Archive for September, 2011

The Lonely Island Can Sell Me Anything

Image Credit: Jason in Hollywood

Every year Doritos does their crowd-sourced SuperBowl commercials. They’re always fun and they give fans an opportunity to engage with the brand on a massive scale. Recently, Doritos announced a new addition to their SuperBowl competition this year – The Lonely Island. If you don’t know who The Lonely Island is, than you must be living under a rock. It’s comedy geniuses Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. They started off doing SNL Digital Shorts that everyone knew and loved (Dick in a Box anyone?) and they turned it into their very own comedy/music group. The three guys write everything, and they often get help of celebrities (like Lady Gaga) to work on songs with them. Note: I am obsessed with The Lonely Island.

The Doritos SuperBowl ad competition is going to work like this: consumers can submit ads just as they would any year. But this year, you’re not only competing against everyone else, but The Lonely Island too. Whichever ad out of the ones aired get #1 on the USA Today’s AdMeter, gets a $1 million prize. If The Lonely Island wins, that money is donated to charity. Even if you don’t win the money, you’ll still get a chance to work on a “Doritos Project” with the trio.Just submit your video to between October 3rd and and November 21st.

The Lonely Island also promoted RÖKK vodka with a funny, quasi-sexy ad.

When they released their latest album, Turtle Neck & Chain (a recent favorite on my iPod) I saw a billboard for the album, complete with RÖKK vodka near my apartment in Allston. I’ve never tried RÖKK before, but I might as well now. The Lonely Island just instantly upped the cool-factor of the Swedish brand vodka.

There is something about The Lonely Island that is incredibly appealing to my demographic. They don’t take themselves seriously at all, and I appreciate that. If I felt as though the group was trying to sell me something seriously, I wouldn’t be into it. But their irreverence and humor is what makes the ads they’re featured in so appealing. Who would’ve thought that using a group that makes fun of advertising, makes products more marketable


The Ever-Changing Facebook Layout (Part Deux)

Way back in February of 2010, I wrote about a huge Facebook overhaul that changed everyone’s profiles and News Feeds. After f8 yesterday, and a huge overhaul on your News Feed a few days ago, Facebook is once again changing the game. However, this time around, I think the changes are going to be much more profound and have a larger impact on the way you Facebook. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Timeline
    Your Facebook profile is going to be much different than you currently know it to be. A new algorithm is being introduced to your profile in which it sorts out the most “important” events from your profile and highlights them on your page. Not only that, but your Facebook will go back to when you were born. How crazy is that?! You can go in and add photos to your childhood years so your Facebook essentially is the timeline of your entire life. Personally, I think this feature is incredibly cool and it’s going to make changing from Facebook to another social network (ahem, Google+) all the more difficult. Why would you abandon your profile when it chronicles your entire life?Some are even talking about Facebook replacing scrapbooks with the new Timeline feature.
  • The Cover
    A lot of people on my Twitter feed were commenting about how the Facebook redesign looks a lot like a blog, mainly because of the Cover feature. On the top of your profile you’ll have a “Cover” or a photo that you chose to represent who you are. It’s the first thing people see and in my opinion, it’s going to be a huge personal branding opportunity.
  • Stories
    With the new algorithm, I mentioned that Facebook picks what events were most “important” in your life and highlights them on your profile. But fear not, it’s still customizable. There will be Star and Remove options where people can chose what to highlight, and what to remove. That way, your Facebook page becomes uniquely you and exactly what you want others to see.
  • Open Graph
    Open Graph will allow apps to be much more integrated with your Facebook profile. It will allow the apps to automatically update in the background what you’re doing. Facebook has partnered with several different companies (including Netflix, Spotify, and Nike+) to create this seemless integration. Out of everything in the f8 conference, this is what I think will be the least popular feature. We don’t want to share what we’re doing all the time with our friends. To be honest, I don’t really care what my friend Jessica is listening to on Spotify at that very moment, or what Mike is watching on Netflix. I want the option to filter what people see and what they don’t.

Overall, I think the changes are a great move for Facebook. It’s making itself THE social networking tool for your life, and possibly forever. Who wants to switch from Facebook to another platform when Facebook already has your entire life chronicled?

What are your thoughts on the new Facebook profile?

I’m Obsessed with The Muppets Promo Videos

I’ve always loved The Muppets. That’s why, when I learned that they were coming out with a movie, I was beyond excited. Needless to say, all of the promo videos for the movie have been hilarious. If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to check them out. The greatness of these videos speaks for themselves. Here are my favorites:

My Love Affair with Mint

Recently, I moved into a new apartment and started my senior year at Emerson College. Needless to say, between class, my internship, and a social life, I don’t have a lot of time for work. As a result, I’m kind of broke. I came to this sudden realization during a recent grocery shopping trip in which I almost couldn’t pay for my food that week. So, I decided it was time to take action and get my finances in order. A long time ago I heard of but I never really had a use for it, until now.

I signed up for Mint almost a week ago, and if I wasn’t in love, then I wouldn’t be writing about it. Here are some reasons why I think Mint is such a great personal finance tool.

  • It’s simple, stupid.
    You would have to be a monkey not to figure out how to use Mint. They make it simple to set up your bank accounts, they ask you if you have any credit cards, real estate and regular bills that you have to pay. Based on your accounts they set up Alerts, bill reminders, and even advice.
  • It’s like talking to your momma
    Not exactly, but you get the idea. Like I mentioned, Mint generates personal finance advice based on your account activity. For me, they recommended I started saving money in case of an emergency. They gave me an amount that I should try to save towards, along with the amount I should save each month to make my goal and when I should get there. They also have advice on how to save for retirement, pay off loans, pay off credit cards, take a trip or even improve your home.
  • Great for students about to graduate college.
    Like I mentioned, Mint can help you plan to pay off your loans, especially when you graduate college. Most students pay the bare minimum each month when it comes to paying off their loans. Mint gives you a real-life view of how much you should pay each month so that you aren’t in debt until your death.
  • It’s even mobile!
    Okay, who doesn’t have a mobile app now-or-days? But at the same time, the Mint app is a really nice looking app. It’s a much more simplified version of the web application (for example, your Goals don’t show up on the app) but it’s just what you need when you’re on-the-go.

Granted, using Mint is only as successful as you make it. If you’re terrible managing your money, Mint may help, but it comes down to you as a person. It’s up to you to put down your debit/credit card and budget your money wisely.

Happy spending!



By now most of you have probably seen Gulp, the world’s largest stop-motion animation. But, just for fun, here it is again.

The short film was shot entirely with a Nokia N8, across over 11,000 square feet. Needless to say, it’s really cool.

The great thing about this video, is that you know that it’s shot with a Nokia camera, but it’s not in your face. It was a clever way of Nokia showing off the N8’s capabilities without being an overwhelmingly branded video. Definitely not annoying. In my opinion, snaps for Nokia.