behind the scenes
When you see a photo in an ad or on a website of a cosmetics product that’s been artfully smashed, smeared, or scattered on a surface, that’s a special kind of advertising art that requires special tools. What’s it like to smear lipstick around for a living, smash eyeshadows, and build towers of perfume bottles with a hot glue gun? [More]
As the saying goes, hell hath no fury like a former senior vice president of sales and affiliate marketing at a premium cable TV network. A recently dismissed Starz exec is now alleging that his former employer had been up to no good, manipulating the (since-failed) swap of markets between Comcast and Charter, and asking executives to inflate the network’s subscriber numbers. [More]
The dilemma at a shopping center in Schaumburg, Illinois was a true modern one: Trader Joe’s wanted to build a store there, but there was no vacant space in which to build a store. The resourceful owners decided to make more space by covering an artificial pond with the store and its parking lot. [More]
Over the years video footage of fast food kitchens has surfaced showing employees doing some not-so-pleasant things. But Panera Bread is hoping its own foray into behind-the-scenes footage translates into more accurately prepared meals. [More]
As every action Walmart has taken over the last few years is being picked apart in the aftermath of the New York Times story that alleges they used bribes to expand in Mexico and then covered up those bribes, lots of little interesting side stories are popping up. For example, a new report says Walmart was involved in lobbying aggressively against the very anti-bribery laws they are being investigated for violating.
In celebration of the upcoming FTC-mandated drastic changes to “free” credit report advertising and web sites, public radio program Marketplace located the actor and musician who serves as the public face of FreeCreditReport.com in its horrifically catchy ads. That’s when they discovered something that, as they put it, means you will never look at the ads the same way again. The singing spokesdude, Eric Violette, is actually a pretty talented musician, but he isn’t the man singing the jingle. See, the commercials were cast and filmed in Montreal, and Violette has a distinct French accent.
The UK website Scam Detectives has published a two-part interview with a self-described former Nigerian 419 scammer. Take all of this a healthy dose of skepticism–the author admits he has no way of verifying if anything the guy says is true. Oh, and the reason I call it a short interview is because halfway through the second call, the author tells the scammer he doesn’t like him and wants to hang up. Before that happens, though, you get to read about foot soldiers, something called a wash wash, and the response rate on scam email blasts.
It all started out as a good-natured, if ill-advised Best Buy promotion to encourage employees to entice customers into signing up for store credit cards. But it ended up in a fracas of verbal and physical assaults. Allow Best Buy employee “X” to tell a tale of mayhem at what was supposed to be a pleasant evening at Best Buy.
The reality show “Pitchmen” gave us a behind-the-scenes look at infomercials produced by and starring the delightful duo of Anthony Sullivan and the late Billy Mays. (Oddly, the program made me less wary of infomercial products. But I’m still not about to actually order any.) But wait—there’s more! Check out this video to see what goes on behind the scenes at another direct-sales powerhose, TriStar Products.
You might want to hum a little of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song music as you click over to Boston.com to view these photos of what goes down at a Netflix facility. We like how they all wear red tees—they’re like Netflix elves merrily providing DVDs to the nation. (Maybe they just did it for photo day, though.)