Really Groupon? #brandbowl

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Twitter was blowing up last night (click here for a great article from Mashable about Twitter stats during the Super Bowl). Between all of the advertising Twitter accounts, agencies and journalism peers that I follow, I was kept entertained long enough to sit through the entire game…a huge feat if you know me.

It was really interesting to see how people used Twitter to communicate about the advertisements throughout the game. For better and for worse.

Commercials that were well received got lots of Twitter buzz that directed online users to their ads. For others…*cough*Groupon*cough*, it didn’t turn out so hot. But really Groupon, there’s a line between funny that pokes fun at political correctness and straight up tasteless. Groupon is definitely teetering toward straight up tasteless.

What do you think? Read this article here to get a bit of background on their campaign and see if it changes your mind. It makes me hate them about 5% less. But I still hate them about 90%…so that isn’t saying much.


Okay Google, You Win.

February 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon this while bumming around the internet and I’ve got to say…I think it is one of the coolest ideas ever.

World, meet the Google Art Project where you can get “street views” of almost all major museums in the world.

The days I spend mourning over my inability to hop on línea uno and head to the Reina Sofia in Madrid will be no more.

So cool.

Super Bowl, Wisconsin Style

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

As most good football-watching Americans know, the Super Bowl is rapidly approaching. While most of my peers will be watching to cheer on the Green Bay Packers to victory, I’ll be watching for the good advertisements, and the Super Bowl food.

I’m hoping to do some finger-food appetizers with my roommate Aliya for the game.

This morning, I posed the question on my food Twitter account (MadtownFoodie) about what kinds of things people were looking forward to making (and eating) during the Super Bowl.

One of my followers asked for a suggestion, and here is my response.

I’ve chosen a few classic finger-food recipes that are great for any game day party.

Recipe #1: Beer.

Since we’re in Wisconsin cheering on the Packers I see it more than fitting to fill your ice buckets with lots and lots of Wisconsin beer. If you have access to some of the micro-brew favorites around the state, try the Supper Club from Capital Brewery, or Spotted Cow from New Glarus. Both are crowd-pleasers, and not too heavy to ensure proper drinking quotas are met.

For your guests who may not like beer, make a simple hot toddy with:

1 oz Whiskey

6 oz Apple Cider

Garnish with 1 cinnamon stick and a squeeze of lemon

You really can’t go wrong.

Recipe #2: Antipasto Platter

We’re in the great state of cheese and to ignore the abundance of amazing cheeses your local grocer has to offer is a crime. So, put together an antipasto platter (appetizer platter in Italian).

Select an assortment of 3-4 cheeses, I would suggest a mild cheese, a soft cheese and a sharp cheese. A mild yellow cheddar, brie, fresh mozzarella and a sharp white cheddar are always crowd favorites. Pair with some salami (spicy and mild) and/or prosciutto  from your local deli, and throw on some sliced baguette and/or crackers and you’re ready to go. If you’re an olive person, throw a bowl of olives in the center to spice things up.

You can really put anything you like on an antipasto platter. It’s always nice to have a meat-free option for your vegetarian guests. One of my favorite snacks is goat cheese stuffed Spanish piquillo peppers. Sounds complicated, is easy.

Step 1: Buy pre-roasted whole piquillo peppers OR buy any traditional red pepper, slice off top, take out seeds and stick in oven sliced-side down at 400F for 35-40 min. or until soft to the touch. Upon removing them from the oven, place in paper grocery bag for 5 minutes to allow them to “sweat”. After they’ve been able to sweat, you can more easily peel off the waxy skin on the exterior of the pepper, using your hands and/or a small knife.

Step 2: Once the peppers are cooled, fill them with Wisconsin goat cheese, and roll. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, garnish with parsley.

Step 3: Eat.

Note: If you roast your own peppers, you’ll probably get 2-3 peppers out of each larger pepper (varies according to size). Allow 1-1.5 tbs of goat cheese per item.

Recipe #3: Stuffed Mushrooms (Thank you, Aliya)

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh aromatic herbs: thyme, rosemary etc..

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

28 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2: Stir the bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, to taste, chopped mushroom stems and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.

Step 3: Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up.

Step 4: Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Sprinkle small amount of cheese over the top of each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes.

Recipe #4: Chips and Salsa

If you’re lazy like me, and the thought of chopping salsa for hours on end doesn’t turn you on, go to the store and buy a good pico de gallo salsa. Look for freshness, lots of cilantro and chunks of tomato. It should be in the refrigerated section. If you want to spice it up a bit, add a jalapeño, some extra cilantro,  an extra squeeze of lime and some corn. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Recipe # 5: Bacon wrapped figs

Because everything is better wrapped in bacon.

Ingredients: Dried Figs, Sliced, cooked Bacon

Step 1: Cut slices of bacon in 1/2

Step 2: Wrap slices of bacon around fig, secure with toothpick

Step 3: bake 8-10min at 425

Note: If you want your bacon to be really crispy, after you bake the figs in the oven, heat 1tbs olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and let the oil get hot. Then sear the bacon in the oil for 20-30 seconds or until brown and crispy, turn over using tongs. Let drain on paper towel lined plate.

My Favorite Brand? The New York Times. Hands Down.

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

As an expected graduate going into the media and marketing field, I’ve been warned that I should be able to answer the question “What is your favorite brand and why?”  without a blink.

For me? The New York Times. No questions asked.

Covers of NYT Style magazine. Always re-inventing the classic.

The Times’ ability to preserve their classic design while maintaining a position as an innovator in the changing media landscape is not only impressive but inspiring.

What I love about opening my computer each morning to the front page of NYT online is the multimedia stories that integrate stellar reporting, a solid knowledge of what their audience wants, an astute awareness about what purpose their brand serves, and above all else, a knack for storytelling and creativity.

As an old friend of mine would say, they’ve got old school groove with new school swag and I’m diggin’ it.

Badger YouTube Hype

December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

In a recent blog post by Jacki Schindler, a UW-Madison journalism student, she wrote about the recent YouTube phenomenons on the UW-Madison campus.

Shortly after the rising popularity of the song “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District, a group of UW-Madison students created their own version and called it “Teach Me How to Bucky.” The video contains many students, student groups and popular UW-Campus faces, including Chancellor Biddy Martin. The video is an interesting look at how students are using creative talents to create campus specific media.

After the UW Badgers made it to the Rose Bowl, the student group Zooniversity released a second video, “We’re Smelling Roses.”

Ms. Schindler wondered if this video would reach the popularity that “Teach Me How To Bucky” reached. I commented and said that I highly doubt it, given the “We’re Smelling Roses” song is painfully repetitive, and seems like an attempt to capitalize on their popularity from their first video.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to think about the new ways that online media forms are creating outlets for students to express school spirit and feel a sense of community.

What do you think about the videos? Do you think this will be a new way of manifesting school spirit worldwide?

iPhone New Musical Instrument?

December 9, 2010 § 7 Comments

I saw a video about a month ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking of it since.

The video contains four musicians playing a song on a New York City subway. Anyone who has lived in a city is used to the subway performers, sometimes enhancing your ride, other times making your ears bleed or your headache throb.

Luckily for this batch of NYC subway riders, the music was pleasant and the delivery revolutionary.

Atomic Tom, a four piece band from Brooklyn, used their iPhones to play one of their songs on the subway. The video received 2 million hits in less than a week. Due to its YouTube success, the song is now available for download on iTunes, and even made its way to the Top 100 iTunes singles chart.

I will always have a special place in my heart for the internet (most notably YouTube) underdog success story. This is truly the perfect example of how online media forms challenge the status quo, especially in the music world.

Aside from the overnight YouTube phenomenon, this band opened to the world a new realm of possibilities. Could the iPhone really be used in place of an instrument? What is the likely hood of this happening? Would this democratize the availability of instruments or would it be the demise of music?

What do you think?

Social Media: For Better or For Worse

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

A recent blog post by Marybeth Falish explained a new online community that allows non-profit organizations and charities to connect with a larger social network.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, charities are using online forums to gain support and awareness.

Falish wrote about Jumo , “a social network connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world,” according to Jumo’s website.

Falish wonders if we’re getting to a point of social media overload. I think we’ve just dipped the toe in the water. The new browser, Rockmelt is an internet browser based entirely around social media. While I am not one to talk about system overload seeing as I reached my Facebook capacity about 5 months ago when I left it in the dust, I think that social media really does have a crucial role in shaping our present and future methods of learning, speaking, communicating and understanding. Not necessarily for the worse…as long as we keep reading books.

One student said she thought Jumo was a great idea as long as non-profits and charities didn’t replace other marketing and networking strategies with online-only strategies.

I said I think that online forums that support charities are great.  As somebody who has worked in many non-profit sectors, I’m interested to see how this progresses in the future and what kind of support non-profits can garner from media like this.

What do you guys think? Do you look for ways to reach out and give back online? What are your favorite ways to do so?