You gotta admire a guy who can throw a blanket over $50 billion and make it disappear.
Pay tribute to this modern-day Svengali by investing in your very own Bernie Madoff action figure. For a paltry $149.99, you'll get plenty more than did the overeager speculators that hosed Madoff with their hard-earned savings: a plastic doll with a fistful of cash, and a wristwatch plated in 24-karat gold!
Hard-up? Aren't we all. Scale down with the $110 variant. He's not as snappily-dressed, but he does come with a hammer the size of his head.
Big-ups to @bloggersblog for the links.
Co-founder Biz Stone wrote a blog post that elaborates on a suggestion he made earlier about monetizing Twitter. The crucial stuff:
"Twitter will remain free to use by everyone--individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we're thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services."
So businesses already using Twitter can chill: they won't be charged extra for what they're already doing. Stone seems to be saying -- and we write that tentatively, because he leaves a lot of room for interpretation -- that only add-ons will cost anything, unless he means Twitter plans to bring ad support to high-traffic areas. (Hot hash tags and Summize search results look prime for this.)
"[We] hope to begin iterating on revenue products this year," he added.
Sounds like Jeff Bezos et al. are starting to tap their watches.
Guerrilla Comm and Silicon Alley Insider scooped us on this Onion spoof on Sony: its complex, overambitious product line, and utopic rape-your-eyeballs ad strategy.
Imagine all that in a news brief coloured by the profane angst-rage you suffer once you finally get that "motherfucking time vampire"* home. (Oh yeah, language NSFW.)
"Maybe the Onion was inspired by 'BD-Live,' the confusing and ill-advised plan to integrate Blu-ray disc watching with instant messaging," said Alley Insider. And the sad part is, that crazy POS was real.
- Speeding could turn you into Haley Joel Osment.
- The Marijuana Policy people are boycotting Kellogg's for firing Phelps for smoking pot, even though he's been nailed in the past with a DUI. They feel this is hypocritical because pot doesn't necessarily kill; it just makes you real, real sleepy.
- So Good is boycotting Kellogg too, as is HuffPo.
- Guerrilla Comm rebrands.
- Twitter to charge brands for use. No word on how.
- Dame Edna for MAC.
- French billboard rage.
- Radiohead licensed
House of Cards one of its songs to a homeless shelter for an ad, dubbed "House of Cards," that breaks this month.
We don't know why we're writing this up, given that "going social" is not difficult, or costly, or even all that imaginative anymore, but hey -- if the PR people went out of their way to put this on the wire, then by gad we will honor their service.
Requisite quote candy:
"This is the first time a luxury fashion brand has launched a provocative social media campaign tying together their various data-linked platforms, like a multi-entry daily blog, twitter feed and facebook."
-- Scott Goodson, CEO, StrawberryFrog
Hello Kitty is the ultimate licensing whore. Her oblong, be-ribboned visage has been plastered onto everything from toasters to credit cards to vibrators -- er, massagers -- to brassiere.
Now you can find the world's most ubiquitous cat in your Happy Meal. Through February 26th, McDonald's is stuffing them with one of eight Sanrio watches.
Twitterite @Floyd Hayes decided we need another feel-good meme in our lives, so he invented twipple, a microblogging cross between Simon Says and Pay it Forward.
Once a critical mass starts following @twipple, the latter will deploy "short, fun, positive tweet instructions to do something kind in public," like smile at a stranger, give money to a street musician, or whistle your favourite tune. You can also make up your own and send them via DM or email twipple2009 [at] hotmail.com.
Continuing Asics' campaign/pop culture tribute "Made of Japan" for Onitsuka, Amsterdam Worldwide developed "Zodiac Race," a by-land-and-sea battle between future members of the The Jade Emperor's Zodiac Calendar.
In the Chinese (!!) legend, Rat wins by riding the Ox. The turnout's no different in this vid, which is all manga'd out and about as fun as watching Wii Mario Kart (as opposed to playing it). Also, for some odd reason the dragon just flies around, doing inexplicable good deeds.
Responding to political insinuations that homosexuals "effectively advertise, glamorise and recruit people" to their lifestyle, a handful of creatives used their downtime to develop a tongue-in-cheek recruitment campaign for la vie en gay.
"The Gay Alphabet" is all Sesame Street-inspired eightiesness, cheerfully ticking down an alphabetical list of all the things that WILL MAKE YOU GAY. So yeah, that one time you went out in chaps and confessed to loving Kylie Minogue to a dude who later grabbed your ass? That marked your fall into Sodom -- and one day you will learn to love it.
And that's cool, because Grease called and wants its moves back. (Better give up the leather jackets, too.) Hostage swap, anybody?
Helpful cultural sidenote: that guy with the big white stuff around his head is not an angry mashed potato. It is God.
"Back in France," produced by Clipit and directed by Cedric Dubourg, is a sugary protest against Burger King's mid-'90s departure from French soil -- a tribute to how we've managed to enrich the developed world (and are working on the pending one) with our seductive meat patties. Also, it was short-listed at last year's Festival de Meribel. (BK, what do you really need Crispin for?)