Friday, January 13, 2012

Whatever Happened To The Man With The Golden Voice

Ted Williams - The Homeless Man With The Golden Voice 

Remember the homeless guy with the deep voice who suddenly became an online phenomenon?
It was just a bit over a year ago, when Ted Williams, a homeless Columbus (Ohio) man with a golden, radio-friendly voice started garnering headlines and became an overnight sensation. A video of his, shot by the local newspaper "The Columbus Dispatch" had over 18 million hits and views, worldwide and was one of the "viral" stories of 2011.

The video propelled the 53-year-old into instant stardom, several job offers and makeover opportunities followed. Williams was living up to then in a tent, had a full rap sheet with arrests for drug abuse, theft and forgery and had even spent some time in prison.
But instant fame didn't come easy, it threw a curve ball at Williams and the recovering alcohol and drug addict entered rehab in South Texas. He quit rehab after two weeks and many wondered what will happen to the "man with the golden voice."
Two staffers of the US cable network Entertainment Television (ET) as well as talk show host Dr. Phil kept on persuading and counseling Ted and after a second stint at a rehab clinic, he became sober.

A year later, he's the voice of the New England Cable News (NECN), made a couple of commercials, is still sober, lives in a spacious house, where the walk-in closet doubles as a recording booth and has a girlfriend named Kathy. ET went and visited with the Man with the Golden Voice to catch up with him after a year.


His incredible story will soon (May 10) also be released in a new book "A Golden Voice: Ted Williams: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation."

Sources: Columbus Dispatch, Entertainment Television

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wo hat man mehr Spass - in den Philippinen oder in der Schweiz

Offizieller Poster fuer die Werbekampagne

"It's more fun in the Philippines" (Es ist lustiger, spassiger in den Philippinen) so wirbt das philippinische Touristendepartement seit letztem Freitag (1/6/2012 - Offizieller Link).

Das Ziel der Kampagne (kreiiert von der globalen Werbeagentur BBDO) ist einfach: dieses Jahr sollen 4.2 Millionen, bis 2016 zehn Millionen Touristen den Inselstaat besuchen. So will man die Besucherzahlen des letzten Jahres von rund 3.7 Millionen verbessern. 
Die Kampagne verbreitete sich wie ein Lauffeuer und Computer-Benuetzer steuerten ihre eigenen Mes dazu. Neben Unterstuetzung, hatten viele Spass an der Verballhornung der Kampagne.

In wenigen Stunden wuchs die Mem-Kampagne, dass sogar eine eigene, unoffizielle Facebook Seite gestartet wurde, wo die Mem-Kuenstler ihre Kreationen veroeffentlichen konnten. Die befuerwortenden Mems sind meist in der Minderzahl, die meisten Kreationen prangern soziale Ungerechtigkeit, Korruption und Missbrauch der Regierung und die Philippinen als Sex-Touristen-Land an.  
Aber der Adjunkt des Tourismus-Sekretaers, Benito Bengzon gab sich gelassen und wurde im Philippine Daily Inquirer wie folgt zitiert: "Dies ist ein Teil unserer Strategie, viral soll sie sich verbreiten. Das ganze wurde zum Trend, eine gute Indiz, dass wir in den sozialen Netzwerken auf Interesse stossen." 

Alte Anzeige -
Aber so neu ist die Kampagne nicht, jemand fand heraus, dass der Slogan "It's More Fun" 61jaehrig ist und 1951 bereits von der Schweiz adoptiert wurde; sich in der Sonne braeunen lassen, Skifahren und Entspanen waren die Themen damals. 
Also waren Bengzon und sein Boss, Tourismus-Sekretaer Ramon Jimenez Jr. erneut unter Beschuss. Eine erste Kampagne landete im Papierkorb, als herausgefunden wurde, dass der erste Slogan bereits von Polen in einer frueheren Werbeaktion gebraucht wurde. 
Jimenez verwarf den Vorwurf der Nachahmung und twitterte, dass sich der lokale BBDO Vorstandschef, David Guerrero eher "die Kehle aufschlitzen wuerde, als etwas zu kopieren."

Und weiter meinte er gegenueber dem  Philippine Star: "Der Slogan ist nicht fabriziert, dies ist einfach die Wahrheit unseres Landes. Lasst euch nicht von Leuten beeinflussen, die die Kampagne zu untergraben versuchen... niemand ist der Eigentuemer von "It's More Fun", aber es trifft auf unser Land zu und so wird es zu unserem Slogan."

Nun fuer mich als Schweizer, der den Spass der fruehen 50er Jahre nicht miterlebt hat, bleibt die Frage offen: "Hat man mehr Spass in der Schweiz oder in den Philippinen?" 

Quellen:, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is It More Fun In The Philippines Or In Switzerland

Official Poster for the ad campaign

"It's more fun in the Philippines" is the new slogan of the Filipino Department of Tourism and was announced last Friday (1/6/2012 - Official link).

The simple goal of the campaign (created by the worldwide ad agency BBDO) is to attract 4.2 million tourists this year and 10 million by 2016, up from only 3.7 million  who visited the island nation last year. 

But the campaign became immediately viral and computer users started having fun by chipping in, spoofing and/or bashing the new slogan. 

The meme campaign became so big in a couple of hours, that somebody already created a facebook page, where meme creators can post their own creations. The favorable and funny ones albeit in the minority, are overshadowed by artwork that shame social deficiencies, official corruption and abuse of power as well as the Philippines as a sex-tourism destination. 
But the Assistant Tourism Secretary, Benito Bengzon was pretty unruffled and was quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: "This is really part of our strategy, to let it go viral. It has been trending, a very good indication of the kind of interest we are generating in social networks." 

Old ad on sale -
Well somebody found out that the slogan was actually 61 years old, and already used by Switzerland in 1951, promoting sun-tanning, skiing and relaxing. So Bengzon and his boss, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. were under fire again. The reason, a first campaign was already tossed, after one found out that Poland had used the same slogan in an earlier campaign
Jimenez rejected the new copycat allegations  and tweeted that local BBDO chairman, David Guerrero would rather "slit his throat than copy something."

And according to the Philippine Star he added: "The line isn't a manufactured slogan. It is simply the truth about our country. Don't be swayed by people who are trying to punch holes in it... No one can own the expression 'it's more fun' but it's very true for the Philippines so it becomes ours." 

Well me being Swiss, but too young to have experienced the fun in Switzerland in the early 50's the questions does remain: Is it more fun in Switzerland! or is it more fun in the Philippines?

Sources:, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thank God And Greyhound - Michelle Bachmann is gone

Michelle Bachmann is a goner... 

and then I stumbled onto this website (thanks to the Huffington Post) called YouTubeDoubler.

You can actually pair two videos two play simultaneously next to each other. This VJ (video jockey)) called Skruller paired a video of Dame Bachmann with Sarah McLachlan's song "I Will Remember You." See it here.

That is just a little too brave for me.

Immediately Roy Clark's "Thank God And Greyhound" came to mind. Well this is my video mashup. Watch it here or on the regular YouTubeDoubler site.

YouTube Doubler

The BamaJam Music Festival Is Back

The BamaJam Music & Arts Festival is, after a quiet year in 2011,  back and is scheduled to take place June 14-16, 2012.

According to a press release, organizer BamaJam Productions added Rendy Lovelady as new executive producer of the festival, as well as all other musical events held on the 1600 acre BamaJam Farms in southern Alabama.

BamaJam has it's own channel (BamaJamMusicFestival) on youtube, where they posted several highlight videos from 2010.

Major acts that have played the relatively young festival include Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift, but also Red-Dirt, Texas artists like Stoney LaRue and Robert Earl Keen, as well as Blues icon Buddy Guy.