Icons: Glenn Beck, Tiger Woods, Ronald McDonald

The Glenn Beck Show might seem like the political equivalent of professional wrestling, but it’s not even that sincere. At least with wrestling, we’re all most aware that wrestling follows a script even though some of the moves require a high caliber of strength and athleticism (and occasionally resulting in real injuries to the performers). The difference between Beck and wrestling is that with Beck the fakery isn’t common knowledge and the consequences of what he talks about on his show are very real. This week, Beck attacked the president’s deceased mother and grandparents as being Marxists. What a dick.

Tiger Woods’ Nike Ad
Nike has released a new Tiger Woods ad on the eve of the Masters, which will mark the dominant golfer’s return to the sport following revelations of his sordid sex life. The commercial consists of black-and-white footage of Woods, accompanied a voice recording from his father, who died in 2006.

Claim: Ronald McDonald Will Kill Your Children
One of the groups that led the ultimately successful campaign to banish Joe Camel from advertising now has a new target: Ronald McDonald. “It’s time that Ronald McDonald joined Joe Camel in retirement,” argues Corporate Accountability International on its “Retire Ronald” website. “These tired mascots should be spending their golden years relaxing and sharing tales of their bygone days spent targeting children with deadly products.” CAI is asking like-minded people to submit photos of them holding signs urging Ronald to retire as part of a “photo petition.” The site also contains a 32-page downloadable booklet outlining the case against the clown.

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Automotive: McDonalds Charging Station, Looking Back At The Pontiac Stinger

Further to McDonald’s “green” prototype restaurant in Chicago and now we see the burger chain is attempting to expand its positive, environmental footprint. In addition to the eco-friendly policies like LED light fixtures, drought resistant plants and special hybrid parking – the new Golden Arches opening July 14th in Cary, North Carolina will feature an electric vehicle charging station, part of NovaCharge’s ChargePoint Network – a connected model that provides subscription-based access.
mcdonalds charging station chicago

Pontiac Stinger – The Car That Could Have Saved Detroit
Pre-dating blockbusting lifestyle vehicles like the Honda Element by a full decade the Pontiac Stinger had the concept, look and the spec list of today’s Gen-Y/Tween hits. Where would Detroit – and more importantly, American consumer culture – be today if it had been Green-lit?!…

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Console-less Games, Army iPhones, McDegrees

Whether one is a Playstation fan or an Xbox devotee, most gamers tend to be loyal to a specific console. But despite the magnitude of importance consoles have among gamers, might console-less gaming be the next big thing in the gaming world? Eliminating the need for a console, San Francisco-based start-up OnLive has created a gaming system in which gamers can use a PC, Mac, or their TV to stream on-demand games.
consoleless Gaming
Apple‘s iPods and iPhones, symbols of a modern urban lifestyle, are now in use in a very different setting – the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are, say the US forces, ideal for the age of “network centric warfare”, relatively easy to use, safe with secure software, and far cheaper than manufacturing a military version.

McDonald’s considers offering degrees to employees
McDonald’s is mooting an idea to launch its own PhD in management as it continues with attempts to shed the “McJobs” stigma associated with working for the fast food chain. Speaking to the Financial Times, McDonald’s chief people officer David Fairhurst said offering a PhD was the next logical addition to the chain’s other training programmes.

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Experiential: MINI, Viva McDonalds

MINI goes ambient (again)
… this time in Bogota! The MINI outdoor stunts continue…


McDonald’s(R) Opens ‘Viva McDonald’s’ on Las Vegas Strip
McDonald’s today announced the opening of Viva McDonald’s, the company’s new technology-inspired restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip. At 8,600 square feet, Viva McDonald’s is the largest McDonald’s restaurant in Nevada and, in true Las Vegas style, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On the exterior, four 9 feet tall by 8 feet wide Daktronics LED video displays are directly above Viva McDonald’s front entrance while two LED video displays measuring 10 feet tall by 23 feet wide hang beneath the restaurant’s golden arch marquee inviting passersby to come in and enjoy the new McDonald’s experience. The technology and screens will offer McDonald’s an opportunity to provide unique content and branded messages to its restaurant patrons. In the interior of the restaurant, along with a cheerful ultra modern decor, guests will find a content rich 14-screen media ring suspended in the two-story, open ceiling dining room.

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    Park(ing) Day, Updated McDonalds, Lying To Computers

    • New parks popped up all over the country Friday, thanks to Park(ing) Day, an annual event that turns paved parking spaces into temporary green gardens. The event was started in 2005 by ReBar, an art collective based in San Francisco, and is meant to challenge urbanites to think about what our public spaces would be like if they were designed for the pedestrian, rather than the car.
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    • McDonalds has updated several of their UK locations with a surprisingly fresh, modern look. London based design firm SHH is responsible for the new interiors, which have banished the traditional plastic furniture in favor of a look that is straight out of a design magazine.
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    • A recent New York Times article by Saul Hansell explains how companies in the troubled financial industry tried to fool their computers (and themselves) by entering only partial information into risk management programs. With the programs running off incomplete data, things looked grand. But as we all know, this short sighted game did not last long. A poignant quote by Hansell sums it up: “Lying to your risk-management computer is like lying to your doctor. You just aren’t going to get the help you really need.”
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    Obama Delivers, McDonalds Delivers on Promise, Twiller, Greener Meetings, Honeyshed

    • Obama’s big speech pulls 38.4 million Obama’s Thursday speech, in which he accepted the Democratic nomination for president, drew the biggest audience for a Democratic speech in at least 12 years and perhaps ever, since Nielsen only began keeping detailed nightly records in 1996.Some 38.4 million total viewers tuned in across 10 networks for the speech, in which Obama became the first major-party black presidential nominee in U.S. history. Certainly the historic nature of his speech, delivered 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” drew in more viewers than would have usually tuned in for the convention.
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    • Customer: Can I have five barbecue sauces?
      Cashier: No. This is not Burger King. You cannot have it your way.
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    • New York Times journalist Matt Richtel has invented a storytelling format called the Twiller. The idea is for Twitter users to follow fictional characters — which many already do anyway — as they progress though a plot. Richtel’s Twitter serial is “about a man who wakes up in the mountains of Colorado, suffering from amnesia, with a haunting feeling he is a murderer,” the author wrote. “In possession of only a cellphone that lets him Twitter, he uses the phone to tell his story of self-discovery, 140 characters at a time.” The main character is also accompanied by a hooker, who occasionally appropriates his phone and Twitters conflicting messages — warning people that he is a killer, for example. The narrative boasts multiple opportunities for interactivity. It weaves in and out of current events and occasionally solicits other Twitter users for help or advice — an outreach Adrants called “disingenuous” because Richtel does not “follow” other Twitter members.
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    • ProtonMedia announced today that it would be funding a non-profit “Go Green, Go Virtual” to promote virtual worlds as a carbon-saving alternative to constant travel for distributed workforces, promote virtual events and training over physical, advocate telecommuting, and encourage networked collaboration. The foundation will be funded through a percentage of ProtonMedia’s profits from licensing ProtoSphere with the money going “to support worthy organizations dedicated to promoting environmental responsibility through energy conservation and alternative energy use.” A worthy effort … although as we know Avatars have their own carbon footprint…
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    • Almost a year after the ad world first heard of Dave Droga’s plans to launch Honeyshed (and gave it very – shall we say – “mixed” reviees, the branded entertainment-meets-online shopping venture has named a CEO and is preparing to make the jump from beta to reality. Honeyshed’s premise is to make the online shopping experience entertaining and more social. Aimed squarely at Generation Y (the 18- to 35-year-old set), the goal of the website is to promote brands online, not by using banner ads, but via “Saturday Night Live”-esque themed vignettes that are paid for by the brands. Users can digitally window-shop products on channels such as “girl fashion” and “tech and toys,” then place their choices on a wish list of online purchases that Honeyshed dubs “my stash.”

    Unsnobbycoffee, Moss Art

    • While Starbucks has cut jobs and stores this year, McDonald’s has been launching regional marketing to roll out its new specialty coffee drinks. In Seattle, the chain zeros in on coffee aficionados with its website, unsnobbycoffee.com. There, users can stage an intervention for friends who are “addicted to snobby iced espresso.” As Ad Age food reporter Emily Bryson York explains, it might take more than savings for McDonald’s to convert Seattle’s java elite.
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    • It’s Nice That points us to a lovely bit of public art that just went up yesterday in London: The Mossberger Project by Anna Garforth uses moss as a tactile typeface, a sort of eco-grafitti that can be placed on walls, floors and other public spaces. Mossberger illustrates a verse from an Eleanor Stevens poem on a brick wall near Clissold Park in London. The project is part of YCN LIVE, a two-week long public and participatory art initiative currently underway in London. From the artist’s website: “Being interested in public art and ecology, it led me to thinking about sustainable grafitti. I collected a common moss that grows well on brick walls and glued it to the wall using a mixture of natural (bio active) yoghurt and sugar.” Mossberger will be on view until September 5th and continues on throughout London until September 7th.
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