Obama: Our Stock Will Rise High!

Now, I realize the White House may have been busy with the whole FlickrGate thing these last couple of days, but can we agree posting the following photo on the official White House website was not the brightest idea?
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I’m not sure if this image offends all Jews or just this one, but after 27 months and scores of Obama photos, I think this is the first photo I have seen that does not compliment him.

P.S.
Due to recent comments left on my blog, I feel I need to explain these kind of observations:
My beef is not with Obama, as he is free to raise his hands as much as he likes.
My beef is not with White House photographer Chuck Kennedy, as he is free to take as much photos as he likes.
My beef is with the WhiteHouse.gov editor who exhibited poor judgement by posting this photo which does not flatter the president and does not convey the right sentiments towards his constituents.

Which Way is Israel?

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“Ya know, I don’t get it. I’m not allowed to ask a Chinese person where a Chinese restaurant is? Aren’t we all getting a little too sensitive? If somebody asks me which way is Israel, I don’t fly off the handle.”
 
  – – Jerry Seinfeld – Seinfeld – s05e10

Israel may be a leader in agriculture, but probably not in cartography. Agritech, The 17th International Agricultural Exhibition will be held in Tel-Aviv this coming week. Published in the local papers is an ad for the event sporting a map of the world and the ambiguous slogan “The world arrives in Israel! Israel awaits the world!”. I assume publishing full page ads is costly, and so I have to wonder: who was in charge of putting arrows on the map to direct the world to Israel?
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Come to think of it, upon closer inspection this seems like the craziest map I have ever seen:
Korea seem to have moved into China, Nigeria is now in the center of Africa instead of the Congo, Ukraine moved to Russia and Bulgaria is now where Germany used to be. Way to welcome the world to your exhibition, Agritech! …or is this game of musical chairs intended to break the ice?
Israel gets plenty mad whenever anyone gets creative drawing a map of the Middle East and usually raises a storm when someone uses a different color for the occupied territories – so the act of relocating whole countries seems to me like the strangest way to say welcome.

Update: This post has a follow-up here.

Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused

I see ad people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.

T-Mobile Conquers Trafalgar SquareI have blogged about flash mobs in the past, both in its purest form (Improv Everywhere creating street performances just for fun) – and in its commercial form (T-Mobile trying to cash in on the trend). If you do not share my notion on mind share, that’s fine. A reader of mine (which may or may not work in an ad agency) actually called these public space disruptions an “experiential advertising that actually provides real value for the audience”. Yeah, right. Reading blogs like the one by Israeli ad agency Mizbala gives you a scary glimpse into the psyche of these people. They actually call these well-funded acts ‘guerrilla marketing‘.

A couple of hours ago I received an email from Unruly Media, a London-based “viral video seeding specialist that works with global brands and agencies to harness and engage the social web”. I thought posting the email would shed some light on the behind-the-scenes activities that make a video go viral. All emphases mine:

From: Sal Azar < [redacted]@unrulymedia.com>
To: Shahar Golan
Subject: Early Warning: T-Mobile Flash Mob Assets Available to FRGDR Tonight
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009 5:57 pm
 
Hi Shahar,
 
The next T-Mobile flash mob is happening tonight from 6-7pm in Trafalgar Square, London. It’s the follow up to the hugely successful T-Mobile Dance in Liverpool Street and we’re hoping to have live footage from the event edited and available within 2 to 3 hours of this evening’s event.
We want to make sure that the video is with influential bloggers and online commentators as soon as is humanly possible and we will send you a link to the content (and additional campaign information) the moment it’s edited and uploaded.
If you’d like me to send across the video source file or if you have any other questions about the campaign, please feel free to drop me a line.
 
We’re also looking for partners to run the clip (and the official TV ad when it launches next week) on a commercial basis. I don’t know whether you’d feel this was appropriate for FRGDR, but if you’re interested, we can give you a video player to embed, pay you an initial fee for posting the video and a small additional amount for each UK view of the clip. If this is something you’re interested in doing, please drop me a line and I can send you details of how to sign up for the campaign on the Unruly Network.
 
If you want to check us out, please take a look at http://www.unrulymedia.com. We adhere to a strict code of ethics, which you can read here: http://www.unrulymedia.com/ethics-code
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, and if you’re anywhere near Trafalgar Square between 6 and 7pm, come along and join in the fun.
 
Kind regards,
Sal

Continue reading Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused