The Coldplay ‘Ghost Stories’ Campaign…Ramble

Yes, I’m a huge and I mean huge Coldplay fan. I don’t like them ‘ironically’ as one recent fellow I dated (see that’s past tense) remark. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to analyze their campaigns. Their sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ is a beautiful and haunting in honesty. Note, I was not a fan of ‘Mylo Xyloto’, though a few songs grew on me, and though I loved ‘X & Y’ it was about three or four ballads too long, a fact that is also noted by the band.

When I first heard the lyrics to ‘Magic’ about how ‘I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic, when I’m with you’ red flags started to wave in my head. Of course, I ignored them because the lyrics were all too relatable to me. March saw the debut of other new songs from ‘Ghost Stories’ during their globally broadcast performance as part of the iTunes Festival at SXSW. “Another’s Arms” told the tale of having broken up and the oddness of moving on, still wishing for the person already gone. Now the red flag was as large as Russia’s, and my heart was concerned. The following week GP and Chris Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’, which is also brilliant timing from a marketing standpoint of an album launch.

Woah, is that cold? Fair enough. You can say that but the moments I took to mourn their relationship, also produced even greater depth to the lyrics of ‘Ghost Stories’. Friends commented I might be rushing out to buy the album but they were sure Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t listening to it. I disagree since Chris told the BBC’s Zane Lowe in an exclusive interview it was the most truthful album they have ever made. The word ‘true’ appears in several of the songs. It’s also really about heartbreak, not being over someone who was ‘True Love’ but having to move forward. Even in “A Star Full of Skies” he mentions in out of all those stars “I think I saw you”, do you get more literal? Or on “Magic” when he sings “and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” Well damn.

The global Coldplay campaign didn’t need the press of a breakup because it included hand-written lyrics for all songs hidden in libraries all over the globe, hints given away via Twitter, TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon in the US (let alone the countless ones overseas), and The Voice, as well as live shows in five major cities globally.

Tickets in NY were hard to come by unless you work in the music industry or are willing to pay scalpers.

Personally I’d rather shell out a few extra bucks for the deluxe version at Target, a multi-million dollar campaign #MoreColdplay across social media, television and in-store promotions. The fan incentive? Signed paper stars from the adverts, which also were part of the set dressing for their SNL appearance.

Let’s not forget the continued support of iTunes post-SWSX which included a pre-order, an exclusive track, immediate downloads from the pre-order, social media support and dedicated newsletters and homepage banners.

What I love about Coldplay is the imperfection of it all, the inclusion of fans and the music, of course. I once got into a discussion with a senior level exec at Sony about why Kings of Leon, also releasing their fourth album at the time, were not as successful as Coldplay. He said there was no way and then that album turned out to be KOL’s most successful album and he had to buy me an expensive dinner. Music, when it’s brilliant can still go unheard if it is not marketed properly. Team Coldplay always delivers some new way of connecting with the music, making it fun and inclusive of the fans. Look for their TV special as well:

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Crush of the Week: Amy Poehler…Ramble

Golden Globe winner and second time host, Amy Poehler is on fire these days. I’m personally in awe of her spirit and now her entrepreneurship. She just inked a deal with NBC for a new TV pilot, which will star Natasha Lyonne (who sorry I’m not a fan of since she did an interview looking for apartments and totally put down Brooklyn. Girl, Orange is the New Black films here all the time, get over your I can only live on the the Island mentality or Bjork will bop you next time you come this way, I digress.)

Ms. Poehler’s Parks and Recreation has one of the most talented, funniest casts on TV. Like many people, I was slow to get into it, I was always out on Thursday nights, but once I started watch it on demand, I was hooked. The clever writing, the sincere way Poehler’s Leslie Knope inspires everyone is just brilliant. I love how well developed the characters are, for example, the Ron Swanson character who eats meat, deplores vegetables and government, once gave a child a land mine as a reward, is a carpenter, has two evil ex-wives named Tammy (the same name as his mother) and hides his money in the woods.

Back to Leslie, I mean Amy… she was also the first guest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ ever setting the tone as “The Joaquin Phoenix of this show” according to Seth:

Although, Amy asked for George Clooney to “please stop” their prank war, she and bff, Tina Fey, are in a prank war with George Clooney:

The prank war which started at The Golden Globes, places Amy and Tina on a higher plane of playing with the boys, something both of them have never let them stop them from succeeding. In Tina’s book ‘Bossy Pants’ she mentions that Amy has bigger balls than any of the men they were in Chicago’s Second City with and it influenced her to stick up for women. Who says women can’t be funny? A man who has insecurity problems and has clearly never watched Amy as Leslie Knope.

Crush of the Week: Sam Palladio…Ramble

Dreamy. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Sam, who portrays Gunner on ‘Nashville.’ As someone who has worked in the music industry I absolutely get a huge kick out of it, especially this season’s addition of Oliver Hudson as the hot shot new president of Edge Hill Records.

Aside from looking dreamy, here are five reasons I’m crushing on Sam this week:

1. Sam has a great voice. He is working on a solo album so watch out for that one. Who wouldn’t want to fall asleep listening to Sam’s voice? Here’s a little taste of his band Salt Water Thief:

2. He’s British. ABC loves to cast Brits. Nashville is no exception. Palladio’s American accent is really dead-on, maybe he can teach Rachel Weisz how to speak with an American accent. (Please, I love you Rach, but it’s not your strength).

3. Sam is a one woman man. He’s been dating former co-star & show love interest, Chloe Bennett. She is now part of Marvel’s ‘Agents of SHIELD’, also on ABC. Chloe is a big pop star in China (how cool is that?!) under the name Chloe Wang.

4. Sam is super responsive to fans on Twitter and live tweets the East Coast airing of ‘Nashville’ almost every week.

5. He seems to have a great time playing music and truly enjoy himself. And, yep he is super dreamy with that flop of brown hair & looks good with a little stubble.

Crush of the Week: Joseph Gordon-Levitt…Ramble

As a kid actor on “3rd Rock From The Sun” JGL was good at delivering punchlines and holding his own amongst the comic genius of John Lithgow, Kristin Johnston, and French Stewart. He had cool boy long hair and a cheeky smile. Then, as he got older and moved into films like “10 Things I Hate About You”, I heard he was an obnoxious ass through the Hollywood PR machine. It effected a project I was working on the time and served as a crush killer. I never got to work with him directly, and let’s face it we were all like 15 years old at the time, right, so like, who can hold us accountable for growing up in the show biz.

I moved on to other crushes like Brad Pitt, with his beautiful golden hair and more manly figure. Yet, over the years, Joseph G-L has proven to be a real talent. He has written songs with hipster it girl Zoey Deschanel (you thought I was going to mention that  movie they were lovers in? JGL grown-up crush inducer!)

He hosted SNL showing off his musical skills even more– did you know that for a time he studied at my alma mater Columbia University? Even more interesting, he started a company with his brother called HitRecord.com, which is a collaborative community to create – short films, books, and now a TV show that is a variety show (what a natural for JGL!).

This “Regular Joe” as he calls himself on HitRecord.com is a true artist, one that never stops creating, learning and exploring. I love how he gives it his all and totally commits to whatever he has taken on, which is why he is this week’s crush of the week. Regular Joe wiped the stage with Stephen Merchant and Jimmy Fallon this week, lip-syncing his heart out while promoting the film he wrote and directed called ‘Don Jon’ (according to co-star Tony Danza it perfectly captures this moment in history where we all consume too much media and how it has socially effected us). Joseph Gordon-Levitt you had me at “Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer”…..

Crush of The Week: Michelle Williams…Ramble

The words Petite Abeille come to mind when I think about Michelle Williams. A little bee. She may be tiny, but wow does she make a lasting impression. I went to a screening of OZ: The Great & Powerful last week. It was a little slow until Ms. Williams entered the picture. 

I’m intrigued by my fellow Brooklynite. Fortunately I also have Showtime at the moment and they have been offering “My Week With Marilyn” solidifying to me just what a talented actress Michelle is and how I seem to like actors as they get older (i.e. Leonardo DiCaprio & Johnny Depp) as opposed to the initial white hot light of buzz reigns upon them on magazine covers in “the It Girl/Guy” type of hype. 

Oz is a showcase of how much Michelle can do as an actor amongst co-stars that were questionable casting (another Franco crush-killer & Mila Kunis what were they thinking?). 

Williams was also perfectly cast in “My Week With Marilyn” as the enigmatic troubled actress. It helps that Michelle Williams is an actress with a bit of mystery and edge around her as a person. She has the skills to from portraying a tramp in “Blue Valentine” (although I despised that film), as she seems playing the purer but more clever Glinda. Either way I’ll be keeping my eye on her and I say thank you Michelle for being the most enchanting part of OZ. 

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Crush (FAIL) of The Week : Jeremy Renner…Ramble

I have REALLY, REALLY tried to like Jeremy Renner. He seems like a decent human. He was incredible in “The Town” with Ben Affleck. I actually met him briefly at The Standard’s Boom Boom Room (insert laughter at the name here I giggle every time I think it) at a Florence + The Machine release party hosted by some fashion mag. He was incredibly nice. 

Jeremy has had a rough year on a personal level. His beloved French bulldog puppy died of a heart attack at only six months old. That devastation is just unthinkable to me and my heart goes out to him. Then there was the fight in Manila while he was filming “The Bourne Legacy” where a companion of his somehow managed to get AXE (!@#!@#!) wounds after fighting with bar staff. Renner was already gone but is that what anyone remembers? No, they recall there was a fight and Renner’s name. 

Renner’s professional career has been skyrocketing during all of this turmoil. He was given the keys to the castle on “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and “The Bourne Legacy”. I thought he was decent in MI, but I went to see “The Bourne Legacy” on Monday and it pains me to say Renner’s character Aaron Cross is no replacement for Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. The filmmakers tried to put in way too much backstory and not enough action. The opening scene was a huge snore and action sequences are few and far between. I understand this is a “set-up-pass-the-baton” movie but man was it painful. 

Jeremy is almost too normal for this role. I don’t know if it’s the writing, but there was a severe lack of kicking ass or a sense that Aaron Cross was dangerous, he seemed more unbalanced on a mental level, then highly intelligent processing the way Jason Bourne would just hear something and act on it, Cross hears, questions aloud and fills with chatter. 

The other issue I had was the casting of Rachel Weisz. I think she is a great actress and I can’t wait to see her in the upcoming “Oz” as the evil witch (funny does anyone remember her posing in Disney ads as Snow White and looking perfect in that role? Awesome.) Anyway Rachel’s American accent is always laughable to me (sorry Rach, it is so distracting, don’t know why they couldn’t keep your lush Brit accent for this one.) It is also bizarre casting since she is Mrs. James Bond, a role that her hubbie Daniel Craig’s version is so similiar to Jason Bourne-type action it drove me to distraction except she has a very killer move at the end of the movie (if you can stick with it) that made me applaud her. 

So Jeremy Renner, I really wanted to crush on you especially after Elle’s new vet could not stop gushing about how I would have a smile from ear-to-ear for the entire film, but man where there is meant to be depth you seem vacant. I know you are a good guy but maybe you are not leading man action hero guy. I want to give you a hug, not be saved by you. Here’s to hoping the franchise can be …wait for it…wait for it…Bourne again. Ohhhhh no, oh yes I had to go cheese. 

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RDJ is an eclectic artist who has survived jail, a crappy self-indulgent CD, drug use and the baddest playground known as Hollywood. Now a veteran of the industry with two successful franchises – Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, 

I’ve had a crush on this man even his wife describes as odd, for some time. Hey, everyone likes a bad boy! What I love about RDJ at this point is his influence over other actors and helping create some amazing careers. 

It was RDJ who convinced Gwyneth Paltrow (if you didn’t know she was one of my faves then search her on my blog for why) to take the role of Pepper Potts in Iron Man by telling her she should be in a film people went to see. Oh yeah, being real is an RDJ talent. 

While I don’t care for his buddy Mel Gibson, RDJ is a loyal friend who totally got annoyed with his ‘Due Date’ co-star Zach Galifiankis for getting Mel kicked off a cameo of ‘The Hangover 2’. I also LOVED that RDJ fell in love with the Frenchie on ‘Due Date’ he tried to adopt him unsuccessfully. (Frenchies can be little heartbreakers in the best way possible.) Still, it’s kind of cool that Robert stood up for his friend who has been revealed as a crazy racist who’s lost his mind during Mel’s ‘hard times’.

Now Robert Downey Jr. has continued to work his magic on ‘The Avengers’ franchise. First, he insisted and convinced director Joss Whedon to have the Pepper Potts character in the film to enhance his character Tony Stark, as ‘crazy-in-a-relationship’ kind of guy. Secondly, according to the DETAILS cover interview with Chris Evans aka Captain America, RDJ connected with Evans via their shared agent. He convinced the reluctant Evans to take the role telling him by making tons of money for the studio it would enable Evans to get backing for the smaller films he really wants to do in the future. 

What a helluva a friend, mentor, and kickass actor! I can’t wait to see him in ‘Avengers’ out May 4th.