Everyone’s Favorite Female Superhero is Out of the Closet, No One is Surprised.

Wonder Woman is Queer, Duh.

By Maddie Migis

wonderwoman

It has just been announced, by the current head writer of the popular Wonder Woman comic Greg Rucka, that the main character (known both as Wonder Woman and Diana) is queer (Karlan). Bisexual, to be more precise. This move is simply a happy admittance of a very solid backstory and rationale for the character’s LGBT status: she grew up on a planet that consisted of only women. This place is referred to as an “Amazonian Paradise,” of course, with no men (Prudom). The creators of the comic book ascertain that of course, growing up without men, Diana is attracted to women. She’s also attracted to men, however, as bisexuality is not a concept on her home planet, and does not hold a social stigma or any other type of societal penalty.

While some LGBT individuals might wish for this man-less planet full of Amazonian bisexual women, others are just thankful that LGBT characters are finally getting to have a say, in the open, about LGBT people. As a demographic that makes up a huge segment of the market, it’s good that DC Comics is finally thinking about that market. Though Wonder Woman’s identity feels like a perfect, if not logical fit due to her upbringing and heritage, it’s a welcome addition to the comic book universe. Male superheroes and their macho personality traits leave little room for the few female heroes to take charge, let alone be visible. Wonder Woman’s identity is a win not just because she’s a hardcore female hero who could take Superman any day, but because she can now serve as a role model for LGBT youth. Rucka says that they’re not pushing an agenda with this decision, it’s just a fact that has never been publicly acknowledged (Karlan). DC made a great, albeit accidental, move that comes just before the June 2017 release of Wonder Woman’s own movie. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Sources Cited:

Karlan, S. (2016, September 29). DC Comics Writer Confirms Wonder Woman Has Had Relationships With Other Women. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from https://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/wonder-woman-is-totally-bisexual-confirms-dc-comics-writer?utm_term=.ofL0eXYw6#.uoAMKj0dr

Prudom, L. (2016, September 29). Wonder Woman is bisexual, and it’s NBD. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://mashable.com/2016/09/29/wonder-woman-bisexual-greg-rucka/#1msNFy1jXaqz

Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Clinton’s “Between Two Ferns” Grabs Millennial Attention

With mixed reactions but millions of views, was Hillary’s “Funny Or Die” appearance good or bad for her reputation with young Americans?

By Maddie Migis
@maddiemigis

“Funny or Die,” a popular comedy sketch website that often works with celebrities. Zach Galifianakis is a popular funny boy and sometimes host of the segment “Between two Ferns,” where he awkwardly interviews celebrities in the most deadpan, straight-faced and uncomfortable way possible. This edition of his popular segment was different because it wasn’t just awkward, it was really awkward, cringe-worthy even. So awkward, that Clinton even says, in the interview, “I really regret doing this.” Galifianakis asks Clinton questions that not only infuriate her but also make him look really dumb.

The segment isn’t a total flop, but you could cut the tension with a knife. From the beginning, Clinton feels uncomfortable, like she’s already regretting the interview in its entirety. The questions are so awkward in fact, that Clinton just stares, angrily, at Galifianakis as he continues pelting her with sexist, outdated, and even weird questions. Clinton totally isn’t having it, and it makes you wonder why she agreed to this in the first place. But then again, she totally beats Galifianakis at his own deadpan, awkward game.

It’s definitely a weird segment, and it’s not a huge win for Hillary, but it might help get some love from the millennial demographic she tries so hard to appeal to. To me, she comes off cold and out of touch, but to others, that might not be so. Either way, her campaign is loving the segment, and is tweeting it regularly.

Either way, the video has gotten many millions of views and it has gotten the Internet talking about Clinton. So was it a win for her? Maybe. Was it a win for Zach Galifianakis? Probably not.

Sources Cited:
Kanski, Allison. “Hillary Clinton Looks for Millennial Voters ‘Between Two Ferns'” PR Week. PR Week US, 22 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. <http://www.prweek.com/article/1409826/hillary-clinton-looks-millennial-voters-between-two-ferns>.

Tweet courtesy of @HillaryClinton

 

Taco Bell Gets the Millennial Market: Pop Up Arcade in NY

taco-bell-arcade-hed-2016
Taco Bell’s VR Arcade. Image courtesy of AdWeek

I want to get it out there and say that Taco Bell has one of my favorite brand presences. I can probably count the times I have eaten there on one hand (seriously, gross food) but amazing branding. And while I can’t say I’ll be eating any Taco Bell soon, I talk about their brand all the time. Their Instagram is probably one of the best in the business, and their social overall is trendy in the best kind of way.

Taco Bell doesn’t seem to be slowing their roll on social, as they staged a pop up Virtual Reality Arcade in SOHO, New York, open today and tomorrow, September 16th and 17th (Ad Week). The arcade is part of an ongoing collaboration with Sony, which is launching its Playstation VR later this year, and Taco Bell, which was promoting a new menu item, the Cheddar Habanero Quesarito (Berg).

The whole space is set to be a playground for social media, and great for both brands’ images. The arcade includes a station where visitors can make taco-themed GIFs, snap pictures of taco art, and taste free samples of a few menu items, including the Cheddar Habanero Quesarito that Taco Bell is promoting. A product  by USA Today’s Ted Berg recieved rave reviews, saying “The Cheddar Habanero Quesaritos mark the unveiling of yet another version of a spicy cheese sauce, and this one, too, is excellent. Complementing the traditional melted cheese in the quesadilla part of the Quesarito, it packs legit heat and melty, cheesy goodness” (Berg). That’s pretty high praise for Mexican fast food.

Overall, as a brand, Taco Bell has great PR. Their brand content is fun, refreshing and eye-catching. Their use of colors, graphic images, and of course, tacos, appeals to Millennials in ways that few brands do. And while their amazing brand image hasn’t made me want to start eating there, I use them as a source of inspiration for how fun and exciting content can be, even tho

Wells Fargo Goes too Far: Bashes Arts in Ad for Teens

by Maddie Migis
@maddiemigis

When the arts lose, everyone loses. But, a lot of talk recently has focused on the lack of people entering STEM fields, and many job vacancies. But when Wells Fargo published ads promoting their Teen Day event, people took up arms for the arts.

WellsFargo
Image courtesy of Forbes

The first ad reads “A ballerina yesterday. An Engineer today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” The other reads “An actor yesterday. A botanist today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.

The public, especially artists, reacted exactly how Wells Fargo wouldn’t want them to: withdrawing their money from their bank. Wells Fargo, it appears, was unaware artists could make money until all the artists took their money somewhere else.

Other artists suggested a permanent and noteworthy change to The Music Man, a musical (with actors, directors, dancers, stage technicians, etc.) that features a Wells Fargo Wagon.

To make it worse, Wells Fargo had THIS to say:

That little quib at the end about $93 million dollars seems like too little, too late, Wells Fargo. And also, where them numbers at? You need to show your publics in PR you care, not just tell them that you care. The brand hasn’t tweeted anything else since. It’s safe to say they might be a little concerned about what they’re going to say next.

They haven’t posted anything but their initial apology, so there’s no knowing how they will try to recover their image or their many artistic clients. But I would guess Wells Fargo has some apologizing to do. I would recommend setting up a charity or separate fund devoted to encouraging and helping young artist achieve their goals, despite financial setbacks, or even a new ad campaign targeted at success that isn’t based on whether or not a teen wants to pursue an artistic career.

 

Sources Cited:
Willingham, Emily. “Wells Fargo Encourages Budding Actors to Be Botanists And Then Apologizes.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 Sept. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/09/04/wells-fargo-encourages-budding-actors-to-become-botanists-and-apologizes/#57851bb4a56c>.

Reinstein, Julia. “People Are Saying This Wells Fargo Ad Discourages Teens From Pursuing Arts.” BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed News, 03 Sept. 2016. Web. 03 Sept. 2016. <https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/o-ho-the-wells-fargo-wagon-is-a-comin-down?bftw&utm_term=.lujYGyog3#.dlpwKv9o6>.

 

 

Mylan Majorly Messes Up: My Take on Another Big Pharma Goof

by Maddie Migis
@maddiemigis

When the price of Mylan’s EpiPen skyrocketed late this summer, the public fought back. EpiPens are essential to many who suffer from severe allergic reactions, and a 400% price increase raising the cost of the pen to $600 made the pen—a necessity to many—inaccessible (Arenstein, PR News).

Why did Mylan raise the price of the Epipen by 400%? We really don’t know, and Mylan still hasn’t told consumers why. What we do know is that when Mylan acquired the Epipen, the cost was $57 (Willingham, Forbes). We also know about CEO Heather Bresch, now lovingly referred to as the “pharma sis” to Martin Skhreli’s “pharma bro” has also benefitted from a hefty salary increase, no surprise there.

The public, still stewing from big pharma’s own frat boy Martin Shkreli’s heinous and greedy price raise in an equally important drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 overnight, responded appropriately (Mclean, CNN). Needless to say, Mylan couldn’t have picked a worse time to raise a drug price. But let’s be real, any time would be a bad time to raise the price of such an essential medicine. Denying access to the EpiPen evokes images of a six-year-old, sitting at his lunch table, going into anaphylactic shock after taking a bite of his friend’s pb & j. Mylan, you goofed, big time.

Mylan has already released a hefty discount coupon that reduces “50% off list price” for patients without insurance. But is it enough? I don’t think so. The press release on their media newsroom talks big—and promises a lot of things, including a claim that most people will pay nothing out of pocket on their insurance plans, but they still aren’t planning on lowering the price. Instances like this remind people how greedy pharmaceutical companies can be. It leaves a bad taste in anyone’s mouth to hear that the EpiPen, a product that can, in some situations, mean the difference between life or death, is no longer affordable to most uninsured—or even some insured—people. Mylan claims it has worked with insurance companies, but I can’t believe it.

As someone who grew out of an allergy to ants and bees, I can say my family still paid a large out-of-pocket cost for my EpiPen two-packs (because this is something you should have two of… they’re that important) despite my father’s excellent health insurance.

mylanepipen

Mylan might find themselves in a proverbial pickle, as many angry consumers posted a meme, showing prices upwards of $600 at most pharmacies, and the cost of an Epinephrine vial and a 1 cc syringe, the same medicine, without the “pen” would come out to a mere $10. While not a feasible option to all, I’m sure many will now ask their doctors to teach them how to administer the shots and save a lot of money.

Mylan’s epic pharma fail also leaves room for the FDA and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to encourage other companies attempting to bring a reasonable EpiPen competitor to the market (Arenstein, PR News). Either way, I hope that the greedy mistake Mylan made with their EpiPen price spike tanks the company. And it just may—last week, the price of Mylan’s stock had already dropped 11%.

 

Sources Cited

An image of the EpiPen prices at pharmacies, compared with the cost of an Epinephrine injection and syringe. Digital image. Reddit. Allergic2Shellfish, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Arenstein, Seth. “Digging Deeper on the EpiPen Crisis.” PR News Blog. PR News, 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Mclean, Robert. “Martin Shkreli on Drug Price Hike: ‘$1 Billion Here We Come'” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 3 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

“Mylan Taking Immediate Action to Further Enhance Access to EpiPen® (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Auto-Injector.” MediaRoom. Mylan, 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Willingham, Emily. “Why Did Mylan Hike EpiPen Prices 400%? Because They Could.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.