How do you reach white-collar professionals who routinely work 80-hour weeks? Ultimat Vodka offered one answer to that question, though it’s not clear how scalable it is.
The vodka brand dispatched a dapper-looking gentlemen in New York and Chicago to pose as a window-washer outside office buildings. Peering in from the windows, they shook the workers out of their stupor with an honest admission written on a placard: “You people are hard to reach.” The spokesmen then beckoned the workers to get out in the fresh air — preferably before 6 — and have a drink.
If the video above is to believed, the technique worked: The office drones cracked smiles and met the Ultimat pitchman later for cocktails.
Though sending Ultimat’s window washers out to recruit more fans would be challenging on a grand scale, thanks to the magic of YouTube, a million or so people have been won over since the video went up on July 26.
What do you think? Would you take Ultimat’s spokesman up on his offer? Do you give the brand points for cleverness? Let us know in the comments.
We’ve had a lot of interesting moments at Mashable in the past year — and luckily, we also happened to be filming many of them. In 2012, we followed an Internet celebrity singing with a turkey leg, talked to folks who lined up for the iPhone 5 for a week, and a tracked down a filmmaker who did documentaries for the Arab Spring. We also peered into Martha Stewart’s bag and survived a takeover attempt from Conan O’Brien.
In an April Fools’ Day prank, TeamCoco and Mashable got together to create a zany story line that includes Conan buying the site and ousting founder and CEO Pete Cashmore. The Conan O’Brien takeover launched at midnight on April 1 in a 24-hour story arc that shows O’Brien’s attempts to make paper-based tweeting happen.
Reporter Neha Prakash embarks on an attempt to learn Russian from YouTube tutorials, which culminates in a trip to a Russian restaurant as she tries to order from the fluent waitress. Her favorite word? C??????, which means “thank you.”
America’s pioneering DIY expert has three iPads. What else does she carry in her seemingly endless bag of gadgets?
Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico fill Mashable HQ with the distinctive sound of the American southwest. They talk about their new album, Algiers, being a musician in the digital era, and sticking to an analog recording experience.
Tech editor Pete Pachal grills Siri for inside information about the phone, only to get coy replies.
Meet the colorful characters who camped out at the Apple flagship store for a week.
We do an early morning stakeout at the Apple Store right before it opens its doors.
At the New York Comic Con, we asked everyone from Wolverine to Batman himself to demonstrate their finest Bane super-villain vocal talents, with mixed results.
Activist and filmmaker Matthew VanDyke spent years traversing North Africa and the Middle East by motorcycle, befriending Libyans and other travelers along the way. We talk to him about his work in this two-part series.
Watch 12-year-old YouTube viral video star Nicole Westbrook as she interviews people on the street with a turkey leg. You can’t make this stuff up.
Watercooler Editor Annie Colbert picks the brain of one of the Internet’s foremost felines, Grumpy Cat.
When Mashable turned seven years old, it got us thinking: How does a 7-year-old media company compare with actual 7-year-olds? We talked to kids from 92nd Street Y’s Camp Yomi to discuss Facebook’s valuation, LinkedIn tips and the fate of the BlackBerry.
LOS ANGELES — During the tape-delayed Primetime Creative Arts Emmys aired on Saturday, Netflix wasn’t the only web entity winning awards. A YouTube series and several TV networks’ digital media programs were honored for their achievements in multiplatform storytelling, interactivity, social TV experience as well as user experience and visual design.
Although the television academy has recognized interactive media in the past, it placed a bigger emphasis this year on the digital content and second-screen experiences from creators on platforms like YouTube or from major networks.
In addition to the four juried Emmy winners (below) in interactive categories, the Emmys added an Outstanding Interactive Program category, which ComedyCentral.com won for its Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs. The special featured Katy Perry’s viral “Firework” duet (pictured, above) with a girl living with autism.
“More than ever before, television has become an interactive medium in which the audience has a role in driving the storytelling, participating as a fan and engaging in community and sponsorship activities,” Lori Schwartz, a governor on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Interactive Media Peer Group, said in a statement earlier this month.
Here are the Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media winners:
“We are honored to be recognized for achievement in multiplatform storytelling,” Lisa Hsia, EVP of digital media at Bravo, told Mashable. “Top Chef’s Last Chance Kitchen was a wonderful confluence where great content met the desires of the fan and our partner Toyota. The digital series impacted the results of the on-air show. The second-screen participation and social conversation amplified it even further. Multiplatform storytelling turns our one-hour show into a seven-day-a-week experience.”
Top Chef‘s award-winning linear series was expanded into a comprehensive digital “buffet” and tantalizing interactive experience for foodies with the companion Last Chance Kitchen series. This component, available on web and mobile platforms, Bravo’s Now app, VOD and EST, required active input from the viewing audience, which in turn influenced and impacted events on the linear series on. Each week, as Top Chef competitors were eliminated, they got a second chance to battle that week’s winner on this digital series. Fans interacted with the contestants and judges, and even got cooking themselves to determine which of the dismissed chefs would be the last one standing in the digital series and would have a chance to appear on the Top Chef finale. 52% of Top Chef‘s on-air audience engaged in Last Chance Kitchen and experienced the series in a collaborative way.
Recipients: Bravo Production Team, Magical Elves Production Team, Bravo Digital/Social Team and Bravo Creative Team
Social TV Experience
Winner: Oprah’s Lifeclass at Oprah.com/Lifeclass
The award-winning series Oprah’s Lifeclass is a richly interactive, worldwide social experience for millions of students who participate in inspiring conversations with Oprah Winfrey on-air, online and via social media. For each class, Oprah is joined by a hand-picked expert, and together they interact with viewers to share principles and tools that can help people live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Prior to the scheduled airing of Lifeclass on OWN, key influencers in the social sphere on that topic are given a sneak peek of the episode, and invited to participate in the Sunday night social dialogue. Lifeclass consistently ranks in the top ten “most social shows” in primetime, according to BlueFin Labs. After airing, the conversations continue throughout the social space and in a digital classroom at Oprah.com, where tools are provided to help viewers reach their own “Aha” Moments via an extensive companion curriculum, including class notes (thanks to Storify) and assessments, and Life Work questions that can be saved in their custom profile.
Recipient: OWN Digital
User Experience And Visual Design
Winner: The Nick App from Nickelodeon
The Nick App is a branded experience that allows kids to watch and play Nick in unprecedented ways. This free App features a moveable tile layout that can be swiped in any direction, promoting discovery and exploration and offering kids instant and on-demand access to more than 1,000 pieces of Nickelodeon-themed content. It includes short-form videos of original skits, sketch and comedic bits, behind-the-scenes clips and photos from Nick stars and animated characters, full episodes, polls, new games, and surprising random hilarity. The Nick App supports the full Nickelodeon on-air line up as well as specials such as the annual Kids’ Choice Awards. The App boasts new content daily and includes fun and funny interactive elements such as the “Do Not Touch” button that triggers an array of disruptive comedy and surprises. Nickelodeon’s goal was to go beyond a typical app that offers free video viewing and instead offer more interactive content, games, and video not seen on television — whenever and wherever the user wants it.
Recipients: Nickelodeon Digital
Original Interactive Program
Winner: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube from Pemberley Digital
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the award-winning, record-breaking, modern multiplatform adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” based around a fictional vlog kept by Lizzie Bennet, a 24-year-old grad student with an uncertain future, a mountain of debt and her best friend Charlotte behind the camera. When the LBD began in April of 2012 with two videos a week posted at Lizzie’s YouTube channel, there were only four characters appearing on screen. Unbeknownst to the audience, several other characters were conversing with each other over social media which kicked off a rapidly coruscating expansion of the LBD storyworld. Characters that only existed on Twitter soon began appearing on camera and even started their own channels, with one of them posting song recommendations and movie check-ins a full 10 months before they were to ever appear on camera. Throughout the entire process, the LBD characters used their social media presence to interact with the audience, creating an addictive world of engagement, while driving important plot points for the main video through their separate channels.
Recipients: Transmedia Producer Jay Bushman, Executive Producer Bernie Su and Transmedia Editor Alexandra Edwards
On Sunday, be sure to follow Mashable’s entertainment editor Brian Anthony Hernandez, who will be providing live coverage on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and Instagram (BAHjournalist) from the Emmys red carpet and inside Nokia Theatre during the awards ceremony.
A new “Simon’s Cat” video hit the web Saturday, and this one gets into the competitive spirit of the Olympics … with a snail race. Check it out above.
For the uninitiated, “Simon’s Cat” is created by English animator Simon Tofield, who regularly uploads new short films to YouTube. He animates each frame by hand. Twelve to 25 drawings are required to create just one second of a “Simon’s Cat” film.
Revel in some more hand-drawn kitty-cuteness in the slideshow below.
Music snobs may try to scoff at Gotye’s megahit “Somebody That I Used To Know,” but when the catchy tune comes on the radio for the 843,201,743rd time, they belt it out just like the rest of us singing superstars. Well, superstars in our own car and showers at least.
Sing it, ladies and gents — we’re not judging.
If you run a video website in China, you will now be charged with a daunting task: watch all your content and censor out any questionable content before posting.
China’s new online video censorship rules came this week via the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), China’s official broadcast regulation bureau. SARFT made the pre-screening policy known through a statement released to Chinese press that was later reported on by The Register.
Chinese video websites can be held legally liable if they fail to comply with the self-screening and censorship policy.
SARFT claims that the target of the new rules is content which depicts “violence, pornography and some swearing,” adding that the pre-screening policy is a response to pressure from Chinese citizens to “protect young people’s physical and mental health in accordance with the law.”
However, a spokesperson from popular Chinese video site Youku told the BBC that if content is “anti-[Communist] party and anti-society,” it will “definitely… not pass,” a condition which may alarm Internet freedom advocates around the world.
The Chinese government is known for aggressively censoring online content.
Its “Great Firewall of China” blocks Chinese citizens from accessing many foreign websites — including the popular video-sharing platform YouTube.
On top of that, it has a team of hundreds of official censors who actively crawl the Chinese web looking for content the government deems questionable. Those censors often play a game of digital cat-and-mouse with Chinese Internet users, most recently when users were looking for information about Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.
Foreign companies employ a variety of methods to do business in China. Google China, which has a fractious relationship with the Chinese government, houses its servers in Hong Kong, which has a high degree of autonomy from mainland China. The New York Times, which recently opened a Chinese-language platform, also hosts its content outside mainland China.
The weekend started off with a bang, thanks to the dazzling opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. That was spectacular enough to get everyone super-ready for the athletic competition involving our entire planet.
There were plenty of stories about the Olympics, and at the same time, your intrepid Mashable team discovered so much more — happenings in the digital world, tech innovations that felt like they were from a future world, and GIFs, comics and weekend fun that seemed to be from another world entirely.
Best of all, we’ve gathered all those stories here for you, in one big easy-to-peruse package. So take a look at the latest Weekend Recap, where you can catch up with the entire weekend of delightful news and views, right here:
News & Opinion
The average person doesn’t lounge on luxury yachts in the Caribbean or encounter a swarm of paparazzi while exiting Whole Foods, but believe it or not, celebrities are real people with real feelings. In a world where snark is celebrated, that fact can be easily forgotten — especially on Twitter, where 140-character jabs are met with favoriting and retweets.
Jimmy Kimmel asked celebrities to read a few of the tweet insults directed their way in a segment that might (emphasis on might) make you feel bad for Snooki.
Now, over five years later, he has returned with an unexpected sequel.
An Engineer’s Guide to Cats 2.0 begins in a similar fashion as the original as a tribute, and further discusses cats from an engineer’s nerdy perspective.