Do you guys remember "balloon boy?" He and his family are my most vivid memory of a PR stunt gone wrong - and WOW it went way wrong - but probably not in the way you think.
The story most of us know is that the family faked the boy accidentally taking off in a home-made balloon when he had been hiding in the attic the whole time. They were turned into memes, there was jail time involved, and tons of fines. That all sounds pretty bad, but it turns out that story may be a PR spin in and of itself.
There's evidence to suggest the whole thing was a legitimate accident and the family really didn't know the boy wasn't in the balloon, but the city needed to save face. That "saving face" involved threats of deportation (mom is Japanese), tormenting the family with endless interrogation, separating the children and questioning them illegally, and divulging false information to the media. For example, police officers told reporters that the family called the news stations for attention and then called the police. Records prove that the family first called military air service, then the police and called the media last - they were trying to secure a helicopter that could track the balloon. There's a lot more to the story, but we might never know the truth; only that it was a PR disaster the whole way around.
Reddit user u/Swordsy50 asked:
Kick back and enjoy some serious shenanigans, courtesy of Reddit and corporate fail whale fantasticness.
When LifeLock's CEO put his social security number on the side of a truck to show how secure their service was.
He ended up getting his identity stolen 13 times and the company got fined 12 million dollars for deceptive advertising.
That Backfired Quickly
I'd have to go with the time Bill Cosby's twitter account tried to get people to turn his face into a meme. The linked a meme generator with a picture of Cosby's face. This resulted in #cosbymeme with lots of posts about his assault allegations, which were really coming to a head right around the same time.
Has to be the Pepsi Points / Harrier Jet situation.
Pepsi had one of those "points" promotions going in the 90s (collect points, redeem them for crap). Pepsi had an ad that said that for 7,000,000 Pepsi points, you could get a Harrier jet. The jet was worth ~$33m . The contest rules said you could buy points for 10 cents a piece. Sooo, for a cool $700k, you could potentially get the jet.
Someone tried to do just that, and sued when Pepsi wouldn't comply
Kendall Jenner's Shameful Secret
That new-ish Proactive campaign with Kendall Jenner. She pretended to have some dark, shameful secret and revealing it was going to be this big, empowering thing. Then the day came and it turned out she just had acne. That was easily the dumbest thing I've ever seen.
When Taylor Swift let the internet vote on what school she would perform at, and the top voted school was "Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing."
Taylor Swift discussed doing a gig, but between her and the school decided to donate money instead, she also gave the students of the school tickets for her next local concert. So all in all a pretty good reaction to a bit of internet trolling and a win for all concerned :)
Balloon Fest in Cleveland in 1986 put on by United Way. Who knew that launching 1.5 million balloons would cause havoc around the city and lead to two deaths? There was a boat accident and authorities couldn't find the survivors because the balloons covered the water.
Dan v. Dave
Reebok launched the "Dan vs Dave" campaign in the 90's for the Olympics hyping up who is the greatest athlete in the world Dan O'Brien or Dave Johnson. The commercials were non stop. They were decathlon athletes and clear favorites. It was always a major risk to sink so much time and money into a sport barely anyone watched. It became a nightmare for Reebok when O'Brien failed to even qualify to make the Olympics. Johnson only won bronze.
That time Snapple tried to have a fucking world record sized popsicle in NYC in the beginning of summer?
Guess what happened. Just guess.
An article about it said:
"What was unsettling was that the fluid just kept coming," Stuart Claxton of the Guinness Book of World Records told the Daily News. "It was quite a lot of fluid. On a hot day like this, you have to move fast."
I'm f*cking crying, that sounds equal parts horrifying and incredibly funny.
Telstra (Australian phone company), promoting Australian Idol winner, Casey Donovan, by linking to her website caseydonovan.com.au except they left off the au suffix and it introduced thousands of teenage fans to the world of gay US porn star Casey Donovan.
Not For Women
Anyone else remember Dr. Pepper's bizarre "It's Not for Women." campaign? They were trying to corner the men's diet soft drink market, so for their new product Dr. Pepper Ten, their ad campaign literally just explicitly stated "It's Not for Women." Like dude, c'mon, I get you want to market toward men, by why blatantly alienate half of your potential customer base??
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
WHERE TO BEGIN?!
The list is endless.
Half the time all it takes to be better is a little effort.
RedditorMidoriSpicewanted to hear about the lack of skills some people really need to acquire when it comes to sexy time. They asked:
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
I love sex. But it can be stressful. I've always found connection to be one of the best lessons.
CommunicationsGIF by HULUGiphy
"Assuming they already know what their partner wants/likes and doesn't communicate or take any instructions."
Take it Slow
"No foreplay and not caring if your partner is enjoying it."
"I had an ex who literally never wanted to do any kind of foreplay. He just wanted basically sex of any kind for him. He said oral on women was gross."
"Proposing mid intercourse."
"Honestly? With the partner I have, I'd think it was pretty hot and romantic lmao. I'd check in after the deed to make sure he was serious but our relationship is already very serious so it wouldn't be a big deal."
Talk to Me
"Not talking or making any noises. We don't have to dirty talk the whole time or even at all but you gotta let me know you're enjoying it at least."
"I think there's some balance between having some small talk, silence, and dirty talk while being in bed with someone. Or maybe that's just been my experience. I don't know--I think there's some fun in trying to carry a side conversation while having sex lol."
"Friction isn’t always a good thing."
YuckBored Larry Bird GIF by SB NationGiphy
"To this you can add unclipped fingernails."
"And dirty fingernails. Nah, ma'am. I’m betting this is not worth the infection. Thanks."
‘good at sex’
"I have a feeling most men will say 'lack of enthusiasm' and that most women will say 'being selfish about pleasure.'"
"I’m a woman and my first thought was lack of enthusiasm, but my own lack of enthusiasm. The only bad sex I’ve had is when I don’t genuinely want to be there. I’ve had sex with guys who weren’t ‘good at sex’ but still enjoyed it because I was really into them."
"They are convinced they know more about what works for you than you know yourself. Just cause your ex-lover Pat liked technique X doesn't mean everyone does."
"Have experienced this, it sucks. He wouldn’t listen to what I enjoyed, didn’t want me to say ANYTHING even if it hurt or wasn’t working, and would just say something along the lines of 'every other woman I’ve been with liked it.' I’m thinking, all you’ve had are one-night stands, really, so they probably didn’t say anything."
"I’ve had numerous partners and love sex. Crashed and burned with this one and he really crushed my self-esteem and sexual confidence."
"The biggest thing is always going to be selfishness and the inability/refusal to communicate and listen to your partner. I've seriously had a guy yell 'I KNOW HOW TO DO IT!' when I was trying to tell him how I liked whatever he was doing. He then got even more upset when I said 'did you just f**king yell at me? Alright, off, I'm done.'"
FlavorsAmanda Seales Wow GIF by truTVGiphy
"Lack of variety. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean crazy kinks or positions from the karma sutra, but more when it's really predicable. I has an ex that had this weird routine of positions, it was exactly the same every single f**king time in exactly the same order."
Sex. Let's be better at it.
Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Love is so elusive these days isn't it?
Who knows what anyone is looking for in the relationship department anymore.
It's all too exhausting.
But people we keep trying.
RedditorProblemNice5257wanted to hear why so many people are still on the hunt for that perfect one. They asked:
"Why are you single right now?"
I'm single because I've given up. And I'm good. For now.
PeaceSnoop Dogg Reaction GIFGiphy
"I put absolutely no effort into meeting someone."
"Same! Also it's extremely difficult when you feel so at peace being by yourself. The fact that I have to find someone whose presence outweighs my level of comfort being alone seems impossible."
"Hard to meet people when you are a hermit."
"Yeah, I describe myself as a shut-in, lol. I leave my apartment to work, I leave my apartment to buy food, and occasionally I’ll bring out the trash, otherwise I just watch Hulu, play online chess, surf Reddit."
"Same. I've spent months trying to find an apartment I can afford without a roommate and finally settled on a small studio apartment for $1100 a month because I'd rather living in a tiny space and be left the hell alone than share a much nicer place even with a good friend."
"I have too many unsolved issues, i can't in good conscience bring someone else into them."
"Idk your issues but everyone's got some crap. Not sure how unique yours are but everyone's got some crap. It's good to share some of your struggles with other people. Just don't open with it haha."
"Issues unresolved or not, (in my case) only makes it worse when you feel like you could open up to them, and they just take those to use it against yourself afterwards."
"I hardly go out and expose myself to people. I'm uncomfortable with the notion of myself being in a relationship at this point. Also, I'm very dry in terms of personality."
"I spent a year entirely isolated due to covid and now I can't handle physical contact. It makes me really uncomfortable and a hug is enough to make my body shut down. I'm hopeless."
truthCaptain America Lol GIF by mtvGiphy
"Supply chain issue."
"Best answer here."
That's funny. But it feels oddly true.
Ahhh...Think Winnie The Pooh GIFGiphy
"I'm attracted to many, and unattractive to all."
"Last relationship was so toxic, I've sworn off dating, at least for awhile. I haven't had this much free time in ages. It's nice."
"Edit: Hey, it's really great hearing from so many people with similar experiences. Like many of you, I've been taking it in stride and focusing on bettering myself, both physically and mentally. It's done wonders for my health and I feel a whole lot better. I wish y'all the very best. Stay excellent, my friends."
"I'm 35yr old single father to a 5yr old and I work nights. It's hard to find free time to meet someone, especially in my area. If I do have free time to myself, I like staying home and ordering a pizza while drinking some beers and playing video games. I pretty much faced the fact that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life."
"I was in an 8 year relationship (married for two) to my high school sweetheart. Exactly this same time last year, we got divorced because I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend. The best friend I had known LONGER than him and was friends with since fourth grade."
"She was living with us to try to get back on her feet. Yeah lol. So I lost my best friend and the man I had been with for 8 years within the same night. So I moved to another state, got an apartment by myself, and am now single and divorced all by 26. Not really looking unless the right person comes along."
"It’s pretty happy and peaceful now that they’re both out of my life though honestly. You realize people’s toxicity and flaws the most once you get space away from them."
Bad LoopSeth Meyers Whatever GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"Because my relationships end before they even begin."
"This is my story right here."
Alright. Now that we've laid out all the excuses, let's get to matching with some people.
There is no bigger mystery than what happens to us after we die.
But even those who don't practice an organized religion tend to believe that there is a Heaven, a happy joyful place where our souls will remain for eternity.
No two people share the same idea of what heaven would be like, but everyone who believes in it probably has an idea of the first thing they'd do after entering the pearly gates.
Redditor WeDidItGuyz was curious to hear what would be top on everyone's list upon entering the afterlife, leading them to ask:
"If heaven exists, what’s the first thing you’d do?"
Overcome with joy
"In all reality?"
"Probably cry for about 30 minutes because the biggest existential fear at the very core my humanity has now been lifted."
"If Heaven exists, like 50% of the awesomeness is just the very fact that it exists."heaven gate GIF by South Park Giphy
A re-match long in the making
"Ask my childhood friend Kevon for a race."
"He used to beat me handily when were younger (9-13) and he’d always brag."
"When I got older and faster I moved away so I was never able to race him again."
"We arranged for a race but he was shot multiple times and bound to a wheelchair until he passed a few years ago."
"I wanna race him both in our prime."- Abethegreat1
Reunite with loved ones
"Find my husband, give him a huge hug and never let go again."
"Live our forever together."
"I f*cking love him and miss him so much."- jessdfrench
"Embrace my sweet wife and tell her how proud I am of the kids."- RifleShower
"Try to find my brother."
"Man, I miss him."
"He died in 2020 at age 34."- grummlinds1
"Give my mum and dad a big hug."- goonerjack007Miss U GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
Achieve the "firsts" we never got to do
"Find my son and have a beer with him."
"Something we never got to do in real life."- tanukis_parachute
Hone new skills
"Try to play Smoke on the water on my harp."- Ashtar-the-Squid
The joy of doing nothing
"Rest."- BanzaikoowaidCare Free Black Girls GIF by AuroraDrawsGiphy
Live on without pain
"Enjoy my healthy back without pain."- Knackbein_
Who knows what's in store for us after our lives come to an end.
But living with the idea that something wonderful awaits when our time has come is all people need to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and treat others with the respect and kindness they deserve.
"Fun facts" generally refers to a tidbit of information about a specific topic which the general public might not have otherwise known about.
But the first word in that term can be misleading.
Indeed, some "fun facts" reveal information that isn't remotely "fun" in the slightes.
Redditor Alternative_kachocho was curious to hear some "fun facts" which were anything but fun, leading them to ask:
What's a 'fun fact' that isn’t fun at all?"
Ironically, something you likely don't think about...
"Your brain blocks you from feeling your organs moving around inside you."- Aydengeist06
Try watching Finding Nemonow...
"Only one in a thousand sea turtles born actually make it to adulthood."- Sebs_123
Shocking new light on an age old classic
"In the books, Stuart Little was never explicitly called a mouse."
"He's pretty much described as a deformed mouse-esque person born form human parents."- Red_Beard47stuart little mouse GIF by VIASAT3Giphy
Nature running it's course...
"There's a bird that feeds its younger offspring to the eldest."- Teacup_Cult
I have no allergies... yet
"Speaking from personal experience here, but your body can randomly decide to become allergic to damn near everything edible at any time."
"Not very fun."- smallemochick
Those poor, innocent creatures.
"In some regions of Australia, 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia, which poses a threat to the species' extinction unless a vaccine is created or widespread koala culling takes place."- tiffanyjcrusekoalas kiss GIFGiphy
They'd still be here if they weren't so delicious...
"The giant tortoise was so delicious, it caused not only itself to be hunted to extinction, but also the dodo."
"Giant tortoise meat was supposedly better tasting than chicken."
"It's fat tasted better spread on bread than butter."
"Also, it was the perfect food for sailors at the time, as their bladders stored 1 litre of purified water, and they could survive without food in hibernation for almost a whole year in the hull of a ship."
"Not to mention, because they evolved without humans, they were easy to hunt."
"You could tie one to your back, and roll another to the ship and they would just let you."
"It was so delicious, they went unrecorded for a long time because expeditions to bring living samples of wildlife to Europe kept eating them on the way."
"Conversely, the dodo, while as easily captured by sailors, tasted awful."
"It was completely unpalatable."
"HOWEVER, one day, someone discovered if you cooked dodo meat in the more delicious tortoise fat, it tasted just like chicken."
"So now, sailors were hunting a few tortoises at a time for their fat and water, storing them, and then hunting dodos on the daily."
"Overhunting, plus the introduction of rats to the environment (because sailors) which would eat eggs, led go the population to decline at a rate they could not breed to keep up, leading to both animals going extinct."- Kyhan
Don't forget the nose plugs
"Antarctica smells like penguin poop."
"Antarctica is a desert, it is too cold for bacteria to live."
"Nothing there to clean up penguin droppings."
"If you are close enough to see penguins, you will also smell them."- gummby8
Makes those long lines so worth it...
"The TSA missed 96% of contraband during an inspection in 2015."- omegasix321All Falls Down Tsa GIF by Kanye WestGiphy
"The person who had the first facial transplant had her face chewed up by her Labrador dog while asleep due to sleeping pill overdose." - User Deleted
It's hard not to read some of these "fun facts" and wonder if there should be an alternative term for the facts which aren't fun.
Oh yeah, probably not....