem to offer anything but hoop skirts and parasols. (That “woo-hoo!” you just heard was Salvatore.)
The fever for the flavor of a Pringle finally caught up with product designer Fredric Baur.
Ah, nothing makes the death of brain cells go down smoother than the “all natural” moral reprieve.
A while back, I wrote about this spot for Orangina and what a grody orgy it was. Little did I know that another campaign would come along that would make that musical salute to bodily functions look like the episode of “Little House on the Prairie” where Tinker Jones, the kindhearted mute, helps the kids of Walnut Grove forge a new bell for Reverend Alden’s church.
Once in a while, I feel compelled to Yahoo! for a search. One may wonder why. It’s not like the lederhosen are particularly slimming. But there is one part of the Yahoo home page that continues to frighten and intrigue.
For three months, I have been traumatized by the content of one particular ad. Seriously. I’m amazed I’ve been able to sleep at all. But today, my friends, I invite you into my private hell. Consider it my Valentine’s Day gift to you. Really, I shouldn’t have.
Last week, NPR aired a piece about how Super Bowl advertisers were making an effort to target women more than ever this year, particularly in light of the WGA strike. Companies are hurting for ways to get to us. Cool, I thought, thank you for seeing us over here, making up 40 percent of viewership. And would this mean a shortage of obnoxious fart and boob jokes? Ah, the possibilities.
A new Canadian print campaign for Burger King has a little something for everyone: pimps, ho's, drug addicts and, um, self-lovers. Oooh! There’s even mockery of religious iconography. Bonus.
I’ve always thought the worst kind of lump Santa could deposit in my stocking would be of the coal variety. Not so much. Ladies and gents, I give you the Swedish toy characters Pee and Poo.
I’ve had my share of wee hour infomercial watching this year. And more than once, the sleep deprivation has had me giddy at the thought of buying one of those neato vacuum sealing doohickeys to keep my hamburger buns from getting all frosty in the freezer. But my curiosity pretty much died with the $139 price tag.
And now, the Attention Deficit Theatre players take the stage for the season finale, “The Wheel.” While the play might only feel like it’s five minutes long, there’s a magic time machine involved and it’s really a nine month production. And you might need to sit on an inflatable donut for a few days afterward. Bonus.
Fire up the polka music and pour yourself a vile glass of rum and crème de menthe while the Unbound Edition Players present “Nixon vs. Kennedy.”
And now, the Unbound Edition Players, slightly flushed and smelling oddly of dryer sheets, present “Indian Summer.” (curtain up)
After a brief, AMC-imposed hiatus, the Unbound Edition players return to the stage for “The Long Weekend.” If they seem a little sluggish, it’s because they’re weighed down by the chunky Chips Ahoy they turned to when there wasn’t a new episode to cover. They really feel for Peggy now.
When scanning the news, I caught a glimpse of the headline, “Courtney Love to Launch Her Own Perfume” and naturally assumed it was an Onion article. Really, can you imagine a celebrity LESS appropriate to launch a new fragrance? Oh, ha ha ha, my sides split just thinking about it. What? It’s REAL? Sweet Jesus.
With apologies for the production delay (an unfortunate case of the flu made an appearance backstage this weekend), the Unbound Edition Players at last take the stage to present “Shoot.”
Pull up a chair, make sure there are no unsavory substances visible on the cushion, and join us for today’s presentation of “The Hobo Code.”
And now, at the halfway point in season one of “Mad Men,” the Unbound Edition Players present the completely bizarro-world episode, “Red in the Face.”
Attention, ladies! Playtex is on to the fact that we constantly are talking about, joking about, and otherwise obsessing over our breasts. Constantly, I tell you. And they’ve got a multimillion dollar campaign about it. Um, what? Is a 14-year-old boy the marketing genius behind this?
The Unbound Edition players, joined by this week's special guest stars, now present "Babylon," also known as "The Episode That Went on for Eternity."
Please take your seats for "5G." Now with 20 percent more sarcasm at the same great price.
The Unbound Edition players now present the off-off-off-around-the-corner-and-then-28-more-blocks-off Broadway production of “New Amsterdam.”
Pop open your boxes of Jujubes and Sno-Caps and enjoy today's two-minute production of "Mad Men: The Marriage of Figaro."
In preparation for tonight’s debut of "Mad Men" Episode 3: Marriage of Figaro, the Unbound Edition players proudly present the highlights of Episode 2: Ladies Room.
If you don’t have cable or an hour to spend watching AMC’s “Mad Men” each week, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve condensed the script to two minutes of key plot points, with added snarkiness as appropriate.
Last Sunday, my mother-in-law asked, “What is up with all of the attention those Beckley people are getting?” “Beckley?” I asked. “Yeah, that British couple. There was a big to-do about them in this week’s Parade, and she has some show on t.v.” "Ah. Not Beckley. Beckham," I said.
The new fat-blasting wonder drug, alli, is terrifying. I’m talking “Poltergeist” clown terrifying. The product poses some unique marketing challenges, to say the least.
Hold me back. No, really. I need to be restrained after reading that NBC is forking out $1 million to Paris Hilton for the rights to her first post-prison interview.
My dream of standing in Contestant’s Row and proudly declaring, at the top of my lungs, “ONE DOLLAR, BOB!” has officially died.
Meet Bacon, my daughter’s stuffed pig. He and I have a love-hate relationship.
This just in: American kids are becoming obese at an alarming rate. Oh wait. We already knew that. But oooh, now we have a whole new set of player pieces to move along the Blame Game board.
This week, Unilever announced a company-wide initiative to ban size zero models from appearing in advertising for any of its products. The company says it “believes in a healthy balanced diet and that both men and women have the right to feel comfortable with their bodies and not suffer from lack of self-esteem brought on by images of excessive slimness."