Friday, September 30, 2011

The Late Night Happy Hour #HowToMakeIt

This week, HBO's show How To Make It In America is launching its second season big with one straight week of free "Late Night Happy Hours" leading up to the season premiere on Oct. 2nd. The synopsis of the show: "How To Make It In America follows two enterprising twentysomethings as they hustle their way through New York City, determined to achieve their vision of the American Dream." A fitting plot for almost every person living in NYC.

I attended the one hour Hudson Whiskey sponsored event last night at Nitehawk Cinema (my new favorite place with $3.50 Allagash White drafts for happy hour), sipping on custom cocktails called Brass Knuckle, Morning After and White Manhattan. That last one was particularly rough being it was straight New York Corn whiskey on ice with a twist of lemon peel, but one has learned not to complain when there is free booze in NYC.

The last Late Night Happy Hour is tonight at Happy Endings (10pm-11) in LES and Figure 19 (12am-1). RSVP here: 

HBO has always had very creative and buzzworthy tactics to promote its shows like the Sopranos Taxi Cab and Boardwalk Empire Subway Train. The Late Night Happy Hour is just as brilliant of an idea, especially the "hook up" napkins scattered throughout the bar. I'll probably watch the first season this weekend because the main character Brian Greenberg is pretty cute and it looks like my type of show... it's so tempting to order HBO.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Technicolor Billyburg

I took a much needed walk down Kent Ave towards the Williamsburg Bridge this Sunday to clear my head and explore the neighborhood. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't taken this route before and was pleasantly surprised by all the street art, particularly the "Plan Ahead" yarn piece.
"Dead Rabbit" by Roa
"Plan Ahead" by Magda Sayeg
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by How & Nosm and RRobots 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Should Burger King Have Endorsed Anderson Silva?

I am not an MMA expert but do occasionally watch the pay-per-views; most recently I watched UFC 134, which took place in Brazil--home to some of the greatest mix martial artists in the world including current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. No surprise, Anderson Silva won the fight and defended his title.

I have no complaints about the actual fight or outcome, but my biggest qualm about the Silva fight happened in the first minutes when he entered the octagon and very prominently across his left thigh was a giant Burger King Logo to accompany the giant Burger King logo on his banner behind him and the giant Burger King logo beneath him on the octagon floor. This is the first time I have seen the fast food chain represented during a UFC fight, and to be honest, I was a little upset.

The same week, Silva premiered two TV spots for Burger King promoting the "Mega BK Stacker"--a three patty bacon cheeseburger the size of my face. The spots aired in Brazil, I think, but haven't made it to the States. While blog posts and YouTube comments for the new spots are mostly positive... I still can't forgive Burger King for pitching the partnership to Silva. I regard MMA as a sport that requires discipline and strict training, especially when it comes to staying fit and cutting weight--and no where does that align with the values of fast food. There are other sponsors like Bud Light and Energy Drinks that don't align with the MMA lifestyle--but somehow I find Burger King's step into the UFC space more offensive and inappropriate, as if Burger King just sold-out the sport like it was NASCAR or something. Just another opportunity to raise awareness among growth consumers--a perfect opportunity to sell more burgers. Period.

UFC fans are very loyal to the sport and I think Burger King is taking advantage of that loyalty. My point is obesity is a very real problem and brands, especially fast food chains, and even Athletes and Celebrities need to consider the effects of their partnership beyond just sales. Strangely, I don't find Paris Hilton, Kim Kardahsian or Audrina Partridge's Carl's Jr. ads offensive so maybe I'm just taking this Burger King/Silva thing too seriously? What do you think.