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:

What Will Gwyneth’s Musical Vision Be…Ramble

Gwyneth Paltrow is finally letting the world see how funny she is and having a really great time. Ever since Gwynnie took on “Glee”, she’s been everywhere singing including the Grammys and New Jersey to stealing the stage from Beyonce in London recently. Is she the ultimate ‘renaissance’ woman or what? Seriously.

As if I weren’t amazed enough by this Golden Goddess, now she is posing in nothing more than fish net stockings and Harry Winston jewels (that’s quite a step up from bedazzling) for Vanity Fair jewelry special. Must. Stop. Eating. Still, my favorite thing Gwyneth has done recently which she has spoken about on a number of occasions, is rapping N.W.A. on Britain’s Graham Norton Show:

G.P. admitted she has yet to make her own music. Oh Darling, please come make a record where I work and that would be insane. It got me to thinking what would Gwyneth’s own album sound like because I don’t think the duets on Matthew Morrison’s lame duck album (remember when he kept promising us he was gonna make an album that sounded like J.Timberlake? WTF turkey!) of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” are really the direction she would go musically on a solo project. We’ve heard GP covered country, pop, adult contemporary, and of course her #1 duet (in Australia) with Huey Lewis “Cruisin'” and now rap. Hmm though I love her I don’t think so, I’d much rather her sing something that had a bit of Brazilian feel to it for some reason, you know a little “Girl from Ipanema” spiciness with maybe her “brother” Hova doing some lyrical assault to add some fresh flavors.

How about some guest stars?

Tay Swifty – they could battle it out as a country hip hop showdown

Beyonce and Gwyneth have a huge dance number they can boogie on down to?

Gwyneth and Chris Martin actually get filmed together for a stirring guitar duet?

Gwyneth and Leighton Meister film a video with a stalker theme…as in Leighton has a girl crush on her after ‘Country Strong’/a send up of her hit movie “The Roommate”, of course they’d have to out do The Lonely Island/Beiber send-up.

No matter what it turns out to be, I’m glad Gwyneth is talking about it and therefore it’s a possibility.

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Face-off: Emma Stone vs. Michelle Monaghan…Ramble

Two adorable pretty actresses with freckles that until recently often get a ‘oh yeah, it’s her I like her’ in movies, but the general population might struggle to place the face.

ROLES:

Who moi?

Emma: As her recent hosting gig of SNL started off pointing out she often plays a hot girl worshipped by a geek, who in the end she winds up dating or, as in ‘Easy A’ which put her name on the map, pretending to have sex with said geeks for money. Emma was just cast in “Superman 4” so she is on a supertrain to A List.

Michelle: Constantly cast as “the girlfriend” or “the wife” she’s landed major roles like MI:3 as Tom Cruise’s better half (too bad that’s the movie he jumped up on the couch declaring his love for Katie Holmes because it really was the best of that series so far & Michelle was great in it playing a doctor.) She got deep as Casey Affleck’s wife in “Gone Baby Gone” and although I didn’t see her in 2009’s “Trucker” there was Oscar buzz around her performance.

Winner: Michelle has actually been cast as the love interest, however her characters occupations including doctor and art historian which is a lot more diverse than a college girl who gets a makeover (Emma in ‘The House Bunny’) from being geek to being a hottie. However, Emma’s recent role in “Easy A” put her name on the map but “Superman 4” makes this an evendraw.

LEADING MEN:

Emma: calling all nerds Emma Stone needs a leading man. Emma has had to suck face with Jonah Hill (funny, but no thanks I’ll pass on that Ginger), Jesse Eisenberg (you know he recently played King of the Nerds, Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”) and Dan Byrd (of “Cougar Town” and as Hillary Duff’s geeky bff in “The Cinderella Story.” Emma does get points for smooching with Penn Badgely in “Easy A.”

Michelle: While it was a craptastic film about a player who decides he is in love with his best friend, “Maid of

I'm so not letting you get away with that.

Honor” Michelle got hot and heavy with Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey and strapping Scotsman, Kevin McKidd. While you may say hey, don’t forget “insane Tom Cruise” – you’re right, we’ll deduct points for that misfortune. However, in her next role as “the pregnant wife” her leading man is none other then her former co-star of “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” rebel redeemed Robert Downey Jr. There’s nothing hotter than a dangerous man is there?

Winner: Michelle. While Penn B. is a mighty fine leading man, he’s no RDJ!

EDUCATION:

Emma: Our firey sassmaster initially dropped out of high school to pursue acting, but finished her degree through home schooling.

Michelle: She completed three years at Chicago’s Columbia University (wanna really geek out? The author of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” teaches English there.) Michelle started modelling to pay for college and eventually moved to pursue it full time in NY.

Winner: We don’t need no education to let us know how these ladies have brains and talent that don’t need certification. Michelle wins but isn’t it interesting when you are on a hot streak and young one more year seems like an eternity (another geek fact- Brad Pitt dropped out of college in his LAST semester.) Either way the future is bright for both of these talented ladies.

Verdict: Michelle by a sassy nose. The audience wins!  I’d really like to see these two play sisters.

UPDATE December 2011:
Emma Stone had an amazing year between “The Help” and “Crazy, Stupid Love” she has now jumped into the A-list and Household Name. She also had a very small cameo dumping Justin Timberlake’s character in “Friends With Benefits” because he was late to a “John Fucking Mayer, John Fucking Mayer” concert. She just continues to grow and widen her range from playing an outspoken Southern Belle who gives a voice to the abused help to capturing the heart of a player played by Ryan Gosling, Stone is unstoppable!

Grrl Crush: America…Ramble

Isn’t it amazing we live in a land that celebrates America Ferrera once a year? (Wink, wink.)What is it about this lovely actress that is so endearing?

1) While she is a Latina in heritage she grew up in ‘The Valley’ going to more bar mitvahs than quinceaneras.

Originally posted on Projectlifesize.com

2) In her film debut, ‘Real Women Have Curves’ she was 18 and had no problem owning the role in which she strips off her clothes and dances around in her underwear celebrating her curves.

3) Smart Betty! I went to see her speak at the DGA in LA after the first season of ‘Ugly Betty’- she is so smart and composed. She wasn’t thrown by any of the questions and really had a strong voice of her own.

4) Well…there are some that say we kinda look-alike. When I went to see ‘Real Woman Have Curves’ the usher said ‘wow you are in the movie.’ I was like what? I’m Asian, she’s Latin…. and then she smiled and from the side I was like ‘holy crap!’ It was like looking at myself.

When I was at Yahoo! I used a pic of America as my avatar. One of the engineers commented I was so lucky I got to goto The Golden Globes. I started joking back that purple is my favorite color, then realized he’s an engineer, he really thought it was me. Ten minutes later I gave up on the back and forth explaining that it wasn’t and that’s why it was kinda funny. ‘But you look alike’ Uh huh. I love engineers but this did not compute.

5) America has a big heart and shares her life with a golden retriever named Jerry. Dog people rock! Congrats on your engagement America The Beautiful!

Happy Fourth of July!

I Heart Cate Blanchett…Ramble

When I envision a regal figure, it’s no wonder that actress Cate Blanchett pops into my mind. She was the ultimate Queen Elizabeth– twice! and both performances were nominated for an Oscar.  Cate always projects a balance of power with a fragility and femininity in her roles including The Lord of the Rings cycle.

A ginger who dominates with her poise and grace, Ms. Blanchett embraces challenges working on stage all over the world and most recently selling out BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) version of “A Street Car Named Desire.”

I’m so excited that Russell Crowe had the good grace to know his age and wanted a powerful counterpart as his Maid Marion, of which Cate Blanchett pulls off another powerful performance complete with the enrichment of her deep laughter that never seems forced and always inspires me to laugh.

I leave you with a quote from this powerful woman: “If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously!”

I Heart Jane Lynch…Ramble

Some might say dry snark can be petty and one note, but Jane Lynch now of Glee and those ads with Julia Louis-Dreyfus has made dry snark an art. I loved her as the mother of Will Farrell in ‘Talladega Nights’ and as the evil-desperately-clinging-to-her-youth step mother in ‘The Cinderella Story 2’ as she tormented the wonderful, sassy Selena Gomez.

It is her role as Sue Silvester on ‘Glee’ where she uses her snark to it’s peak of awesome. Here is real life openly gay Jane Lynch as Sue in one of the funniest pieces about ‘Sneaky Gays.’ Snark Jane Snark. Laugh at Jane’s snarking Bobby.

I Heart : Saffron Burrows…Ramble

Seriously, don't turn around just run.

Since I have all these great man crushes, I should give the fairer sex the same airtime. Of course, if you read my blog regularly you know that I j’adore Gwyneth ‘That’s not happiness to see me’ Paltrow.

You probably recognize Saffy Saff from a lot of character roles she has had in films (just a sampling folks)

a) Circle of Friends: the very naughty social-climbing friend Nan who has  a mad-affair with Colin Firth in one of his slimer roles.

b) Hotel de Love- a little Aussie indie film in which she works at a rundown hotel that is trying to come back to life under the watch of two brothers who inherit it.

c) Deep Blue Sea– as Dr. Susie: we violated the Harvard Compact & altered the sharks genes. As a result the sharks got smarter.

You stupid Bitch! (Damn I love that scene!!!)

d) Troy- as the frail wife of the beloved Hector (Bantastic alert sigh….) who is shattered once her man dies infront of all of Troy in a battle with Achilles. Boo!!! (That is the point I turn off Troy.)

e) The new partner of Jeff Goldblum on none other than Law & Order: CI. This has sparked a lot of whiny, long-time viewers to declare they will never watch this Dunt Dunt spin-off again. Whatever! People I have watched that show from day 1 as well and while I love them, this transition has been going on for over a season. Seriously will there be as much backlash when Chris Maloney leaves SVU? If you are so obsessed with these actors allow them the creativity to bow out when they are done. Maloney has been on SVU for 12 years!

I ramble….back to Saffron. Good for you my dear! I’m glad to see a bit of fresh blood and some new storylines. For sass: yes,  Saffron could get afford to eat a few of those cop donuts!