Tag Archives: Public Relations

The Price-Gouging Parasite!


Image result for Hurricane gif

Image result for Hurricane gif

We’ve been having a slew of crazy weather around America these past few weeks.  First hurricane Harvey invaded Texas, flooding thousands of acres of land within the state.  Hundreds of thousands of people are still affected today and the state’s natural environment is heavily damaged.  Now we’re in the midst of the environmental PR nightmare that is hurricane Irma; a PR nightmare that is so strong that Man is losing its deep-rooted battle with Nature.

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Thousands of homes have been destroyed, people are migrating to better land, and food supply has already become dangerously low.  This dangerous shortage of food supply (or supply of any commodity for that matter) leads to the controversial tactic within the marketing/economic world known as price gouging.  To marketing and economic enthusiasts, price gouging is a taboo subject because of its drastic effect it has for the consumers.  It’s a strategy so horrifying, it can only be described as… The Price Gouging Parasite!

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Image result for Price Gouging

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Let’s start dissecting this dreaded monster within the marketing and economics world – price gouging is the event where the seller purposely spikes the goods, services, or commodities to an insanely price level.  Price gouging is considered to exploit the hidden dangers of the economic system, showcasing a worst-case scenario for its consumers.  Marketers don’t want to touch upon this provocative idea that occurs when marketing prices (Four P’s of Marketing: Product, Place, Promotion, and PRICE!).

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Image result for South Park chaos gif

Image result for South Park chaos gif

Price Gouging usually occurs in the event of a natural disaster like hurricanes; in this case, it’s happening with Hurricane Irma.  Travelers are paying thousands of dollars for one-way tickets out of Florida, the scarce food supply becomes increasingly expensive due to such a large demand, and the communities themselves have become total anarchy.  This dark marketing/economic tactic is driving people insane, acting in animalistic behavior in order to satisfy their basic needs.  When basic needs such as food and shelter suddenly disappear, all HELL breaks loose for every living creature in the area.

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Now here’s where things get interesting – price gouging is LEGAL in sixteen states.  Thirty-four states enacted anti-price gouging laws with natural disasters being part of the exceptions.  Florida is one of those states as well as California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and even Hawaii.  More than half of the country set up anti-price gouging laws and the irony is that majority of states deal with natural disasters every year.

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Image result for Parasite Monster

Rather than just discuss this as price gouging, we should label it with its true identity – the Price Gouging Parasite.  Why is it called the Price Gouging Parasite you may ask?  Price Gouging is the idea of sucking up as much money from the consumer by setting an outrageously high price.  As the price rises higher, more profit is being sucked up into the system.  Think of it like a parasite sucking the blood from you skin, smooching up trillions of essential blood cells.  The more blood it sucks up, the stronger the parasite becomes and you grow even weaker.

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Just like that parasite sucking the life out of you, price gouging weakens your economic life.  It’s one of the dirtiest strategies within the marketing and economic world during a time of crisis.  What’s even more disturbing is how it feeds of people’s fears during these catastrophic events.

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So how do we deal with the Price-Gouging Parasite?  Where does this monster’s true weakness lie?  Is there a negotiable loophole that could put an end to it?

Image result for Natural Disasters

Image result for Natural Disasters

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer towards defeating the Price-Gouging Parasite.  It’s inevitability during natural disasters makes this one tough monster to defeat.  As a hard truth to admit, price gouging is just something that’s bound to happen one way or another.  Whether it’s airlines charging travelers thousands of dollars or vendors jacking up prices for water bottles, the Price-Gouging Parasite pops up one way or another.

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As a consumer, you do have one alternative option – opt out of the purchasing process.  If you find that the price for your desired product is simply not worth it, then head off and find the same product with a lower price.  You, as a consumer, make the choice whether or not to go ahead with buying that bottled water or last-minute plane ticket out of the state.  These are frustrating choices to make, yet these are what you will have to choose during these chaotic times.

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And that right there folks, is what we are dealing with right now.  The Price-Gouging Parasite strikes once again during these times of environmental disasters.  Essential goods are becoming scarce, prompting human beings to initiate hasty decisions in order to survive another day.  This parasite sucks people dry, leaving many to fend for themselves.

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Here’s to hoping that Floridians survive another day in the midst of hurricane Irma.  All we can do is wait for the storm to pass so that the Price-Gouging Parasite is laid to rest.

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Send in the IT Clowns


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Image result for Fall Horror Films

With fall coming in around the corner, the horror films will be screening in theaters nationwide.  Horror movies are great to watch and they’re extra special around Halloween time.  The summer blockbuster franchise season may be ending soon, but now it’s time to get scared silly with the horror films.  One horror franchise that everyone is excited about this year is Stephen King’s IT.

Image result for Stephen King IT 2017

Image result for Stephen King IT

IT is set to release in theaters nationwide on September 8th.  Based on the novel Stephen King wrote in 1986, the classic tale follows seven children in Derry, Maine who are terrorized by a creepy clown known as Pennywise.  Pennywise is responsible for the dozens of children that disappeared from the town.  After being terrorized by the traumatic clown, the children face their own demons as they got older.

Image result for stephen king it 2017

Image result for stephen king it 2017

Fans of Stephen King’s novels will definitely be looking forward to the film.  This horror franchise will definitely open up a whole new fear of clowns.   One movie theatre is pushing that clown culture over the edge by hosting a ‘clowns only’ screening.

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You heard me right, people – a CLOWNS-ONLY screening of IT will be taking place in September!  The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas is hosting the screening just for clowns.  Some activities that will occur before the film starts include raffles, face painting, a photo booth, and some other terrifying events.  Moviegoers are encouraged to dress like a clown for this special screening.

Image result for women only wonder woman screening

Image result for women only wonder woman screening

This whole ‘clowns only’ screening idea came about after the Wonder Woman screening controversy.  After holding a screening of Wonder Woman for women only, a lot of men grew angry over the event.  One of those complainers asked if there would be a male-only screening of Thor: Ragnarok or a special screening of IT for the clowns.  Sure enough, The Alamo Drafthouse decided to take his idea of a clown screening.  Other ‘clown only’ screenings will be happening in Brooklyn, Dallas, Omaha, Phoenix, San Antonio, and other places.

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It’s interesting how The Alamo Drafthouse went along with the man’s idea of screening IT just for clowns.  Rather than spark up some political controversy, The Alamo Drafthouse decided to get creative for the upcoming IT film.  This makes for an interesting PR stunt to drum up buzz about the movie.

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Screening events for films like Wonder Woman and IT are great publicity stunts to generate more buzz on franchise.  These kinds of stunts pull audiences from all around the area to check out the latest film hitting the theaters.  Fans of Stephen King’s IT novel will don their best clown outfit to celebrate their favorite story.

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I think this is an incredible PR stunt!  Moviegoers will be even more freaked out with all of these clowns sitting around them.  It’s a shame that there isn’t a ‘clowns only’ screening in Boston because that would’ve made for quite a movie experience!

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Screening events like ‘clowns only’ screening for IT are great examples of publicity stunts for movies.  Publicity stunts will only help the product/service grow higher if it is pulled off correctly.  It’s important to strategize your stunt so that you reach your goals/objectives for the work.  Any errors that happen with the stunt will create a PR nightmare for the company!

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The Alamo Drafthouse showcased a great example of how a publicity stunt like ‘clowns only’ screening of IT will help flourish the franchise.  Not only will this pull more potential audiences into seeing the film, but it will generate some fantastic publicity.  PR pros should take note of this case study for a future reference.

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Last year we had some craziness with the clown sightings around America and now we have a screening event where clowns are encouraged to attend.  All clown enthusiasts should attended the ‘clowns only’ screening of IT in September!

Baked Binge-Watch Session with Disjointed!


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Happy summer everyone (or what’s still left of it!).  We’re creeping into September and the cool, crisp air is blowing over to Massachusetts.  Summer may be ending soon, but the silver lining is all of the new TV series airing in the fall.

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While I’m pumped for the newest seasons to hit next month (mostly excited for AHS: Cult to start!), Netflix is still releasing some television gold these days.  I got to learn about lady wrestlers with GLOW, dived deep into the gloomy money pit of Ozark, watched old friends get together with Friends From College, and encountered a vicious battle happening in Castlevania.  This month’s binge-watching adventure took me to a new stoner-sitcom series that is Disjointed.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Disjointed released August 25th with Kathy Bates starring as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, owner of a medical dispensary in Los Angeles.  Feldman employs her son Travis and a team of young budtenders to help run her dispensary.  The stoner-sitcom series was created by David Javerbaum and Chuck Lorre (Dharma & Greg, Cybill, Two & a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom!).  Ten episodes were released with ten others slated to be released later on.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

I haven’t been the biggest fan of the latest sitcom series that have aired these days, but Disjointed was surprisingly good!  It’s a sitcom comedy series that takes place in a medical cannabis dispensary.  The characters are really wacky (especially Ruth!) and they fit the stereotypical stoners that people usually think of.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

What’s ironic is that the whole plot is a tongue in cheek scenario aimed at the cannabis culture (and it works too!).  From the trippy animated segments to the 4/20 smoke seshes, Disjointed has everything a stoner-sitcom needs to be successful.  Seeing Cheech & Chong drop by at episode ten was one of few guest spots I enjoyed as well.  It was definitely a go-to sitcom series after consuming some Blue Kush.

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Image result for Alternative Health Herbal Services West Hollywood

Image result for Alternative Health Herbal Services West Hollywood

Besides the series itself, Netflix created a genius marketing strategy along with the show’s release.  To promote the 4/20-friendly sitcom series, Netflix released 12 new cannabis strains the past weekend known as the “Netflix Collection”.  These 12 strains mirrored off of Netflix’s newest series and three of them are based off of Disjointed (which were Eve’s Bush, the Omega Strain, and Rutherford B. Haze).  Some of the notable strains that dropped were from highly-acclaimed series such as Orange is the New Black (Poussey Riot), BoJack Horseman (the Prickly Muffin), and even Arrested Development (Banana Stand Kush).  These Netflix-branded strains were sold at a temporary pop-up store over at Alternative Health Herbal Services in West Hollywood, California.  The sales may be over now, but it still made for an intriguing marketing strategy for promoting Disjointed.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Overall, Disjointed ended up being a great series even though it went to pot (LITERALLY!).  The kooky hippy characters and far-out psychedelic animated segments really brought the show to HIGHER standards.  Most of the content pokes fun at the cannabis community with the stereotypical stoner characters and it ends up working well.  Their brilliant PR stunt promoted both the series as well as the cannabis industry.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Cannabis-consuming audiences that are scouting for a new sitcom series should definitely start binge-watching Disjointed.  Chuck Lorre helped create some of the most timeless sitcom series and Disjointed is one for the new generation of sitcom-lovers.  Disjointed is definitely something to binge-watch after a nice joint!

#EmojiMovieFAIL


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Every now and then we hear about these crazy and ‘original’ ideas surfacing from Hollywood.  Whether it is a horrendous TV pilot that barely aired on ABC (like Imaginary Mary!) or a music mash-up that did not mix well with the audience at all.  Either way, these preposterous ideas do make for hilarious news stories.  We’ve had some amazing pop culture that is trending well and laugh at the terrible ones that flopped.

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Earlier this summer I discussed the problem of franchise films this summer (which you can read more about here).  Film ideas stemming from licensed franchises just isn’t cutting it anymore with the audiences.  These days I rarely attend the movies these days since there’s better selections on Netflix.  I thought I’ve heard of every moronic idea for films these days; that is, until I learned about…The Emoji Movie.

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Image result for the emoji movie

I am DEAD serious when I say this folks – we have a franchise film strictly on EMOJIS.  Emojis, as in, those ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ pixelated messages people send to their contacts every day.  We have scrapped so far down to the barrel that we’re creating a storyline for cartoon picture of a heart that we use on our phones.

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Rather than ramble on about how god awful this summer film is, let’s get down to some intriguing points about this topic.  The Emoji Movie was a TERRIBLE idea for the summer and it’s finally time I explain (with two explanatory reason) what went horrifically wrong with this film.

Here we go….

#EmojiIdeaFAIL

Image result for the emoji movie

Image result for the emoji movie

First off, let’s discuss the monstrosity of this mundane film.  The story goes like this: Gene, a multi-expressional emoji living inside a teenager’s phone, sets off on his journey to become a normal ‘meh’ emoji just like his parents; basically, it’s a young character that goes on an adventure to search for himself (where he came from, what his original backstory is) so that his parents would accept him.  The concept of the story may sound intriguing, but its heavily boggled down by having the characters become emojis.

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This whole idea doesn’t work as a franchise film because it’s been played out thousands of time.  This cute and heartwarming type of story has been utilized so many times for films that now it’s being milked for something trite like emojis.  A repetitive theme used for the plot plus a tiresome trend like emojis equals one train wreck of a film.

#EmojiMovieMarketingFAIL

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Take a close look at the billboard for a minute or two.  Before I looked through Buzzfeed, I had NO clue what kind of message was even being relayed to me.  Hi-five me the popcorn July 28th?  Slap me the popcorn calendar?  WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN?!?

Image result for Emoji Movie Billboard

Image result for Emoji Movie Billboard

If you were just as confused as I was, you are not alone.  This billboard had audiences so perplexed about the message that they turned off from the whole idea itself (this is one of those scenarios that you DON’T want happening during your marketing promotion strategy!).  Even after the trailer released, the film was panned by many critics.  Some social media users were so outraged that they decided to ban the film altogether (one user called for a boycott simply because it was ‘dumb as fuck’).  Other than the franchise film itself being ridiculous, the promotional stunt failed to reach its audience.

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And there you have it, two explanatory reasons for why this god-awful film flopped with its audiences.  The Emoji Movie took viewers to a really watered-down and monotonous world of emojis and provided a cliched story about a young man searching for his home.  It is not interesting nor an original film to check out.  This is definitely one of those films to skip after blazing some good cannabis (I could never enjoy this even after a bowl of Citrix).

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Here’s to hoping that there’s a revived childhood classic franchise that is worth watching in theaters.  For right now, I’ll skip the ticket and take my movie-viewing experience over to Netflix.

Nipton’s Green Rush!


 

Image result for nipton california

Image result for nipton california

Deep near the border of Las Vegas lies Nipton, a small town in San Bernardino County.  This California desert town sits within 120 acres of land featuring a general store, hotel, and school house.  It’s one of those ghost towns within the Mojave Desert area with a small population (even smaller than Ipswich!).  Even in this 21st century, we still have ghost towns lying around the wild wild west.

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Image result for Ghost town

Instead of dribbling on about the picturesque landscape of Nipton, this PR topic is on the golden opportunity that lies within desert towns (pay close attention to the term ‘golden opportunity’ throughout this story!).  Since these towns have a very low population rate, tourism is the key strategy for keeping these unique towns going.  There are still customers that would enjoy taking a trip to deserted towns to get away for a while.  Deserted towns have that nostalgic western feel, taking people back to simpler times.

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But with a ghost town like Nipton competing with big-time cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, tourism competition can be heated around California.  And with many more Americans taking less vacations these days, the strategies to attract tourists become much more complex.  Businesses are testing out new tricks to attract the new and younger tourists (i.e. unique hotel bars with assorted craft beers, food tours, and even flavored water!).  Nipton is revolutionizing their tourism strategy by changing from being a ghost town to being a pot town.

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Image result for American Green inc

It’s official, folks – this California ghost town is going to pot…LITERALLY!  Cannabis-focused technology and growing firm American Green Inc. purchased the town for about $5 million.  The new strategy is to transform Nipton into what will be known as, “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination”.

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Other than going to pot (again, LITERALLY!), Nipton will also be producing bottled water infused with cannabis.  These cannabis-infused water bottles will come from Nipton’s aquifer.  Looks as though the water is springing back up into this desert town!

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Think about this for a moment – a small deserted ghost town that found this golden opportunity to flourish their tourism business.  Not only that, but there will be a river of cannabis-infused water floating around the desert.  ‘Golden opportunity’, water appearing around the desert creating an oasis…history, my friends, is repeating itself!

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Image result for 19th century Gold

California was a huge gold town during the 19th century and Nipton was one of the popular destinations.  Pioneers traveled thousands of miles to the new lands in search for the gold.  It wasn’t so much ‘the’ gold they were looking to collect, but rather the idea concept of gold itself.

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Image result for Gold

Christopher Columbus once said that someone who had gold were in possession of something with such great value of earth.  People sought after the amazing value the gold had to offer.  This amazing value would help souls reach this paradise they yearn for.  Paradise is reflected not within the piece of gold itself, but the value gold would bring to the individual.  The mere idea of discovering gold would strike a sense of shock, adventure, excitement and even opportunity (a GOLDEN opportunity would be more like it!).

Image result for Golden Cannabis

Image result for Golden Cannabis

How does this philosophical concept of gold apply to this PR case?  Cannabis itself presents great value on this earth.  It is the number one booming cash crop in the country, with people planting their own seeds to grow strains of their own.  With cannabis becoming much more popular within the social norms, the demands for cannabis start increasing.  The ever-increasing demand presents a myriad of opportunities for the communities.  Ghost towns like Nipton, California see cannabis as this ‘green gold’ that would cause tourists to come rushing in (hence the term ‘Green Gold Rush’).  In a sense, the ‘ghost’ you’ll be hearing about in this ghost town is the shipment of Ghost Train Haze being sold!

Image result for California Cannabis

Image result for California Cannabis

We are presented with an intriguing, yet nostalgic strategy happening in California.  Legalizing recreational cannabis means the green gold has finally been unlocked and people are rushing to collect from the treasure chest.  This green gold provides many opportunities for the industry itself and the people who help it grow.  Some opportunities include increased profits, buzzing publicity, an ever-growing community of cannabis users; but the most important opportunity of all is the discovery of a new way of living.  It’s these golden opportunities that make the West so amazing.

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With that in mind, we continue to be in the midst of the 21st century green rush happening in the western region.  The cannabis community continues to spread and new opportunities arise on the horizon.  Pioneers from the 19th century aren’t so different from the pioneers heading out west these days.  Both groups set out west in search for gold, a new home, friends, family;  but most importantly, these pioneers went forth to search for their new lives.