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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Media Guy's Sack

Has it been that long? Over a year since I grabbed my sack...of mail? As usual, I resisted and resisted, but the mailbox is overflowing and alas, you need answers. So, without fanfare, here are the highlights of genuine emails from my irreverent readers.
Question: Knife to your throat, who's the next sweetheart of American Television? We thought it was going to be January Jones and she went sideways with her off screen antics. Then we thought it was going to be Blake Lively and then she got married. I'm banking on Emma Watson now that she ditched Mr. Potter. What say you?
—Bobbie, Oklahoma City

Media Guy: My money goes directly into the account of "Mad Men" and "Community" star Alison Brie, who may just be the most under-rated perfect woman working in Hollywood. Insane you say? Nope. Take a look at Smirnoff Vodkas new series of television and Internet "Party at Adam Scott’s” house commercials. She plays herself through the spots as the hangs with Derek Huff and cleverly debates the merits of new age vodka claim.

Watch all six and you'll see why I've sold my Selena Gomez stock and put it all into Mrs. Pete Campbell. Speaking of Selena...I saw her a few months back and she couldn't have been nicer...

The Selena Encounter: click here
Q: Saw your chance encounter with Selena [Gomez] at the Grammys, nice work, but I just saw the story where she fired her parents.
—M Miller, Los Angeles

MG: Well apparently they already disapprove of their daughter dating Justin Bieber, so it may not have come as much of a surprise to Selena Gomez's parents when she fired them. Perhaps they had a Jack Woltz-Tom Hagen dinner where they thought that Bieber may pull a Johnny Fontaine...

Q: Whatever happened to models on magazines? Print used to make models into celebrities. Now the celebrities are pushing models back to the runway. Or is it my imagination.

MG: It's not just Maxim and Playboy that use sex appeal to sell magazines. Women's magazines, men's magazines, music magazines -- they're all using sexy celebrities to move paper. Even Julia Louis-Dreyfus the greatest female comedienne of all time, is getting into the act.
—S Willson, Stamford, Ct.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?" you say? What about Lucille Ball or even Ellen DeGeneres? Certainly they brought more to the small screen than the heiress to the Louis Dreyfus Energy Services fortune, right? No, no, no my friends. Three Emmys for Actress in a Leading Role and the lead female during the first renaissance of Saturday Night Live say it all. (Plus, Ellen and Lucy never looked that good on the cover of a magazine.) Here are some of the hottest covers I found from the past few years.

Q: Is Cinemax in trouble with that starlet lawsuit they were levied with?
—Barbara W., Boston

MG: Oh yes, Anne Greene certainly caused a stir when her lawsuit said she was “bullied into performing nude scenes, sexually harassed and placed in a dangerous work environment.” I mean, really! Who would have expected this type of filming on a network nicknamed "Skinemax"?! I showed her sizzle reel to a few of my female friends (READ: not girlfriends, female friends) just to get their unedited reaction. Here it was …

“Is she acting or did she stub her toe or what? (Staring.) She doesn't want to take her clothes off? What’s the deal? She'll never work without being a body double or stripping down for Skinemax. (Short pause.) Ugh! AMAZING.”

Q: I’m a bit worried that Cadillac may implode after that disastrous Olympics television ad campaign. If I took a shot of vodka every time I yelled at the TV in between luge and skiing runs I would have been literally drunk for a month.
—Maggie Hazelton, Falls Church, VA

MG: I guess it's time to dust of the open letter I half penned to Alan Batey, Executive Vice President and President, General Motors North America:

Geez man.

What happened to your smart Cadillac advertising campaign?

You remember the one announced last fall? The one where your campaign was supposed to lean on American Dream and our values where the notion still exists that that everyone can create his or her own destiny. The one where Cadillac was supposed to be painted as a more-accessible car than it has been?

"Work Hard. Be Lucky."

Sounded pretty hot to this Media Guy.

Especially since it was a definite departure from the messaging that General Motors has leaned on previously to market Cadillac. It seemed they finally would depart from the stuffed-shirt wealthy white guy ads they used for decades and the more recent “sexy Kate Walsh” commercials. "The Standard of the World," as it was touted for nearly one hundred years, looked to be shuttered as Cadillac's marketing team charted a new course for luxury automobiles.

And then they introduced the “Poolside” ad for the 2014 Cadillac ELR:

Let's just say that the spot— relentlessly aired during the Olympics—wasn't the darling of the masses.

As I scoured the reviews of media critics, terms like "vaguely sociopathic," "the single most obnoxious television ad ever made," and "sick…stressed…stupid" leapedfrom the pages of pundits. From the back seat of my palatial media room (a wicker chair and a 50” plasma – nothing special), it’s easy to see why. The ever-cool actor Neal McDonough is ideally suited to play the heavy and has quite nicely for the past decade. But to sign him as the guy who is supposed to represent hard work, yet is really the guy who lives in the hills that everyone resents is horrifying.

Mr. Batey, I could continue and pitch my wares as your would-be media consultant, but I'm going to join Maggie in a shot or two as we yell at the youtube clips!

Q: I give up. Social media can do whatever they want. Can't you be the social media commissioner and reel in the beast?
—Davida Bryant, Cleveland, OH

MG: I want to inform you of something right now — there is no love lost between the Katherine Heigl and Duane Reade and Social Media. THESE THREE DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER! And I want to tell you something else — I'm loving it! You don’t see this stuff enough in the media. I hope you're reading the battle Heigl is waging with New York pharmacy giant Duane Reade after they looked to capitalize on her shopping at the store. $6 million in damages; that's heady stuff.  David Griner of Adweek just wrote an amazing piece on "4 Ways to Avoid Being Sued by a Celebrity Over a Tweet." You should read the entire article, but here is the Griner's Top 4:
  1. Get permission (which you're probably not going to do, so skip to No. 2).
  2. Retweet without commentary.
  3. Say you're flattered, and be transparent.
  4. If they ask you to take it down, take it down.
David, and ladies and gentlemen: Your new social media commissioner...David Griner.

Q:  What ever happened to Margrét, Your New Favorite Amazon Model?
—Sezen A, Istanbul

MG: I just spoke with her and she is rather excited:
"I’m one of the top models being considered for an amazing week-long nude photography workshop! Here’s how they describe this workshop: 'If you’ve ever wanted to explore and photograph some of the most amazing (secret) locations in the southwest – like magnificent slot canyons, massive red rock arches, historic Anasazi ruins from the 1200′s, towering ‘tapestry’ cliff walls, petroglyphs, sweeping panoramic vistas and more – all surrounded by emerald green water and only accessible by boat – PLUS work with beautiful nude models and learn one-on-one with master photographers – taking your photography to the next level – this is your chance. This workshop only has 2 spots left – don’t miss out on this photographic adventure of a lifetime.' I am super pumped and working hard every day to get in amazing shape. Only brown rice and steamed veggies for this girl."
And with that my friends, the Media Guy is out of here...