The Big Hurt: Release yo’ delf

The week in horrendous press releases
By DAVID THORPE  |  October 22, 2009


Every slow pop week has a silver lining: it’s a great chance to catch up on the thrilling world of useless press releases.

SINGER LISBETH SCOTT RELEASES INNOVATIVE PHOTO CAMPAIGN “HOPE IS A THING” | This lady’s album is called Hope Is a Thing — a pretty strong contender for the worst name for anything, ever. She’s got an explanation, however: she “wanted to create a musical and visual collection that would remind people of the importance of hanging onto hopes and dreams and the simple, non-material things that open our hearts and bring us joy. . . .

“Lisbeth also feels these concepts are often best demonstrated through innocent eyes, so alongside the album release comes the launch of an innovative Web-based worldwide campaign featuring children of all backgrounds and ethnicities who express what it is they hope for in today’s world via the simple image of holding up a hand-created sign.”

Little “diverse” kids holding up signs about what they hope for? Shit, even Michael Jackson is probably looking down (?) from Heaven (?) and going, “Oh, come on, lady.”

“BARBIE GIRL” IS BACK AS POP PHENOM AQUA REUNITE FOR “BACK TO THE ’80S” AND OTHER NEW SONGS ON GREATEST HITS | Hey, guess what song is now stuck in your head? You’re welcome. But the real news is Aqua’s new single, “Back to the ’80s.” Here’s the skinny: “At a time when ’80s pop is undergoing a revival with new artists such as Lady Gaga, Aqua re-emerges with a hymn to that decade. As producer/songwriter Claus Norreen says, ‘We write songs that put a smile on people’s faces. . . . Maybe people are ready again for music that’s about good times.’ ”

Nice of them to reunite for a bonus track, but why bother? If we know only one of their songs, by default everything else is a bonus track.

YAHOO! SETS OUT TO PERSONALIZE ITS SIGNATURE YODEL | The best releases let witless companies publicize their own failures, as in this beauty from the near-obsolete Yahoo! juggernaut: “As part of the launch of its global ‘It’s Y!ou’ brand campaign in late September, Yahoo! Inc. is giving the yodel back to the people by inviting them to participate in the creation of the next generation of one of its best-known brand assets — the Yahoo! yodel.”

It fills me with evil delight to see such a wreck. Yahoo’s absurdly named, perversely expensive, and disastrously unhip “Y!ou” marketing push has, according to a recent study by branding pollsters, actually soured the public on the brand. Combine that with their famous yodel — one of the most irritating jingles in corporate history — and you’re looking at an unprecedented bonanza of consumer irritation.

Yahoo is now running an on-line contest where Webgoers can submit their own yodels — you’ve got till November 8. There was even a “Yodel Studio” event in Times Square, with Randy Jackson, Pete Wentz, and Jewel supplying the requisite celeb presence. Jewel: “I have finished many of my concerts with a yodel. I love that Yahoo! is helping expose more people to yodeling now too.”

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