The T-Pain Effect

Publication: Fast Company

Title: We Are All T-Pain

Article by: Jason Feifer


In this article Fast Company meets with T-Pain about the importance of branding yourself as a musician and exploring ventures outside of the record business.

The article explains the evolution of Auto-Tune:

“Cher’s “Believe” used the trick in 1998, earning it the name the “Cher effect.” T-Pain followed in 2005–an unknown rapper with a thing for top hats, who Auto-Tuned so consistently and colorfully that by 2009 he had three platinum records and had unseated Cher in Auto-Tune lexicon.”

And how T-Pain came to capitalize on the Auto-Tune technology.

According to Fast Company,

“We were like, what the hell do we do? Do we tell Pain, ‘Don’t use Auto-Tune anymore?'” says his manager, Michael Blumstein of Chase Entertainment. (Note: When you’re on a first-name basis with T-Pain, just call him Pain.) But no. The man had found a niche, an identity. “It just got to a point where, from a business standpoint, you’ve got to capitalize on it. It’s sitting right there in front of you.”

In 2009 the “I am T-Pain” app was released and sold more than 2 million units at $3 a piece.  Both T-Pain and Antares (the company that licensed the software) made a nice profit.

T-Pain has since split with Antares and developed his own software with a company called iZotope.  The software sells for $99 and is called the T-Pain Effect.

He has a new toy microphone out on the market for $40 called I Am T-Pain.

According to the article:

“… Auto-Tune has become a catchall verb, like Photoshopping. So T-Pain’s task is to change the lexicon one more time, to own it outright. “I drop the software off to every studio I go to,” he says. “I know Wayne’s using it. Kanye’s using it. Drake thought about it. There’s a lot of people, man. I love it. I love it. It’s all-out war.””


YouTube to Advertisers: We Help Build Brands

Publication: The New York Times

Title: YouTube Makes the Case That It Helps Build Brands

Article by: Claire Cain Miller

In an effort to drive up advertising profits, YouTube is trying to make a case for brands to utilize online video to reach customers.  YouTube has been trying to drive up revenue for the past two years, but the trouble is that, according to the New York Times, “Advertisers spend just $2.2 billion on all online video ads, compared with $60.5 billion on television ads, according to eMarketer…”

YouTube is now trying to attract advertisers by setting itself apart from television through highlighting the “social elements” of YouTube.

“Mr. Watson [of YouTube] said that all ads on YouTube would eventually be video ads for brands. Unlike television, YouTube incorporates social elements by inviting viewers to choose whether they watch, share or create their own videos about advertisers’ products. And YouTube, he said, had both global reach and the ability to target an ad to 20-something men who live near a pizza shop.”

There are several brands that have taken the risk with YouTube already and showed that they really have an advantage through the partnership.  Brands have asked for user-submitted content that involves their product in some fashion and have used it in ads or campaigns online.  The brands say it makes the experience more authentic because it is user-generated and the consumers are really driving the campaigns through their experiences using the product.  In some cases it seems the product is almost secondary to the experience or story of the consumer.

“GoPro, which makes mountable cameras for taking pictures while doing active sports, trolls for videos shot with its camera on YouTube and, with the users’ permission, edits them to show on its YouTube channel and in its online and TV ads. One video, watched six million times in two days, showed a buck leaping across a mountain biker’s trail in Africa and knocking him to the ground.

“The content ends up selling the cameras,” said Stephen Baumer, GoPro’s chief technology officer. “These consumers, to our delight, are advertising on our behalf.””

Liz Claiborne Sells Several Brands

Publication: The New York Times

Title: Liz Claiborne Sells Portfolio of Brands

Article by: Evelyn M. Rusli


In an effort to cut its debt load, Liz Claiborne announced that it is selling several of its brands.

Among the brands that have been sold are its namesake brand and Monet to J.C. Penney, and Kensie moving to Bluestar Alliance.  In addition, the Dana Buchman brand was recently sold to Kohl’s.  These sales will generate $328 million in cash proceeds, the company said.

In August Liz Claiborne sold a group of fragrance licenses to Elizabeth Arden, and in September they sold Mexx brand to a joint venture let by Gores Group.

With all of the changes, including the loss of the Liz Claiborne brand, the group will rebrand itself and look to capture their remaining brands within the new corporate name.  The remaining brands are Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, and kate spade- all of which have remained strong brands for the Liz Claiborne portfolio.

Kutcher Promotes Tech Investments on “Two and a Half Men”

Publication: Mashable

Title: Ashton Kutcher Promotes His Tech Investments on “Two and a Half Men”

Article by: Ben Parr

Ashton Kutcher has been an avid investor in many social media tech startups.  He’s also one of the most influencial celebrities on Twitter.  He’s now been using his new spot on “Two and a Half Men” to give some exposure to these companies.  On the last episode of the show, he had stickers all over the cover of his laptop from companies such as Foursquare, GroupMe, Hipmunk, Chegg and Flipboard.

It’s likely that these social media startups were hoping for this sort of mainstream exposure when they made deals with Kutcher.  However, it’s been reported that CBS didn’t like him promoting these companies for free.  They’ve responded that for future episodes these stickers will be obscured.

It’s Official: The Nets Are Now the Brooklyn Nets

Publication: The New York Times

Title: Jay-Z Makes ‘Brooklyn Nets’ Name Official

Article by: Howard Beck


Jay-Z officially announced that the New Jersey Nets will now be the Brooklyn Nets today in Downtown Brooklyn.  Jay-Z who is part owner of the franchise, made the announcement  in front of the construction site across Atlantic Avenue that will soon be known as the Barclays Center and the Nets home beginning this Fall.

The announcement was not surprising, but it did put rumors of  possible rebranding to “Brooklyn Ballers” or “Brooklyn Knights.”  There is some concern over being called the “Brooklynettes”…



Canadian Club Gets in on ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Promotions

Publication: Dowd’s Spirits Notebook

Title: Canadian Club celebrates ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Article by: William Dowd


In another promotion for the second season of “Boardwalk Empire,” Canadian Club is selling a limited edition bottle/flask set to go with the season premiere this Sunday at 9pm.

The package includes a 750 ml bottle of Canadian 6 year old whisky and a silver flask with the Boardwalk Empire logo etched on it.  It sells for $13.99.  The set also includes a few cocktail recipes:



1½ parts Canadian Club 6 Year Old

4 parts club soda

Add ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. Stir.



1½ parts Canadian Club 6 Year Old

1½ parts Dubonnet Rouge

Orange peel for garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a small wheel of orange peel.



1 part Harvey’s Bristol Cream

2 parts Canadian Club 6 Year Old

2 dashes Orange Bitters

Maraschino cherry for garnish

Shake Harvey’s Bristol Cream, Canadian Club and bitters with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a lowball glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Vodka + Wine = Absolut’s “Tune”

Publication: Dowd’s Spirits Notebook

Title: Absolut testing vodka-wine hybrid

Article by: William Dowd

According to Dowd’s Spirits Notebook, Absolut is testing “Tune, a “sparkling fusion” of vodka and white wine” for a limited time in Australia.

The blend is 60% Absolut vodka and 40% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

A spokesperson for the vodka brand stated the new concoction has

“fresh tropical fruits with a balanced sweetness through the front- and mid-palate which is brought to life through the bubbles … with a persistent medium strength Absolut vodka flavor and balanced sweetness leading on to a dry finish.”