Before we get too much further… AKHIA was named one of the Top Workplaces in NEO (Northeast Ohio) for the second year in a row. This is for one reason – our people. They make everything we do possible – everything. The way they care for and fight for our clients every day is incredibly inspiring and humbling all at once.
1. Now that the NBA playoffs are over, don’t you wish you could go back and brag about how everything you predicted came true? Well next time you want to predict something or proclaim ‘You heard it here first!’ you need to visit the Prediction Log, a new website that logs your predictions, keeps them safe and then blasts them out to everyone when they come true.
I know what you’re thinking – do we really need a site just to do this? Actually, yes, we do. Well, at least from my perspective anyway. Yes, you can follow trends and conversations on many of today’s social networks. But should this take off you can streamline what people are saying about fashion, sports, etc. into relevant information, especially if you’re looking for consumer sentiment around some of the most popular topics or events. It’s predictive analysis for the casual fan. And it’s addicting – check out what people are predicting and make your own. You’ll be one of the first as it’s in beta form now.
2. So, is this traditional or non-traditional advertising? Whatever it is, it got my attention. Anytime you can make good use of a 12-story hot air balloon, I’m all for it. Even if that hot air balloon is in the shape of a sacred religious monument promoting…online gambling for the World Cup…oh, uh…nevermind.
Yes, that’s exactly what Sportsbet.com did. They floated a 12-story high hot air balloon in the shape of Christ the Redeemer over the city of Melbourne, Australia. The only difference is this version of Christ the Redeemer was wearing a soccer jersey that was promoting the site and displayed the hashtag #keepthefaith.
Is it wise to use religious figures to promote gambling? That question probably answers itself. But what I was really offended by is the newspaper reporting on this called it one of the most audacious public relations stunts ever. This isn’t public relations. Sportsbet.com may need some help with public relations after this stunt though.
3. A disturbance in The Force. Reality may be setting in a little bit for Harrison Ford. Turns out he’s not as young as he was when he made the last Star Wars films. Han Solo has allegedly broken his ankle while filming Star Wars Episode VII. He will be out six – eight weeks but this shouldn’t delay the film at all. Let’s hope not.
Let’s stay on the topic of Episode VII for a minute. I haven’t said much about this, mainly because I don’t think there’s much to say – yet. Like many of you die hard Star Wars fans I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode. All we really have to go on is:
1. What J.J. Abrams has done with the Star Trek movies. Love or hate, the movies have been exciting and perfectly cast.
2. Who’s involved. The originals plus Lawrence Kasdan. So far so good.
3. (Virtual) unknowns to round out the cast. No cheap tricks by casting fanboys who dictate what color their lightsaber should be.
And that’s pretty much it. But that’s enough for now. And let’s be honest – they had you at Episode VII.
The real problem is there are more things they can do to mess this up v. make it great. That’s just the reality of taking over an iconic franchise. Here’s a few easy ways to mess things up:
1. Kill off a main character in the first few minutes. Don’t tease the main characters returning only to kill one or two off in the first few minutes.
2. Break the time space continuum. Abrams did this in Star Trek and it has worked because it’s created the opportunity to rewrite history. Star Trek has historically done that so the shock wasn’t as bad. Star Wars fans might not react the same way.
3. Don’t forget your audience. It’s us. The big kids. We’ll drag our kids to see it – don’t worry about them. Plus The Clone Wars and Lego Star Wars has made it cool for kids to trust in The Force, always. As for us – remember where we came from. The 70s. The 80s. We make our kids watch Episodes I – VI in the order we saw them in – and we don’t make them watch I, II and III more than once (while forcing them to watch IV, V and VI a few times a year).
4. Rely on special effects. As much as Lucas relied on special effects to give him the vision for the original trilogy, it wasn’t the special effects that made the movie. It was the characters and the uniqueness of the universe he created. The special effects only made the originals and the follow-ups worse.
5. Do something stupid. Don’t bring Darth Vader back from the dead. Don’t have the Emperor show up somehow, someway. Rely on the universe you created to breed and produce new villains and characters.
So there you have it – let’s see if you have anything to add. Hmmm. Maybe we should revisit the first story and go make predictions on how Episode VII will go over…