2 words: Iron Maiden


May 31, 2019

Today, Big oil beats climate change, and The North Face pulled something rather strange, but first…
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The price of a novelty act: Iron Maiden sues video game over trademark infringement

Run to the hills — Iron Maiden, the legacy rock band that spanned 40 years and once filled arenas with 60k+ people, is suing video game company 3D Realms to the tune of $2m.

The band is suing the video game developer turned publisher over its new game, “Ion Maiden,” which the band describes as “incredibly blatant” trademark infringement.

They’re not wrong…

Ion Maiden’s skull icon is similar to the band’s mascot, its insignia mildly resembles the band’s classic “steel cut” font, and the name of the game’s protagonist, Shelley Harrison, is similar to that of the band’s chief songwriter, Steve Harris.

But the metal monger’s biggest issue is that the game is similar to the band’s own video game, “Legacy of the Beast,” and it argues that 3D Realms’ game would confuse consumers into believing Ion Maiden was endorsed by the musicians. 

Some bands will do anything to avoid the ‘state fair’ tour

Iron Maiden’s case follows another recent novelty rock act’s trademark infringement case. 

In May, Guns N’ Roses sued a Colorado craft brewery over a beer named Guns ‘N’ Rosé, saying the name has caused them “irreparable damage” to their band — yeah… unlikely.

In Guns ‘n’ Roses’ case, the band has far more to gain financially by suing than it does with a partnership.

But there’s more shades to the Iron Maiden dispute

First off, anyone who has been to a Hot Topic knows enough about Iron Maiden’s aesthetic to see the similarities, but, other than the name, the similarities aren’t glaringly obvious. 

Yet 3D Realms wrote off the allegations on Twitter as “frivolous” —  arrogant much? Why not just admit there was inspiration behind it?

That said, the band’s name originated from a medieval torture device, and we aren’t seeing any royalties for the descendants of the blacksmith who built the first iron maiden death casket, are we?

Run for your lives
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The numbers are in… and Broadway’s back, baybeee

Broadway recently released some ovation-worthy box office stats — this past year, show attendance increased 9.5% (to an unprecedented 14.7m) and gross box office revenue rose 10.3%, for a record $1.8B.

In fact, attendance way outshone all 10 NY and NJ pro sports teams put together (hang in there, theater geeks — your day will come). 

It’s a remarkable rebound for an industry feared to be dying as early as the ’70’s — pulled off thanks to rising tourism, a variety of offerings (38 in total), and longer show runs. 

Something for everyone

This year’s wide range of performances drew in the full spectrum of attendees. 

Stars of the show included Hamilton (shocker), To Kill a Mockingbird, Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — In fact, our boy Harry P set a record for annual gross sales. (… AND he can act?? Talk about well-rounded.)

More butts in town to put in seats

The smash numbers were also aided by a record-breaking year for NYC tourism, since visitors make up 63% of show attendees. 

That rumbling sound you hear is NYC residents grumbling about Times Square slow-walkers.

» Take a bow

The North Face-plant: Turns out hacking Wikipedia isn’t good native advertising

Earlier this week, The North Face got burned for replacing Wikipedia images from Scotland to Brazil with North Face-branded photos.

It was a shocking flub from a company normally known for corporate responsibility — but it also shows ads have gotten so “native” that advertisers themselves don’t know what’s branded and what’s not.

Collaboration or vandalism?

The North Face and ad partner Leo Burnett proudly announced the campaign in a video called “Top of Images.” 

“We did what no one has done before,” the promo video claimed. “We hacked the results to reach … the top of the world’s largest search engine — paying absolutely nothing just by collaborating with Wikipedia.”

But no one had actually consulted Wikipedia — which quickly responded by saying, “What they did was akin to defacing public property.”

In the age of the influencer, everything is an ad

The North Face, Leo Burnett, and Ad Age — which originally labeled the campaign an “editor’s pick” — were so hungry for novel native advertising that none recognized the entire premise was a flagrant violation of Wikipedia’s common-sense branding policies.

Influencer marketing has blurred the boundaries between branded and organic content — and opportunistic advertisers want a piece of the pie.

But there’s hope yet: Members of Wiki’s volunteer community smelled the branded bullsh*t and edited out the North Face logos almost immediately. 

» North Face-palm

Facepalm: Exxon and Chevron shareholders nix climate change proposals

In recent years, big oil companies have faced pressure to get more aggressive on climate change prevention. But with every step forward, it seems they take 20 steps back. And on Wednesday, it happened again.

Resolutions pushing ExxonMobil and Chevron to act on the prevention of global warming were almost unanimously defeated at their annual shareholder meetings.

*big, long, exasperated ‘sigh’*

At Exxon’s meeting, a proposal to create a special board committee on climate change died with just 7.4% support.

Chevron’s meeting had a similar outcome, where roughly 92% opposed creating a new board committee, and 67% opposed cutting emissions “in alignment” with the Paris agreement.

*even bigger, longer, more exasperated ‘sigh’*

The climate-related proposals were rejected by investors speaking for most of the 2 oil giants’ shares because, naturally, they stand to make the most money by continuing to eat the earth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

That said, the initiative at Exxon to remove CEO Darren Woods as chairman of the board saw an uptick in minority support, which Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church of England, described as “a warning shot to management” reflecting “profound dissatisfaction” among investors.

» A silver lining covered in oil
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Dad, meet wallet → shower thoughts
  1. If an object is large enough, it becomes a location
  2. You don’t appreciate the significance of a single piece of toilet paper until you’re down to the last one
  3. If someone is funny in your dream, you are the one that actually is funny
  4. Having your significant other as your homescreen is this generation’s version of keeping a picture of them in your wallet
  5. The Hulk’s superpower is turning into a scientist
  6. via Reddit
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