Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Top 3 Changes in Celebrity + Brand Partnerships

August 24th, 2011 I chatted this morning with my colleague Maria Conti about celebrity + brand partnerships and specifically, the changes that have evolved over the past few decades. She has been in the business for more than 25 years (spending time as VP Talent Services at Edelman, Matter and even as a commercial agent at ICM) and thus, has seen and done it all.
Her three biggest changes in the business:
1. Influx of PR/SM programs. This is the biggest change in the industry since the 1980s. Programs used to be advertising only (and led through an advertising agency business affairs or creative department). No longer. The majority of celebrity + brand partnerships are now driven by public relations, social media and digital agencies. Now exclusivity language not only contains product category, but it includes other media interviews within the designated term (so programs are not cannibalized by others). Because the spokesperson isn’t just reading a script in a commercial, and is now talking to media during interviews, it becomes more important than ever that he/ she has a direct connection to the product and brand (and can speak intelligently about it).
2. Influencer vs. Celebrity. Reality shows have become an important part of our culture, including the part they play in the endorsement world. In addition to all the product integration deals made with these shows,  marketers often use the cast members as spokesperson (especially for quick hits and publicity stunts).   And be would be foolish if we don’t talk about the influencers that Oprah created along the way including Rachel Ray, Ty Pennington Nate Berkus, Bob Greene and Dr. Phil.  Bottom line – gone are the days of just hiring athletes, musicians and actors. Now we also work with doctors, stylists, dermatologists, trainers, nutritionists, chefs and more.
3. Accountability – This is a pleasant change. There is more accountability at all levels of the celebrity-hiring process. No longer are CEOs or CMOs picking their buddies or talent they like the best or just want to meet. There’s research (consumer, timing/current events, etc) and backend thinking that goes into each recommendation and ultimately hiring. The process has become formalized and often times there is a RFP (request for proposal) to find the best and most knowledge people to aid them in finding the right talent. We welcome that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Southern Smoke TV with @DJSmallz featuring @DutchDirty

After an 8 year prison bid, Dutch Dirty, signed to Trick Daddy's Dunk Ryders imprint, reminisces on how he met his CEO. Dutch Dirty is currently working on his debut album "Dirty Words" and Trick Daddy is currently on his next album "Thug 2.0"

Dutch Dirty Explains How He Met Trick Daddy from DJ Smallz on Vimeo.


Thursday, August 4, 2011


July 20th 2011 | 53 comments |
adidas Originals by Originals | Jeremy Scott - August Releases
words // Brandon Richard
After footwear and apparel lookbook previews last month, here's a look at the upcoming adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott product releases for the month of August.
On the footwear side of things for men, you have the JS Bones and JS Panda Bears that we've covered extensively, as well as the exotic leopard-printed High Top Streetball and bowling shoe inspired JS Slim. For women, Scott adds his signature Wings style typically seen on chunkier basketball releases to a pair of ballerina slippers and also drops a high-cut boot inspired by retro bowling shoes.
Things somehow manage to get even wilder with the new Jeremy Scott clothing. To accommodate those buying the leopard and tiger-printed sneaker releases, there's the JS Firebird Track Top and Track pants, as well as the Logo Paws Tee and Tuxedo Tiger Jacket.
Flashing back to the 90s, Scott has put together sets of colorful sweatshirts and sweatpants reminiscent of the styles from two decades ago. Inspired by retro American Letterman jackets, there's the light green JS Varsity Jacket Globe, while a simple grey Wings hooded sweatshirt rounds out the August group.
Look for all of these items to be available at adidas Originals retailers by next month.
JS Panda Bears - $180
adidas Originals JS Panda Bears U42612
adidas Originals JS Panda Bears U42612
adidas Originals JS Panda Bears U42612
adidas Originals JS Panda Bears U42612
JS Bones - $150
adidas Originals JS Bones G50690
JS High Top Streetball = $200
adidas Originals JS High Top Streetball G50727
JS Slim - $120
adidas Originals JS Slim G50731
JS Wings Ballerina - $100
adidas Originals JS Ballerina G50743
JS Women's BWL - $400
adidas Originals JS Women's BWL G51881
JS Firebird Track Top Leopard - $150
adidas Originals Firebird Track Top Leopard O21158
adidas Originals Firebird Track Top Leopard O21158
JS Firebird Track Pants Leopard - $100
adidas Originals JS Firebird Track Pants Leopard O21153
JS Graphic Logo Paws Tee - $60
JS Graphic Logo Paws Tee O21152
JS Tuxedo Tiger Jacket - $250
JS Tuxedo Tiger Jacket O21163
JS Crew Sweatshirt - $120
adidas JS Crew Sweatshirt O21095
JS Collage Sweatpants - $100
JS Collage Sweatpants O21094
JS Logo Sweatpants - $75
adidas Originals Logo Sweatpants O21091
JS Varsity Jacket Globe - $400
adidas Originals JS Varsity Jacket Globe O21096
adidas Originals JS Varsity Jacket Globe O21096
JS Wings Hooded Sweatshirt - $150


Streams of Consciousness
Porn on the Mind

By Ingrid Wickelgren | August 3, 2011 | Comments13

If you like to surf porn on the Internet, you’ve got company. In a 2008 survey of college students, 90 percent of males and 60 percent of females had been there, done that. The practice is only half as common among people in their 40s, but still hardly rare, and the habits of youth are better predictors of what’s to come. No longer is there any real risk of exposure when you want to take a peek at a racy photo or video. Sitting at your computer is just about as private as you can get. So a lot of people figure, “Why not?”
iconic image of female face behind screen

Via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe because this porn watching is perturbing male minds, engendering sexist, even misogynist attitudes toward women? Maybe its use portends a rise in violence against us, the weaker sex?

A new report (The Sunny Side of Smut) in the current issue of Scientific American Mind by Melinda Wenner says nah, let the guys (and gals) have their porn. Sure, porn gives a lot of us bad vibes. At best, it is in bad taste and worse, flatly immoral. But engaging in a tasteless, sleazy diversion is different from doing something dangerous. In fact, it’s very difficult to find backing for the argument that porn is harmful. And there is at least as much data to support the contention that porn might be doing its fans—and even the rest of society—a bit of good. (Hear me chat about this on the radio.)

First of all, the guys who watch mainstream porn seem to be just normal guys—not total creeps—which, given that porn watching seems pretty darn common, does not surprise me. But to give the research its due: in a 2007 survey of 650 young men, scientists found that users of mainstream, nonviolent pornography were neither more nor less sexually satisfied than nonusers. Both groups felt the same degree of intimacy in their relationships and had similar sexual experiences.

The men with a penchant for violent or fetishist porn did have a few quirks: they masturbated more frequently, had more sexual partners in their lives, and were not as close to their partners as the average, non-porn-watching male (whoever that is). But, of course, people do vary in these characteristics in ways that are not necessarily pathological or bad. Other studies Mind columnists described in a previous article (Sex in Bits and Bytes) have shown that men who view a lot of violent porn are more likely to display sexually belligerent behaviors such as holding a woman down against her will. But think about it. Guys who like to view violence tend to be more violent. Not sure what the porn had to do with it.

My take: a lot of things happen to males during their development to shape their brains one way or the other, to be nice guys or jerks. By the time they start watching porn, their habits are more likely to reflect who they are than to shape their personalities in any significant way.
XXX icon

Via Wikimedia Commons

But Wenner’s story goes beyond saying porn is safe. It suggests that it might actually be beneficial. I am not sure I buy this, but some coincidences worth mentioning back up this view. First, as access to Internet pornography grew in this country, rates of rapes and sexual assault went in the opposite direction. Those stats are at their lowest levels since the 1960s. And something similar happened in Japan, China and Denmark. Along those lines, the U.S. states in which rapes rose by 53 percent had the least Internet access between 1980 and 2000—and so the least access to Internet porn. States with the most access saw a 27 percent drop in reported rapes. These opposing trends don’t prove anything. It could be that they are unrelated to each other or that a third factor underlies both. But it makes you wonder.

If porn somehow reduces rape, why would that be? Wenner suggests that pornography may be a safe outlet for deviance. Exposure to it correlates with lower levels of sexual repression, experts say. And people seeking treatment in clinics for sex offenders commonly say that it helps them keep their abnormal sexuality in their minds. Otherwise, maybe these folks, and others, might have been contributing to those rape stats. I don’t really know, but that’s the idea.

Relationship-wise, watching porn could have drawbacks. Guys, if you overindulge and advertise it, you are unlikely to score points with your wife or girlfriend. In a study of female partners of heavy porn users, 42 percent said it made them feel insecure; 39 percent said it had a negative impact on their relationship and 32 percent said it negatively affected their lovemaking.

On the other hand, maybe more of us gals should see what it’s like. Peeking at porn is probably not going to make us violent toward our partners, after all. Maybe we’d get it (and be one with the guys). Maybe we’d be grossed out. Maybe both. In any event, it might spark ideas. And those can be good for a relationship.





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