The teddy bear’s first tweet, from an account called @WhatTedSaid set up by the Universal Pictures marketing department, was “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go f— yourself.”
The author of the greeting was Alec Sulkin, co-screenwriter of the R-rated comedy “Ted,” who together with his collaborator Wellesley Wild was paid extra by the studio to build buzz on social media ahead of the film’s June 29 release. Who better to embody the random musings of a foul-mouthed stuffed animal than the writers of the script? The suits left them alone.
“The parameters were, ‘Just go to town,’ ” says Doug Neil, Universal’s senior vice president of digital marketing. The tweeting started March 30, two days before the “red band” (uncensored) trailer appeared online, depicting the namesake bear smoking weed, cuddling with co-star Mark Wahlberg and pantomiming suggestive acts for a supermarket checkout girl.
It worked spectacularly. Tracking polls, which movie executives rely on to guide box office expectations, suggested an opening-weekend gross of $35 million to $40 million for the film, which was co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” who also provided the voice for Ted. Instead, “Ted” generated $54 million, catching the industry by surprise.
Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms.
In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.
TED Talk from the future – as envisioned by Prometheus director Ridley Scott
“If you will indulge me…I’d like to change the world.”
In the year 2023 Peter Weyland will make a speech in Tokyo about how humanity has become the new gods, with the power to create artificial life that looks like a human. This viral marketing campaign is a smart choice by Fox, and as a fan of the Alien franchise, I could watch this over and over again.
Ridley Scott, director of “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe.
I’m such a huge fan of podcasts that it’s insane. See I have this eye problem that prevents me from reading too much. My day job is in technology and my hobby is writing so I have no ‘good eyes’ left for everything else.
That’s where podcasts come in. I can listen to them while walking, cleaning, and building (my three other hobbies). It’s such a perfect blend that I want to share with you my favorites:
This Week in Tech
Slate Political Gabfest
Bloomberg Presents Lewis Lapham
History of Rome
Melvyn Bragg – In Our Time
The Economist (all of the shows)
APM: Marketplace Morning Report
The interesting thing about these shows are that none of them are from traditional TV/Radio. Half of them are writers of print media talking about their work. An interesting trend I expect to scare the beejeesus out of Hollywood.
Here are my second tier shows that I still listen to vehemently:
Slate Cultural Gabfest
Slate Hang Up And Listen
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Tech News Today
Buzz Out Loud
NBC Meet The Press
APM: The Splendid Table
Sorry for the lack of links but you can Google (or iTunes search) these titles and I guarantee you will find them.