Tag Archives: Social Media

Welcome Home, Chip & Joanna!


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Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Home collections are just one of many product trends these days.  Whether it is sets of plates or bedding sheets, people enjoy purchasing home products from notable brands.  Some brands are basing their strategy around a particular celebrity.  For example, Martha Stewart collaborated with Macy’s to launch her Martha Stewart Home Collection for her audience.  The audiences that enjoy watching Martha Stewart will follow her brand and that includes purchasing goods from the Martha Stewart Home Collection catalog.

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But it isn’t just Macy’s that is collaborating with celebrities for product launches.  Businesses such as Walmart, Home Depot, Petco Store, Kmart, and even Target are working alongside with celebrities for their marketing strategy.  This marketing tactic is useful for two reasons – one is that it raises more awareness of the brands and two is that it increases their daily profits.  What’s also interesting about this strategy is how the two types of brands are flourishing in the long run (Martha Stewart’s collection brings awareness and raises profits for Macy’s and vice-versa!).  Martha Stewart is helping to bring more attention towards Macy’s department stores while Macy’s is drawing consumer’s attention towards Stewart’s brand.

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Image result for Department Store Closing

It’s this kind of idea that help department stores thrive in the 21st century.  Department stores are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and most brands are losing their business to the point where they have to declare bankruptcy.  With more consumers of the millennial generation shopping online and as retail shopping becomes an idea of the past, department stores are scouting for any game plan to drive in more business.  Target’s newest marketing strategy involves two celebrities from HGTV.

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Fixer-Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are collaborating with Target to launch their new product line called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.  The and Hearth & Hand collection will feature over 300 products designed by the home-flipping duo.  Some notable items featured include tables, gifts, pitchers, vases, and other common household items.  Chip and Joanna’s newest home collection will release on November 5th.

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Image result for HGTV Fixer-Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines star in HGTV’s Fixer-Upper, a real-estate series where the duo ‘flip’ undesired homes into beautiful pieces of art.  Joanna acts as lead designer of the process while Chip manages the realty and construction aspect of the company.  With their powers combined, Chip and Joanna salvage undesired homes and showcasing them as how they always intended to be.  These flips help revitalize whole neighborhoods within the area.  The duo operates under their company Magnolia Homes, a design and remodeling business in Waco, Texas.

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Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is another perfect case study where celebrities are utilized to further the company’s business agenda.  Target is driving more consumers into their stores by working alongside with Chip and Joanna Gaines to create a profitable home collection.  This home collection will definitely be more affordable (especially for millennials!) than their competitors are offering.

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I thought this HGTV+Target home collection collaboration was a fantastic idea!  I always liked the concept of businesses working with celebrities about endorsement deals.  Celebrities bring about tons of attention from the audience and they can certainly steer them towards another particular brand.  Target is definitely on the right path as far as driving more business goes.

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While I don’t watch Fixer-Upper too much, I do think Target is working with an intriguing marketing strategy for their business.  Consumers are much more different now than they were in the 20th century now that social media came into play.  Social media sites introduced consumers into a whole new way of conducting business.  For example, the concept of delivery services only applied to pizza places; nowadays, you can get all kinds of products delivered right to your door (including cannabis!).

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We’ve entered the digital age, with the brick-and-mortar concept slowly dying off.  Retail shopping is becoming a thing of the past and department stores are now being replaced by online sites.  It’s marketing strategies like Target’s collaboration with HGTV that shine the light of hope for the brick-and-mortar concept in this digital world.

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Dystifyzer’s Live 24/7 Nintendo Stream


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Whenever I create these amazing posts for MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I gotta have some fantastic music blasting.  Blasting some music gives me that creative energy surging through me during my writing.  Whether it’s the soulful jazz music from Weather Report or an adventurous folk-indie album that puts me into a mysterious new world, having that music blasting gave wonders to what has become the MakeSandcastlesNotWar blog.  A new topic, or a new path rather, places readers into the exciting journey today (and in most cases, stories that foreshadow another major event in the future!).

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Rather than dig deep into how to harvest that creative energy into writing ideas (those stories will be unlocked at a later time!), it’s time to dive into the music on YouTube.  YouTube has tons of albums up and are absolutely FREE to play.  Rock, jazz, metal, country, blues, and even ambiance music are easy to discover on this social media site.  As someone who loves video game music every now and then, I enjoy the video game playlists that are around.

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Image result for youtube Video Game Music

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I’ve stumbled onto some crazy music playlists that introduced me to some original video games I didn’t get into as a kid.  Nintendo was always my favorite video game brand and I always choose to play their games every year.  Their games were so much fun, but it was also their nostalgic music that really tugged at my heartstrings.  It’s always cool running into music playlists catered only to the Nintendo series.  Discovering Nintendo music playlists was awesome, but then I found a video showcasing a live streaming service STRICTLY for Nintendo music!

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A 24/7 live streaming service featuring Nintendo music ACTUALLY exists on YouTube!  YouTube user Dystifyzer started streaming on August 23rd and has been streaming tracks from the Nintendo series.  Various users can listen in and chat with others about their favorite songs.  Dystifyzer’s unique channel has favored well with the audience and has been subscribed by over 16,000 users.

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The unique aspect of Dystifyzer’s live stream is the interactivity happening between the users.  Users can simply chat with others, request for songs to be played, ask for rupees (which can be cashed in for things like donating for new album drops!), and even hold mini marathons themselves.  There are over 10,000 tracks from hundreds of games to choose from. You can complete these commands by entering key codes into the chat using the exclamation point.  Typing !rupees will provide the users rupees based on the number of hours they have watch.  If you want to request a song, simply type !songrequest and choose the song from which game it came from.  The more hours you watched, the more rupees you will have to use.

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Users can also rank up by watching the stream service more often.  As you rank higher up, more features will be unlocked to use.  Some awesome features include holding a mini marathon based on your picks or purchasing new album for the stream.  Ranking up is one of those interesting interactive features that provide users more than just free music (did I happen to mention that it’s also COMMERCIAL-FREE as well?).

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With that, Dystifyzer’s live Nintendo stream is definitely worth checking out.  Dystifyzer combined users’ love of nostalgic Nintendo games with a chatroom full of interactive features.  It’s a great stream to kick back with some awesome music from Nintendo and talk amongst others about your favorite games.

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This is the kind of unique idea that pushes the boundaries of what YouTube can offer for its users.  Providing users the ability to share music albums around with other listeners is one thing, but creating a live stream service based on a unique theme is a whole other ballgame.  Its users like Dystifyzer that help build upon YouTube’s social community.

Image result for Youtube Video Game Service

Image result for Youtube Video Game Service

Thanks to Dystifyzer, we now have a unique interactive live streaming service featuring some of the most timeless music from Nintendo series.  Hopefully other users will branch out from his unique idea and provide other video game streaming services (like for Sony or other video game brands!).

If you’re looking for an easy playlist, check out Dystifyzer’s 24/7 Nintendo Music Live Stream on Youtube!

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

AHS: Cult Trailer!


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Welcome back readers!  It’s been a while since we’ve got some decent news happening (lots of news happening while I’ve been busy enjoying the last few days of summer!).  We’re nearing the end of August, leaving me shocked that summer flew by so fast.  Pre-season football has already started and students are going back to their school/college soon.

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Summer has been quite amazing this year (amazing new job, good income, decent shows to binge-watch on Netflix!) and I look forward to what fall brings.  The Netflix series have been amazing, but now I’m definitely pumped for what fall TV has to offer.  With the weather getting colder within the next few months, staying in to warm up is always a great idea.  Sure I love going out to Boston every week, but catching up with my favorite TV series is another amazing option as well.

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If you’ve been reading the blog, you would know already that I’m a big American Horror Story fanatic (I did a whole month summarizing the horror and gore that was AHS: Roanoke, so yeah there’s that).  I’m definitely into horror series and American Horror Story goes far beyond some of the films I’ve watched.  Just when I think they couldn’t push the twisted and sadistic anthropology any further, they hit back harder with another gruesome tale.  Earlier I provided a few tidbits about this year’s chapter with the new teasers that released; I was excited to find out that the newest season will provide opening credits!

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That’s right folks – the opening credits to AHS:Cult are out!  This year’s chapter brought back the opening credits that clue audiences into what will happen in the story.  I got to check out the newest trailer (about 15 times since it released!) and it definitely answered my burning questions about the theme.

Here are the highlights on the trailer for AHS: Cult:

Bugs, Insects, Bees, Oh My!

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First thing I noticed right off the bat were the insects flying around.  There were close-up shots of millipedes, flies, and even bees.  The beehive kept coming up a few times (there IS a subtle theme that goes along with the cult idea!).  Insects have been around since the first chapter with American Horror Story: Murder House and they’re coming back for the latest one.  Looks like we’ll have to keep an eye out for the insects this season!

Donald Trump Mask

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          Masked killers have always been a recurring theme in Ryan Murphy’s twisted series (The Carver, The Rubber Man, Twisty the Clown) and this season we have a figure donning a mask that resembles Donald Trump.  There was news detailing that the 2016 election results will be a central theme for season seven.  Horror will be seeping into politics this year!

George Washington Statue

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Throughout the trailer, there’s some creepy figure of George Washington that pops up.  The figure looks concerned, as if he sees danger heading into his way.  He also wields a weapon and stands as if he is ready for battle.  This season is getting a lot more political, so it is only fitting that we see the George Washington figure.  Who knows what other past presidents we will see pop up next.

Clown Cult

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We got to meet Twisty the Clown on AHS: Freak Show and now we are dealing with a clown cult this season.  Clowns are popping up from coffins, each one dressed in the same depressing/creepy outfits.  It’s also interesting to mention that Twisty the Clown will be coming back this year!

Hillary Trump Mask

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Not only are we dealing with a Donald Trump masked-character, but we also have some in a Hillary Clinton mask.  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two candidates for the 2016 election, are going to be part of this year’s political horror story.  Those masks are just downright BIZARRE and it’ll be interesting to see them this season.

Political Shadow Figure

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Halfway through the trailer, there’s some creepy figure that lurks around.  His shadow is seen on a wall while a dark carousel goes around.  At one point, his shadow disappears while the camera moves closer to him.  Who is this mysterious figure?  Is he another political figure from the past?  Could he have some connection to the weird George Washington figure?

Bleeding Flag

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An American flag comes up, but its splattered with blood.  Gushes of blood trickles down the cloth, signaling a time of danger.  I’m sensing that it has to revolve around the clown cult.  Whatever the case may be, we’re about to find out what danger the residents are in.

Bloody Shower Sex

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Don’t mind the horny couple, they’re just having some shower sex…while being covered in blood!  Love is always in the air here in the AHS universe and it usually ends up messy (LITERALLY messy!).  The bloody couple having shower sex could be a part of the crazy clown cult.  Either way, we have a new couple to follow!

Creepy Beekeeper

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Our last creepy figure to discuss is the beekeeper.  You can’t see his face, only his beekeeper outfit.  Other than the bees flying around, we’ll have to keep a close eye on this mysterious man.  What is his backstory all about?

Title Card

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As a final bonus piece, the title card is revealed.  The season title card looks absolutely amazing.  From the rusted grey texture to the blood dripping on the letters, the AHS: Cult card looks perfect for this season.  Kudos to the creative designer for cooking up this amazing piece of artwork for the title card!

#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

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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?!?

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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.