On Fans and Fanatics

[singlepic id=276 w=320 h=240 float=right]I was a member of the (now defunct) ‘Support Gili & Dorit’ Facebook group for a while now, and thought it is only fair to convey my criticism for the lack of originality shown in the first dance routine in Dancing With The Stars, and so I posted a link to it on the group’s wall. Apparently my (and Justice Brandeis‘) sunlight-is-the-best-disinfectant attitude was not appreciated, as the link I posted was soon deleted and I was banned (!) for life from ever posting or re-joining the group.

Now, mind you, I am not complaining here. On the contrary! This is almost a badge of honor. But I do want to make a couple of points:
1. Always save screen captures.
2. Aaron Sorkin said it best in The West Wing (jump to the 2:57 marker)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkMQkyAB_O4

So You Think You Can Just Copy a Dance?

As excited as I was to watch the first same-sex couple dance on Israel’s Dancing With The Stars, I was none too happy to find out openly-gay sportscaster Gili Shem-Tov and openly-straight dancer Dorit Milman basically copied a dance routine off a 2007 performance from the American So You Think You Can Dance. The Internet never forgets:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg6EjkvRCPA

Israel – Dancing With The Stars – Gili Shem-Tov and Dorit Milman
Season 6, Episode 2 – November 2, 2010

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFH1moy62VQ

USA – So You Think You Can Dance – Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson
Season 3, Episode 20 – August 8, 2007

Update: You can read this post in Hebrew here.

Update #2: the plot thickens.

Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused – Continued

A year and a half ago I posted a couple of emails I received from Unruly Media, a self-proclaimed “viral video seeding specialist”, urging me to publish on my blog a video of T-Mobile‘s flash mob in Trafalgar Square. I thought it was much more important to post the actual emails than the video – and so I did just that.

It goes without saying that there is nothing illegal going on. I just thought it is important to see how hype is manufactured, and that is why I am posting the following emails, received today:

From: Sam Lassman <[redacted]@unrulymedia.com>
To: Shahar Golan
Subject: T-Mobile flashmob greets tired travellers at Heathrow T5
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010 11:05 am
 
Hey
 
Over the past few years T-Mobile has taken flashmobbing to new heights. In 2009 they brought Liverpool Street station to a standstill and followed it up in Trafalgar Square with a mass karaoke singalong. Now they have taken it upon themselves to welcome back hundreds of travellers to Heathrow Terminal 5.
 
We’re writing to you from Unruly Media to give you a heads up about the latest T-Mobile flash mob at Heathrow airport, where bleary-eyed travellers arriving home were greeted by a mob of hundreds of people clapping and singing welcome home songs.
 
You can watch the teaser video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHRTMUt1gVU
 
Right now, the team at T-Mobile are putting together the full edited version which will be screened simultaneously across more than 80 digital and terrestrial TV channels at 10.15pm on Friday night. If you are interested in featuring this on FRGDR, let me know and I can send over the link to you as soon as it goes live.
 
We’d love to get you involved.
 
Sam
 

Sam Lassman Watts

Unruly Media
www.unrulymedia.com
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, UK
(+44) [redacted]
(+44) [redacted]
 
The contents of this email are confidential and the information in it may not be disclosed expect for the purpose for which it has been sent. If you have reason to believe that you are not the intended recipient of this communication, please contact the sender immediately.
 
Unruly Media Limited – Registered in England No. 5411297
Registered Office: 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL, UK

A few hours later I got the following email:

From: Sam Lassman <[redacted]@unrulymedia.com>
To: Shahar Golan
Subject: Full Video – T-Mobile flashmob greets tired travellers at Heathrow T5
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010 10:39 pm
 
Good evening,
 
As promised, here’s the link to T-Mobile’s latest foray that took them
to Heathrow Airport where singers and dancers welcomed back travellers
to an overcast London: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB3NPNM4xgo
 
The ad is not due to go live until 10.15 am, so it’s exclusively
online until then. We’re also using the #t5welcome hashtag for tweets,
and we’d really appreciate it if you could include it if you’re
tweeting about the campaign.
 
Thanks so much for being involved!
 
Let me know if you have any questions, bcc-ing
[redacted]@unrulymedia.com in case anyone here can respond
faster!
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Sam
 

Sam Lassman Watts

Unruly Media
www.unrulymedia.com
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, UK
(+44) [redacted]
(+44) [redacted]
 
The contents of this email are confidential and the information in it
may not be disclosed expect for the purpose for which it has been
sent. If you have reason to believe that you are not the intended
recipient of this communication, please contact the sender
immediately.
 
Unruly Media Limited – Registered in England No. 5411297
Registered Office: 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL, UK

Israeli Photoshop Disasters – Pnai Plus Magazine (Again)

This week’s Pnai Plus, Israel’s TV Guide magazine, is all about fashion – who’s hot and who’s not. One thing that’s not hot is their cover, as it includes a Photoshop disaster:
[singlepic id=274 w=525 h=800 float=center]
Taken right out of an M.C. Escher lithograph, singer Ivri Lider (center) stands right behind comedian Adi Ashkenazi, and also right in front of her – depending on whether you are looking at his torso or his feet.

Update: You can read this post in Hebrew here.

Cartography Catastrophe

Did you watch the European Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal last night? Did you notice it? It came and went really fast, but did you manage to notice how Israel was wiped off the map?

Before each live performance a short video clip about the participating country was shown, but right before that video some on-screen graphics created the map of each country. Yes, each country but one: Israel.
Right before Harel Skaat took to the stage, the same yellow graphics that filled the screen for each other country, that graphics was now squished to the side and quickly disappeared.

Did the 62 years old Jewish nation get the shaft? Did The Jew Among Nations got the regular treatment? Serbia, a country that got its independence less than 4 years ago got similar treatment in the 1st semifinal; Does that fact make it better or worse?

Here’s the video (Don’t blink during the first few seconds):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqmjDtTAz24

Screen captures for each participating county after the jump:
Continue reading Cartography Catastrophe

HuffPo’s Subliminal Messages? You Betcha!

Visiting today’s homepage of the Huffington Post one could see two different Sarah Palin articles, each sporting a different image of Alaska’s half-term governor with her hand raised. Now I’m not sure if this technically amounts to a subliminal message, but I am pretty certain HuffPo’s editors want to convey the message: “Memba her? She’s the moron with the cheat sheets“.
[singlepic id=273 w=525 h=235 float=center]
I tell ya, that Arianna Huffington sure knows how to lift American spirits.

My Candidates for WIZO’s Sexist Israeli Ads for 2010

After covering WIZO’s newest annual tradition of giving out a most-chauvinistic-ad award (2008, 2009), I thought I’d one-up myself and actually suggest a couple of ads for next year’s shaming ceremony. Following are two TV spots that caught my eye, one is gratuitously sexual in a let’s-find-an-excuse-for-leering kinda way:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f65xVB9cPs

Israeli Lottery – Gitam BBDO

The other is much less overt, much more complex, filled with misogynistic messages about work, kids, shoes and dieting:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q2hQ41iqsU

Osem’s Lachmit whole wheat cracker – Gitam BBDO

I should probably mention that I have discussed these ads with a couple of female friends who did not see anything particularly shocking with these ads. They did note the ads’ sexist nature, they just didn’t think it was any different from most other Israeli ads.
Obviously, I disagree.

Tonight on Your Telly: Creative Atrophy – Continued

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srAI4oPWJ4M
This does not reference the original. This isn’t an homage. This is the lazy man’s way of looking creative without actually being creative. It’s copying someone else’s work down to the smallest detail and hoping no one will notice.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHdJR6iUBFM
Read my original post here.

At Times It Took Real Balls

Israeli advertisers are certain that their audience loves the look and feel of the West and believe that American and European brands are perceived as better. That’s why many Israeli ads are filmed abroad and speak English, so that they will posses the illusive je ne sais quoi. It is often the case, nonetheless, that ad agencies blow their budgets on make-up and expensive suits – and still fail at hiding the Israeli qualities they deem so inappropriate.

Take a look at this Subaru TV spot that ran in Israel and try to determine if it is, in fact, Israeli-made:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRtkI6hU-x4
YouTube