Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pepsi fails miserably at viral marketing attempt

Corporations are always trying to figure out to take advantage of the power of online viral buzz. They see regular folks posting random videos of themselves or others and watch the Youtube hits skyrocket into the millions with little effort. For some reason though, when a corporation tries it, it often falls flat on its face. The reason is this: for a video to become a viral hit, it usually has to be genuine and not staged, like the kid who was stoned after his visit to the dentist. They didn't tell the kid to act woozy and pretend like he just juiced up at the dentist office - he really was doped up and was not playing it up for the camera with dreams of becoming an internet sensation. That's why it was loved by many, and that's why it fails miserably when corporations try to get it on the act.

The latest attempt comes from Pepsi, in their efforts to get the word out about Pepsi Max. The premise is this: professional NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon disguises himself and plays the role of a guy who doesn't know much about cars but is looking for a new ride. He and the car salesman meet outside and they decide to test drive a new Chevy Camaro. At first Jeff Gordon acts like he barely knows how to drive - doing the "stop/start" routine that 15 year-olds do when they drive their parent's car for the first time. He then lets loose and takes off like a lunatic, racing around the dealership, making maneuvers only a skilled driver could pull off, almost giving the car salesman a heart attack. 

This would have been quite a hoot, except for the fact that it was completely staged. And not staged well. The car salesman, if he even was a real car salesman, was clearly in on it and the dialogue was obviously scripted. Somehow Pepsi had something to do with this - oh yeah, that's the hidden cam. The Pepsi can cam. But why do you need a hidden cam when everyone involved is getting paid to produce a viral ad?

What annoys us the most about these types of stunts is that they're actually good ideas most of the time. Why didn't they just do it for real? The genuineness of the salesman would have really shown through and it would have been extremely entertaining and viral. Instead, we get this fake, staged, watered down pathetic attempt at creating buzz which should be embarrassing for everyone involved. 

Evidently it did fool one poor soul though, Chris Chase from the USA Today Sports section. He wrote of the "success" of the marketing stunt and took it on face value as being real. After readers pointed out to him that the stunt was completely staged, he added:

I've been recently told I'm a wet blanket when it comes to evaluating the legitimacy of viral videos, so I'll keep my opinions about this one to myself. 

Either way, the salesman should have been suspicious when "Mike" put an unopened Pepsi Max in the cup holder. That's always a sign things are about to get nuts.

Barf! If that guy isn't on the Pepsi pay roll already, he should be. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Blast" from the past: man has himself shot in the arm as performance art

This display of "performance art" comes from a man by the name of Chris Burden, in 1971. He stands still as his friend across from him raises a 22 rifle to shoot him in the arm. He draws the viewer's attention to the audio's limited dialog, which we guess is supposed to have some kind of importance. "Do you know where you're going to stand, Bruce?" and "Are you ready?" are some of the brilliant lines you can expect to hear.


We call this one: "I wish people liked me...maybe if I did something crazy I'd earn respect"

Magic trick: homeless man's coffee turns into coins

Now give me those coins back, that was just part of the trick.

But seriously, isn't there something pathetic about people going out of their way to help a random homeless person on the street, patting themselves on the back while videotaping for all the world to see what a great person they are? Maybe we wouldn't be so bitter if we hadn't seen type of stunt before, but we get the sense that these people are more into it to feeling good about themselves and having others look at them as a hero than helping the homeless. You want to help the needy? Good, go for it. But don't videotape it, put it online, and act like your God's gift to the world. Involving them in your fake display of magical ability just degrades them even further.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Idiot has dart thrown at face

Just how low does your confidence and self esteem have to be for having a dart thrown at your face be a better idea than not have a dart thrown at your face? Just what is the calculation in this guy's tiny mind? Risk of injury? 95%. Risk of blindness? 50%. Risk of looking like a dumbass? 90%. Chances of earning a couple "cool points"? 10%. The man wants his cool points and he's willing to risk it all for them. Which only demonstrates how much of a dumbass he really is.

That smile on him at the end is the realization that he just earned his cool points and he didn't even have to lose an eye for them. Unfortunately for him, those aren't really cool points. He's now officially the dumbass in the group that's fun to hang around with when you're drunk because he'll do anything. What a great role to be in, eh? No better way to earn the respect of your peers.

But seriously, how fucking stupid can you get? And why even close your eyes, do you really think your eyelid is going to prevent serious damage from a thrown dart?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Adam Carolla asks simple questions on race and poverty, gets slammed for it

We have the right to free speech in the United States, but there are just some things you aren't supposed to talk about. Or question. Race is one of them. We're all supposed to pretend we don't notice if someone is black or white, or Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. With all the hush-hush on the topic, you'd think race was something we were supposed to be ashamed of. Why do we pretend it doesn't exist? Why are we all fooling ourselves? And why do we all jump on someone the moment they break the rules and dare ask questions about it? Isn't it getting a bit silly?

The latest person to step on the race landmine is Adam Carolla, podcaster and former co-host of Love Line and The Man Show. Carolla is now getting crucified after a recent podcast which featured guest Gavin Newsom, a former San Fransisco mayor. The incident began after Newsom started talking about poverty and mentioned the fact that many Blacks and Hispanics don't have access to checking accounts and ATMs. Carolla then asked what was wrong with them? What is it about Blacks and Hispanics that prevents them from having access to checking accounts like the rest of us do? Are they flawed? Newsom responded by saying that there were many reasons but he didn't want to get into a sociological discussion.

Listen to the exchange below:
If you listen to the rest of the exchange, you'll learn that Carolla's point is that those who do well are those whose focus is the family, a good education, and hard work, while those who don't are the opposite. There seems to be an almost unanimous view in the country that blacks are at the bottom rung still because of their origins in slavery. The argument is that they're still catching up as a result of that and we should all just be patient and sooner or later their school performance and employment rates will improve.

What goes against this argument is this: slavery was abolished in 1865, while the Japanese were put in internment camps in 1942 and Jews were killed by the millions in the 1940s as well. Are the Japanese still struggling the survive? Are Jews experiencing high unemployment and dropout rates? And whatever your reasoning happens to be for the state of affairs in the United States, what about for the rest of the world where conditions are different yet similar problems exist?

As you can see, there appear to be some holes in the status quo reasoning. Most people seem to realize that somewhere there is a fault in the logic, but anyone who dares to question it gets crucified in a heartbeat. We're not allowed to discuss race. We're not allowed to acknowledge discrepancies. Keep your head in the sand and hopefully it'll all work itself out. How's that been working out for us?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

United Airlines kicks off passenger for taking picture, then reaches out to him

United Airlines frequent flyer and student Matthew Klint was flying from Newark to Istanbul last month and decided to take a picture of the seat in front of him with his iPhone to post it on his travel blog. This caught the attention of a flight attendant, and the next thing he knew he was being kicked off the plane.


The video monitor on the back of the seat read “Welcome aboard, sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.”

Klint says he was told by the flight attendant that photo-taking violating United’s policy.

The next thing Klint knew, a gate agent was escorting him off the plane.

The report goes on to say that United Airlines later contacted him days after he had posted about his experience on his blog. He says he wasn't apologized to but offered some compensation for the change of plans that resulted from him having to take a different flight to Istanbul.

Incidents like this are happening all the time in various industries. A customer is wronged and then later contacted or reached out to by upper management, which begs the question: why can't the company staff be all on the same page to begin with? Why are different parts of companies sending out different messages for what is and what is not appropriate?

In a related story, earlier today we read about the parent company of Glenwood Gardens (the assisted living facility which refused to perform CPR on a dying patient) issuing a statement saying that policy was in fact not followed, after Glenwood Gardens had issued its own statement asserting procedure was followed. Policy and communication needs to be consistent from the CEO all the way down the different levels of management and staff dealing directly with customers.

When policy isn't clear, it makes it very different for employees who need to be confident in their daily tasks that they're doing the right thing. In many cases, it seems that policy is in fact followed, but due to negative PR as a result of incidents coming to light, companies want to pretend like that wasn't the policy. If your policies can't stand the test of public scrutiny, that's probably an indication that it's a bad policy. Don't wait until an incident becomes public before making those changes.

In Matthew Klint's case, he uses the old cliche that it's not about him anymore - he just wants to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. You don't have to lie Matthew, we get it. You want United to kneel before you and kiss your feet apologizing and throwing money at you. And why shouldn't you?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NYC Mayor Bloomberg launching awareness campaign on headphone usage



Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now focusing his attention on the perils of hearing loss from loud earbuds.

The New York Post reports the mayor is launching a new public health campaign to raise awareness of a well-known, but widely ignored fact that loud music can cause permanent hearing damage.

The program, which will cost roughly $250,000 and be paid for by a grant from the Fund for Public Health, will be social media based and target young adults using Facebook and Twitter.

There's nothing more useless and a waste of time and money than an "awareness campaign". Awareness campaigns are what government does when it sits up top and looks down upon the little people like a game of SimCity and tries to come up with little tweaks here and there to change behavior, to the supposed benefit of the community. Their heart is perhaps in the right place but it amounts to nothing more than making the creators of these campaigns feel good about themselves as if they were actually accomplishing some good in the world. The reality is that it's the equivalent to pouring money down the drain, as not only do people not pay attention to awareness campaigns, but even if they did it would still not likely cause them to change their behavior. Let's say though for argument sake that awareness campaigns are 100% effective and that every person who sees or hears it will immediately change their behavior accordingly. At that most optimistic success rate, it's still not worth the time and money.

People are already aware of the dangers of smoking. They're aware that if they don't wear their seat belts and they're involved in a head-on collision, they're probably going to be fucked. They're aware that if they drink nothing but pepsi and coke all day every day, they'll suffer health consequences later. And yes, they're also aware that listening to music at high volume using headphones on a regular basic may have an effect on their hearing, especially as they get older. What we have is not a problem of people not understanding the risks, but the result of people living in a free country where people are supposed to have the free will to calculate the risks for themselves and make their own choices. As long as we allow people to have free will, people are going to make dumb decisions. You could prevent all dumb decisions if you really wanted to, but that would come at the cost of freedom, and freedom is certainly more valuable than any consequences as the result of a bad decision.

Are awareness campaigns taking away freedom? No. But they're done with the intent of controlling behavior, and it's a waste of resources whether it's effective or not. Stop wasting the people's money with your feel-good campaigns. Having your heart in the right place just doesn't cut it anymore; too many terrible and useless things have been done with the justification of good intentions.

Unbelievable last minute half-court shot wins the game for high school basketball team

It's New Rochelle vs Mt. Vernon, playing in a New York Class AA Championship game. There's 2.9 seconds left in the game. The score is 58 to 60, New Rochelle trailing by 2 points. Prior to this moment, New Rochelle had actually been down 10 points so they were putting their all into a last-minute comeback. Watch the game-changing moment from the game below:

 It's one thing to make a shot past the half-court line, it's another to do it in the final split-second of the game while under intense pressure. If you'll notice, right after the shot was made, the refs were initially not going to let it count. Mt Vernon actually started cheering as well, thinking the shot had been made after the clock ran out. And actually, that's what it looked like to us to. The clock did seem to run out right before he made that shot. The refs then had their little huddle to decide the game's fate. "yeah... I'm pretty sure if we don't count it there's going to be a full-blown riot breaking out in here so for everyone's safety lets say it was thrown in time".

Girl gets splurged her dog

We've all seen it. The dog starts humping your leg or someone else's leg. Most sensible folks just shoo the dog away and that's the end of it. But then there's this girl, who for some reason didn't seem to notice that her dog had a raging hard-on.

We feel more sorry for the dog in this situation. At the climax of what should have been the best moment of his day, he gets an earful of screaming that probably sounded much worse and more obnoxious to his sensitive dog-ears than we can only imagine.

Monday, March 4, 2013

FBI release reveals that Whitney Houston was blackmailed

FBI Documents have been released that reveal someone had blackmailed and extorted Whitney Houston into paying $250,000 to keep quiet about details of her private life.


The documents reveal that the FBI had investigated a purported extortion attempt against Houston that ultimately led to no charges after the diva's camp apparently coughed up some dough.

In a Dec. 3, 1992, memorandum marked "extortion" that was sent to Houston's New Jersey-based management company, Nippy Incorporated.

The lawyer upped that amount to $250,000 in a successive letter that stipulated the woman had "intimate details regarding [the superstar's] romantic relationships." 

So who was this person that blackmailed and extorted Whitney Houston? Evidently charges were never filed and the FBI decided not to pursue the case. But why? It seems like a pretty clear case of extortion.  These blackmailers are the scum of the earth and need to be publicly shamed and criminally prosecuted. The name of the person who did this should be revealed, at the very least.

Blackmail and extortion seems to happen quite frequently and we've noticed something interesting: 50% of the time it's categorized as a terrible crime and the person is arrested and sent to jail, and the other 50% of the time, the blackmailer is paid off and it's just treated as any every-day business deal. In Whitney Houston's case, for some reason it didn't rise to the level of a crime in authority's eyes. But what about the guy that tried to do the same exact thing to David Letterman? He was arrested and sent to jail. Lawyer Gloria Allred has made a living out of extorting people for money and she's very public about it. Instead of being arrested, she makes a career out of it and is considered a legitimate attorney.

We see no difference in any case of blackmail or extortion. If a person is threatening to release embarrassing information until they are paid, that's extortion, whether it's done through a lawyer or not, and they need to be held accountable for their despicable actions.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Glenwood Gardens Assisted Living Center Will Stand Around And Watch You Die

So you've sent your elderly parents off to an assisted living center where you can rest peacefully knowing they're in good hands. They have nurses on staff and if anything were to happen, they'd be there to help. That is, unless the center you've taken them to is Glenwood Gardens Assisted Living Center in Bakersfield, California. In that case, if your loved one started choking or had trouble breathing and needed CPR, the staff would just stand around twiddling their thumbs. We do things different here at Glenwood Gardens. You're in good hands, unless something actually happens. Then you're fucked.

Authorities say an elderly woman being cared for at a California retirement facility died after a nurse at the facility refused to perform CPR on the woman after she had collapsed.

On Feb. 26, an 87-year-old resident at Glenwood Gardens collapsed in a dining room.

According to reports, a staff member called 911 and 911 staff tried to get the caller to perform CPR on the woman.

During the 911 call, the caller refused to perform CPR. 

Watch news coverage and listen to the 911 call here:

Glenwood Gardens Assisted Living Center should be forced to write on their brochures and advertising that they will do nothing at all to help you if you need CPR. In fact, the whole place should really be shut down, but we don't want to deny access to those rare souls who might prefer such a place.

What a tragedy. Shame on those staff members who were heard on the call refusing to help. They'd rather go by the book and not break policy than save someone's life. May they suffer mental anguish for the rest of their lives knowing they allowed someone to die right in front of them.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Las Vegas Office Rear-ends Motorcycle and Blames it on Cyclist

Your face hit my fist!

That pretty much sums of the logic of this Las Vegas police officer, who had the gall to blame his reckless driving on the guy he hit.

Everyone is aware that in a rear-ending collision the person who hit from behind is at fault, except of course this dickhead police officer in Las Vegas. If the officer wasn't able to stop in time, he should not have been following so closely. To not only try to blame it on the cyclist but also threaten him with tickets is quite appalling and should be enough to get his ass canned. Sadly, we're all too used to occurences like these and at the most he might get a paid day off.

If anyone knows the name and address of the officer in this video, let us know in the comments below. Police officers like this need to be publicly shamed. It's the only recourse we have unfortunately since the firing of bad officers practically never happens.