The Wonderful World of Charlie Sheen

Like anyone with an Internet connection, we at the 7th Chamber have been avidly following the trials and tribulations of a once great man – a man who at the very least mildly amused at times in the show that was Two And A Half Men (a spot which earnt him a reported $1.8 million per episode). Yes, we’re talking about Charlie Sheen. And if in case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past week or so, you won’t know anything about his sordid weekends with porn stars and the now legendary ‘banging’ of ‘7 gram rocks’.

Charlie looking a little worse for wear.

Although Sheen’s plight is undeniably compelling and sad to some extent, what’s even more surprising is the reaction to his tales of excess and brutal honesty about his own drug use. Amidst the shadows and mirrors which encircle modern media, Sheen’s frankness is somewhat refreshing, as seen in this interview. (ABC News has disabled embedding by request. Sorry folks.) But the public reaction, especially in the realms of social media has been remarkable.

His Twitter account was newly created (with help from a a marketing firm called Ad.Ly) a few short days ago, has seen an unprecedented rise through the ranks of Twitter celebrities, taking only 25 hours and 17 minutes to obtain 1 million followers! A figure which, we think, would have surprised even Sheen.

And he’s put it to good use, connecting with his celebrity fans and providing an insightful look into his thought process – whilst making #winning and #tigerblood a must have trend for any socially aware Twitter user. And apparently Tiger Blood the drink has already been tweeted about by P Diddy – he claims that a combination of Redberry Ciroc and cranberry comprises of what will surely be this year’s most infamous beverage.

7th Chamber have never seen someone combine a public meltdown with such a surge in social media hype and business opportunities for Mr Sheen. Let’s hope that, amidst being unceremoniously dumped by the creators of Two And A Half Men (whose show was eerily parodied by House
just hours after the official announcement), Charlie Sheen can rise from the wasted remains of 7 gram rocks and continue ‘winning’.

Oh, and before I forget

Charlie on a roof with a machete. Did someone say ‘Viva la revoluçione’?

Until next time!

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What’s that you say? You want more social media roundups?

Well, it’s been a busy week here in ‘le bureau’. And after drying my tears after yesterday’s defeat (with a notable cameo from Andy Mole, dragging 7th Chamber by the scruff of its neck to a more respectable score), I’ve come to the conclusion that the world needs informing once again of notable happenings in the media world. Yes, amidst the shame, crushing self doubt and pity, I’ve decided you guys come first.

Macbook Envy

Apple have announced a new range of Macbook Pro models (check out this unboxing by this mildly annoying Canadian here). Guaranteed to generate envy and lust amongst Apple’s followers, aesthetically it’s…. not really that different.

I could get all boring and techy on you guys (and blather on about Thunderbolt, the higher processing speed and the bigger trackpad), but what we’re really interested about is the big boost in wireless communications that Apple is predicting. With the proposal of Mac to Mac wireless sharing, they seemed to be prepared to make the leap of faith and phase out disk drives. Yet more innovation from those sleek, shiny Californians. Now let’s hope Jobs (or Jobbo/Steveo/Steve ‘looking for’ Jobs as he’s known in the office) recovers from his recent health scare and stays on the helm long enough to see Apple in for this one. Get well soon Jobbo!

Old Men… with Lightsabers

Having been informed of this video by Alex Micu (a man who is an expert at delving deep into the murky depths of Youtube, only to unearth gems) of two elderly French gentlemen who, upon disagreeing, choose to settle the dispute in a way that would make George Lucas proud. Yes, with lightsabers. Vader and Luke take note.

Elsewhere, footballers are evolving. By this I mean they’re finding more and more inventive ways of simulating fouls, not kicking the ball faster or developing super strength. Imagine the possiblities… Anyway, in an U20’s match between Chile and Ecuador, one of the Chilean players saw fit to take his opponent’s hand and move it towards its own face vigorously, thus creating the illusion of a flailing limb aimed at his face.

How CLEVER of them. The miners would not be happy.

Elsewhere, Justin Bieber got MERKED. Not in real life, as I’m sure that would provoke some mild hysteria from the legions of Beliebers (and registered Beliebophiles) following his every move. No, he actually did a decent job of playing a murderous teenager on a recent episode of CSI, until the agents finally caught up with his criminal ass and plugged him full of lead.

And, just for you, here’s a dubstep remix!

Until next time guys.

The Beautiful Game

Ladies and gentleman, mesdames et messieurs, we bring you a special gift to you this week. We’ve only gone and bought you El Classico a day early! That’s right, you’ll have the pleasure of seeing this clash of the Titans on a Thursday – and what a glorious Thursday this is. Of all the Thursday’s we’ve encountered, I like this one the most. It’s glorious out there!

So, after a healthy breakfast of processed meats and fried food courtesy of Franco’s – a breakfast which is making this writer feel thoroughly unwell – the 7th Chamber are raring to go. Craig’s even bought new gloves so we should be an unstoppable force once we step foot onto the artificial turf.

I’m not going to lie and say our performances have been exemplary – if anything we’ve been poor. A lack of substitutes may have unhinged us, but we’ll stand strong. Let’s just hope that Dan ‘Gattuso’ Holt doesn’t mistake my ankle for the ball again.

A reconstruction of what happened last week:

and what will happen to the perpetrator of above featured tackle if provoked:

Grape, you’ve been warned. Don’t make us come over there!

Computers taking over the world and Taco Bell ruining mealtime

Wow, this week’s gone quickly! Time goes fast when you’re having fun it would seem. And fun is something very high up on the list for us here at Diffusion Media Towers. Why, we’ve only gone and got a bloody Beer Pong set. Yes, thanks to Mark Malone, we’ve gone all frat house and are going to be chest bumping and beer kegging our way through this evening. Expect some thrills, some spills and one hell of a headache for the cleaners this weekend.

It’s been a busy week in the world of social media – disclaimer: it’s always busy and we’re always working very hard – and we’ve got some great developments to inform you on. Grab the opportunity to appear well versed amongst your peers in this field of work and read on:

Taco Bell

Customers appear to have ‘beef’ with Taco Bell. Or rather Taco Bell’s don’t have beef in them? I’m confusing myself now. But anyway, 88% beef is according to USDA guidelines not high enough to be marketed as ‘premium seasoned beef’ (premium being a word no one has EVER associated with a Taco Bell product – I had one in Los Angeles and it tasted like cardboard soaked in trans fat) And posters like this one don’t really help their reputation. 36% beef? Sounds scrummy.

But it’s the way that Taco Bell have reacted to this backlash that has been at the very least mildly interested for the average onlooker. Whereas 5 years ago, companies may have adopted a blanket policy on coverage of the issue, Taco Bell decided to release the video below to explain the real secret behind that recipe. A sensible move to directly interact with social media users, but all I could think about was that the CEO Greg Creed hailed from Australia, and was therefore more likely to pop a few shrimps on the barbie than dig into a chemical pumped, water soaked beef wrap. I still prefer this Taco Bell video though.

Who needs Sherlock when you’ve got Watson

Now whilst you were busy writing your blog or posting on Reddit (or whatever it is you media types do(, an IBM supercomputer called Watson (cast your votes for Holmes related jokes now) busy whooping the ass of human contestants on Jeopardy – which is apparently a very big thing Stateside. Even the show’s long standing champion Ken Jennings was cast aside by Watson’s 15 terabytes of memory. He’s certainly no Terminator (no time travelling capabilities, he doesn’t resemble the Governor of California) but my god he cleans the floor in general knowledge and trivia. Which is just as well, because IBM’s technicians and programmers have spent years working on the inexplicably complicated software required to process all the data at Watson’s disposal.

The good news is that the software being used to win hundreds of thousands of dollars on primetime American TV also has a practical use – doctors can use the database to analyse patient’s symptoms and diagnose illness far more quickly than with traditional methods. Bravo IBM. Holmes would approve.

Lil Wayne < Oreo’s

With Facebook fan pages becoming more and more an integral part of companies marketing strategies, competition to achieve high numbers of ‘likes’ is at an all time high. And when one of raps biggest stars and ‘the world’s favourite biscuit’ lock horns, you know it’s going to kick off.

In 24 hours, Oreo achieved 114,619 likes. A very respectable number, until you put it next to the whopping 588,243 Lil Weezy racked up in the same time. Biscuits 1 Cash Money 0. The key behind it is engagement – if users feel they are being individually acknowledged for becoming part of a brand, then they’re far more likely to share their experiences and buy associated products. 50 Cent is tantamount to this – he constantly interacts with his 4,044,694 followers (albeit mostly to flirt with the numerous nubile females proclaiming love for him( and even made 8.7 million when he got his followers to invest in stocks.

What a week! We’re off to football now, and judging by Grape Digital’s hangovers, 7th Chamber should break the deadlock and emerge victorious!

Update – we didn’t win.

Yet More News (Of a Musical Variety)

Hello, Hi, How are you all? Excuse me for these mid afternoon Tuesday high spirits (a time in the day when no man should be chirpy), but the 7th Chamber are on a roll after reducing what was once an embarassing football deficit to an altogether more respectable 20 – 18 (foiled by some bending of the rules by Grape Digital’s own Mark Malone) – helped no end by Chris, one of the new members of our sales team. I would NOT want to get in the way of a shot of this, put it this way.

Frivolities aside, today’s post has a distinctly musical flavour to it. So read on for an insight into the weird and wonderful world of prime time US music awards, Lady Gaga in an egg and Radiohead revolutionising the way we buy music… again.

The Grammy Awards

Youtube has been blowing up with footage of some of the acts performing this weekend, including this rather excellent footage of Rihanna, Eminem and Dr Dre collaborating like it’s nothing:

Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith getting down (ft. Usher):

and Lady Gaga hatching from an EGG (which she stayed in for hours beforehand):

Gaga needs no education in the value of marketing herself as a brand. The Haus of Gaga is a self promoting powerhouse, always looking for more weird and wonderful ways to get press coverage. Aesthetically speaking, she is unmatched in her ability to provoke shock (and outcry ). We presume no giant chickens were harmed in the making of this avian monstrosity though.

In other Grammy news, a real band actually won ‘Best Album’. We at the 7th Chamber have nuff respect for Arcade Fire, and heartily applaud them for securing this accolade ahead of more glossy, Auto Tuned opponents (we’re looking at you Bieber). One of the highlights of last year was this video, showcasing just how far interactive media has come in the last few years, complete with a soundtrack by one of our favourite bands. Win. It also goes to show how an indie band can secure one of music’s most prestigious awards, just by interacting with fans via social media and maintaining a respectable brand image and not ‘selling out’. A tricky balance, but they make it look effortless.

Radiohead are doing it again.

Not content with ripping up the rulebook with their 2007 ‘pay what you want’ release of ‘In Rainbows’, which averaged between $3 and $5/sale , Radiohead have subsequently thrown it in the bin with their latest offering ‘King Of Limbs’. Announced with only a few days to spare Yorke, Greenwood et al have dubbed it a ‘newspaper album’ , comprising of 2 10″ records, a CD, high quality MP3’s and album artwork packaged in what looks like, yes you guessed correctly, a newspaper.

They seem to have solved the problem of the habitual (il)legal downloader and offered up their music in a full package, including the warm crackly goodness of vinyl. No excuse for you illegal downloaders to not dig deep in those moth filled pockets and cough up some moolah. Well bloody done guys.

That’s it for today folks! Tune in sometime this week for more insightful, thought provoking writing.

Superbowl Showcase

For all of you stayed up late to catch the Superbowl on TV, it probably wasn’t the estimated 11 minutes between the Packers and the Steelers which caught your attention but the bewildering array of adverts which peppered the play throughout (leaving me under the impression that the Superbowl was a competition between advertising agencies not football teams. Apparently the Packers won though. Who knew?).

With 30 second slots costing $3 million each, there wasn’t much room for error. Shame Bud Light decided to come up with this tawdry effort:

Apparently all you need for a home renovation (and an obviously expensively produced video) is a bucket of Bud Light and a couple – one of whom is overjoyed by the prospect of 6 low alcohol content beers on his kitchen island. We’ll let you guess which one it was. Aside from the fact that bucket is certainly going to mark the surface of his new kitchen, this advert is almost as unimaginative as the Black Eyed Peas new material (not just a dig at the multi platinum selling group, they provided some seriously dry half time entertainment). A poor start.

Happily, it seems that there was some bet going around Celebrityville to pull of ‘most shameless product endorsement’ of 2011. Whether it was Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber (the original odd couple) collaborating to advertise Best Buy in a futuristic effort here:

Or Eminem’s metamorphosis into a bobbleheaded caricature,

competition was certainly stiff to see who could amass the biggest paycheck. Credit to Kim Kardashian though for showcasing her… ahem ‘talents’ in this steamy number:

Simon Cowell also un exploded:
yss

But the 7th Chamber ‘oh my god how many views did they get on Youtube’ prize goes to a video previously featured on this blog – Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ which has amassed a stunning 16 million views since its release 5 days ago. Whilst our black masked protagonist has some height issues (ok, he’s a child) he’s certainly struck a chord with Internet users – proving a combination of executive saloons and pint size Dark Lords equate to an ad mans dream. A special prize must go to Eminem’s creative stop motion animation too. So, the Superbowl – a viral seeders paradise.

Social Media Round Up

Another day, another dollar. Well, 7 days to be specific. But as we all know here at Diffusion Media Towers, a lot can happen in this time. So here’s another roundup to inform you of all the happenings in and around social media this week (and by default make you appear more social media savvy and clued up in front of your friends. I know. We’re too good to you.).

VW ‘The Force’ ad goes viral

With just over 4.5 milllion views in 2 days, VW continue to add to their roster of impressive advertising with the story of a pint size Darth Vader whose force powers fail him – until he’s faced with the new Passat. As informative as it is creative, VW always seem to come up trumps in the creative department – whilst not always releasing the most exciting models of cars (the Scirocco being a notable exception).

Return of the Spice! (sung to the tune of ‘Return of the Mack’)

Old Spice has had one of the, if not THE most popular and talked about viral adverts of all time with its brilliant campaign featuring ex football player Mustafah Isaiah as the ‘Man Your Man Could Smell Like’. And he’s set to make a return in a brand new campaign. Will Old Spice repeat the wild success of the first effort with another ab fest? Who knows, but our gut feeling is that the success (and brand rejuvenation) enjoyed by Old Spice after the last campaign would be impossible to duplicate.

Mark gets Zucker punched #worstgagever

Not even the CEO of Facebook’s account security settings were enough to stop a rogue hacker (and hero in many people’s eyes) accessing his page and posting a rather incendiary status update, which attracted thousands of ‘likes’ and responses. If Zuckerberg’s account isn’t safe, then whose is? Insert ‘privacy/Facebook taking over people’s lives/personal details at risk/stalker’ debate here.

Zuckerberg getting OWNED. Chin up maaate

Zuckerberg getting PWND

Egypt blocks Facebook and Twitter in wake of demonstrations

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are of paramount importance to more peaceful gatherings like flashmobs. Updating of organiser’s accounts is vital to convey information regarding locations and requirements for followers, but take on a far more revolutionary role when used to co ordinate mobs of disgruntled anti government protestors – as was the case in Egypt and Tunisia this week. Unrest has also spread to Yemen – the Arabian Gulf’s poorest country – who, taking inspiration from their neighbours success – have demanded that their president Ali Abdulah Saleh stand down after 23 years at the helm of the country.

As you can see, tensions have escalated in Egypt, with the people demanding that Hosni Mubarak stand down after 5 terms and allow for the people to decide the leader of their country. Which seems pretty fair? We’ll let the people decide (though I doubt the majority have access to Facebook Places and Twitter on their iPhones, or that Cairo has good 3G signal).

These guys know how to party/riot

These guys know how to party/riot.

Thanks to @jossyfree (one of 7th Chamber’s latest recruits),  I was also made aware of some shocking footage of diplomatic vehicles running over protestors, causing severe injuries and fatalities. The footage is pretty raw and shocking, and Youtube is constantly being uploaded with new footage. Keep your ear pressed to the ground for more.

Truly shocking viewing.

The Book Club

And now, on a far lighter note we have the culmination of all these events – the Diffusion Media outing to King Pong at the Book Club in Shoreditch. Tensions were running high in the office in the hours prior to this clash of the social media Titans with insults and over confidence (on my part) being the flavours of the day. After filling up the tournament with the cream of our office talent, Richard Spalding effortlessly sailed through the competition – all those years of squash giving him a wily knowledge of the dimensions of the table. After reaching the final (cutting down Grape’s very own Mark Malone in the process), the atmosphere within the bar had reached a fever pitch – think Centre Court, except with Cajun Thunders (thanks to the Grape Team for picking those up). However, a man who bought his own paddle and balls coolly dispatched our remaining social media flag flyer. Bit of a killjoy if you ask me, but I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

5 A Side

Having just arrived back from the 5 a side dojo, it’s quite clear 7th Chamber need to re think their strategy. Grape appear languid and effortless on the ball (helped in no small part by Joe Holt) whereas we appear to be sweating out collective hangovers. Sort it out fellas. And whilst we’re on the subject of football, a selection of highlights from Alex Micu’s hero, Gheorghe Hagi: