Category Archives: ENTERTAINMENT

Advertisers Need to Go Back to School

It’s that time once again.  Time for students to go back to school.  Time for parents to spend money on supplies, fees and yes, clothes for their children.  Time for companies to vie for both the parents’ and kids’ attention. Every Fall, the back to school rush its television, radio and all possible media streams.

This year I cannot think of one advertisement that stood out besides one grocery store’s BOGO deal on school supplies.  I received an e-mail last week from a retailer that instead of highlighting their children’s line, offered 20% on adult styles.  Hmmm…

When it comes time for me to think of school shopping, one advertisement comes to mind every year…The JCPenney commercial from 2004 with Alyson Stoner.  The ad features a stylish bobble head and several adolescents doing an array of hip hop dance moves.  The tune is catchy and the children are showing off their clothes with style in the classroom and lunchroom.  While the children are various ethnicities, the style of their dance moves transcends into what’s in and essentially…cool.

While particular clothing brands may not have stood out, it appeared that JCPenney was the place to shop for cool kids.  Fast forward nine years.  There are more ways than ever to reach the target audience, including social media.  With so many retailers to choose from, how are companies standing out (if they even are)?


BlackBerry Juice

Has BlackBerry gotten their "juice" back?

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Apple and Samsung have all but taken over the cell phone industry.  You will see a sprinkle of LG here and a sliver of Pantech there, but for the most part, these two large makers have the industry on lock.  What about BlackBerry?  I remember if you had a BlackBerry for work, that meant you had arrived.  Not everyone was allowed to have one, only management.  Now, my 11-year-old son is saving his money to get rid of it and get a “better” phone.  Sales in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom dropped by 53 percent third quarter last year from a year earlier to $949 million, according to a December 21 company filing.

For the past few years cell phone makers have designed and redesigned their products several times over.  It seems like there is a phone that will cater to each person, personality and business need.  Somehow the once coveted BlackBerry lost its juice.  It kept its signature keypad while others were switching to touch screens.  They lagged behind on technology.  Simply put, they didn’t move with the times.

Last month at the BlackBerry 10 launch, RIM (Research in Motion), BlackBerry’s parent company named Alicia Keys as the Global Creative Director.  Yes, Alicia Keys the singer.  Hmm,  didn’t see that coming.  Her role will entail working with app creators, retailers and the entertainment community.  I’ve thought about this.  Why Alicia Keys?  I know she’s talented but what does she bring to the table?

Well, Keys brings to the table what BlackBerry lags.   She has several factors working for her.  One, she fits the new demographics…young, vibrant and is constantly on the go.  This is digital share-all society.  Cell phones are not just for emergencies.  They’re for ordering food through apps, Tweeting, playing Temple Run and yes, even working.  Another plus for Keys: her appeal isn’t limited stateside.  She actually is global, doing humanitarian work in Africa and performing everywhere from the United Kingdom to Portugal.  Lastly, she is the ALICIA KEYS!  Since her debut album in 2001, she has managed to stay relevant and in the public eye.  Keys is a coveted vocalist, activist and remains a hot commodity.

She has mass marketing appeal.  Old, young, black, white, American, Asian and everyone in between, Alicia Keys has a spark.  However, is that spark enough to convert faithful Apple and Samsung users?  Only time will tell if BlackBerry’s got their juice back…

We want to hear from you!  What are your thoughts around the direction BlackBerry is taking?

Thirst for Multicultural TV Satisfied Online


It’s no secret that there’s a dearth of multicultural roles in Hollywood on either the big screen or silver screen. Even J.J. Abrams’ vision of Middle Earth (“Lord of the Rings,” from J.R.R Tolkein) was populated by only milky-skinned faeries and hobbits, wizards and knights. But this dilemma has not stopped homegrown content creators from producing their own programming. For distribution, sites such as YouTube and Vimeo allow users to create Channels that perfectly house episodic content and grow audiences through subscriptions.

There are several web series gaining millions of views from their respective demos, and attention from potential advertisers. Most recently, Issa Rae’s “Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” has exploded, averaging 180,000 views per episode and currently has over 12MM channel views.[1] Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of primetime gems “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” recently greenlit another Rae spinoff “I Hate LA Dudes.”[2] Donnie Leapheart’s “Osiris” won the “Best Web Series at the 2012 American Black Film Festival.[3] Latino web series “East Willy B” centers Willy Jr. who struggles to keep his Bushwick bar afloat amidst gentrification. The series has some heavy hitters on both sides of the camera, and earned 100,000+ views in its first 6-episode pilot thus far.

The term “web series” no longer equates to a few teens recording pranks on their mobile phones in a poorly lit room. Some online shows tackle serious issues with HD production value and quality. Even the author of this article has produced a Mommy-centric web series entitled “Mommy UNcensored™: Confessions of a Real Mom,” based on his wife’s adventures through motherhood. This wild comedy tackles the serious challenges that motherhood poses upon a woman’s body, marriage and social life.

Networks are getting in on the fun, too. The Comcast-owned TV channel Mun2 is set to produce 3 web series targeting the Latino demographic.[4] With the pioneering of Internet TV colliding with emerging smart TV technology that streams the web, it’s only a matter of time before these web series jump from YouTube to the Silver Screen.

By Justin Jordan, Sr. Art Director

African American Influence Worldwide

It’s Olympic time once again.  The time when the best of the best come together to represent their country and compete for the coveted hardware.  Countries that have been around for centuries, honoring tradition are now taking lessons from the new kid on the block.

Yes, I’m talking about the United States.  Granted, the U.S. has been around for hundreds of years but that pales in comparison to China, which has been around since the B.C. times.

Yet and still, the African American influence resonates worldwide.  On Sunday, the Chinese men’s national basketball team did the Soulja Boy dance to get hyped before the game against Spain.  What’s the big deal?  Well, let’s digress.

Along with being one of the youngest countries, the United States’ African American population is really just beginning to gain notoriety and their spending power recognized (see previous post “The Power of the Black Dollar”).

At the time that Soulja Boy’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” was release, he was 16.  By 2010, he ranked #18 on the Forbes list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings, earning $7 million that year.  Did I mention that the single was originally self-published on the internet?

Back to the big deal.  The Chinese men’s basketball team represented their country at the 2012 Olympic Games in sport but at the same time showed the World, at the largest and top venue for world, that they’re paying attention to the African American culture.

African American influence has transcended the seas and continues to influence worldwide.

Steve Harvey’s “Think Like A Man” Goes #1

IMAGES USA would like to congratulate comedian, radio host, philanthropist, best-selling author and our long-time collaborator Steve Harvey on the opening weekend success of his movie Think Like A Man. The film is based on Steve’s first book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, which was released in 2009 and spent over 64 weeks on the New York Times’ Best-Seller list.

Think Like A Man’s opening weekend grossing eclipsed the $33 million-mark, knocking off box office titan Hunger Games for the #1 spot. A Big congrats from IMAGES USA!


Have you seen Act Like A Man? Share your thoughts! Comment below or Tweet us at @IMAGESUSA

What NOT To Do in Social Media – IMAGES 2012 Client E-Summit

Continuing to entertain, showcase our in-house talent and encourage our clients/ partners to log on for IMAGES USA’s digital client summit, we have two more teasers giving a preview to one of many topics we’ll cover as we discuss Decoding Digital: Branding in a New Language.

IMAGES USA Would like to invite all clients to join us online on Thursday, March 29th from 10:30AM – 3:30PM EST.

In acknowledgment of the increased influence of the digital space in the ad industry, IMAGES USA has decided to host our first E-Summit. We will share insights on new and innovative ways to reach consumers online, digital strategies, and insights on social media engagement.

*IMAGES USA Clients exclusively

RSVP by sending an email to


At IMAGES USA, we leverage our staff members’ strengths to grow them personally and as professionals. After surveying our team earlier this year during one of our internal retreats, it became very clear that we have a group of young professionals with strong skills sets and ties in the entertainment and music industry.

To capitalize on this as well as gain insights into new industry trends in the digital space, we sent Simon Trabelsi, Account Executive/Social Media Strategist and Russell Trotter, Account Executive to the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. Recently returned to Atlanta, they’ve already shared a wealth of their insights with our staff and we’re looking forward to using them to continue to serve our clients.

Simon and Russell will shortly share their experiences with our readers via this blog, from digital insights and interviews to footage and tales of their crazy journey to Austin. Stay tuned!!