Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Libby.
1. Pulling a Swift One
In an effort to get tickets into the hands of fans, and “not touts or bots”, Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan service encourages people to sign up to become a “Ticketmaster Verified Fan” in order to be in with a chance of receiving a “Ticketmaster Verified Fan code”, which can be used to maybe purchase a limited number of presale tickets. Bruce Springsteen used it, Paramore used it, and everyone’s favourite haircut, Harry Styles, used it with great success, but Taylor Swift fans are pretty disappointed with her gaming the system.
Yes, by pre-ordering her album, buying her merch, watching her music video and chatting about her online, fans are afforded a higher chance of getting tickets to their chosen show… afforded being the operative word. Fans are likely to be spending a lot of money before they’re even in the online waiting room, let alone when it comes to maybe being able to actually buy a ticket.
VerifiedFan is a great way of putting tickets in the hands of real fans– the way that Taylor Swift is using it accomplishes the opposite
— Emma Hinkley (@emmahinkley7) August 27, 2017
“I don’t like your little games” indeed.
2. Everyone is The Rock
Anything featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is ok by me. Anything endorsed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is ok by me. So in the midst of this week’s news of showbiz’s horribly masculine side, imagine my delight when I was made aware of this essential Life Hack from Medium user, Anne Victoria Clark, which vows to “have you treating women like people in no time”.
This super-dry, way-sarcastic, and deliciously-cynical mini-listicle offered a glimmer of merriment in what has been a pretty sordid few days for many Hollywood men, and then, well, it got better when The Man himself gave it his stamp of approval:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 10, 2017
3. “I want that Mulan dipping sauce”
On 7th October, in very limited supply, across a few selected restaurants in US, McDonald’s brought back its promotional Szechuan dipping sauce, which was originally available for a short time in 1998 to coincide with Disney’s Mulan. Why? Cartoons.
If you’ve not seen Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, a cartoon series about the sci-fi adventures of an awkward-but-adorable teen and his genius grandfather across an infinite number of multiverses, I suggest you cancel your weekend plans and catch up. In the opener to season three, in the midst of a flashback for Rick, the sauce is used to relate to a certain point in time, and becomes a significant callback through the episode, culminating in a mad tirade at the end:
With me so far? Good. Well, this rant lead to an online petition to bring back the sauce, which received overwhelming support, leading to…
.@RickandMorty McNugga Lubba Dub Dub. ?
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) April 2, 2017
And then, yeah, everyone went nuts on 7th. Too nuts. There wasn’t enough sauce to sate the appetite of the world wide web, so… “Szechuan Sauce is coming back once again this winter”.
What a great example of the power of an obsessive fandom with access to social media! Hats off to Macca’s for listening to their customers – I think this could serve as “best practice” in the future for brands looking to capitalise on the more niche groups of their audience.
4. Bing gets a bit more Google-y
In a blog post published earlier this week, Bing detailed its new expanded carousel coverage, which is designed to help choose what to pop on the telly box. Movies, TV premieres, and new/trending on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The tabbed mobile results look pretty lovely:
You can store all your favourites in the new “My Saves” feature, to watch later too. The morning commute just got a bit more entertaining, huh?
5. Ignored Facebook Stories to get more irritating
SnapChat was a huge hit, Instagram Stories are well loved, loads of people dig WhatsApp Stories, but no one’s bothered about Facebook stories. It’s flopped. Even though it’s shoved right into our eyeballs as soon as we open the app, and we can now cross-post from Instagram, we’re just not up for it. So how does Facebook propose to drum up some enthusiasm for them? Well, they’re opening it up to Pages, so brands can now use them.
Although it’s already launched for some verified Pages, it is due to be available to all Pages via the Android and iOS versions of the app over the next month. The feature’s prominent position is bound to get brands excited, but can Pages really save Facebook Stories?