The Magic of 12.12.12.

Today’s a special one.

When I consider the fact that the month, day and year all match and will not happen again for another 80 or so years, I almost feel like I need to make a wish or play a scratch off card or something.  I do know that later on, I,  like millions more will be tuned in to the 12.12.12 Sandy Relief Concert.   12_12_12

Some of the largest names in the music industry will hit that stage at Madison Square Garden for the global charity concert event. Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Roger Waters, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder, The Who and Paul McCartney will perform at the one-night concert  to begin in a few hours ( 7:30 p.m. EST ).

Between TV, radio and online streaming on YouTube, Hulu, AOL, iHeartRadio and Time Inc brands, the concert will reach nearly 2 billion homes worldwide as the most widely distributed music event in history. Several movie theaters in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will screen the concert as well.

Proceeds will benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy through the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

Foursquare will offer a single-day badge — the Be Robin Hood badge — which you can unlock by checking in anywhere in the world with the hashtag #121212concert. The first 25,000 checkins will trigger $10 donations from Samsung Galaxy, up to $250,000.  You can give one of Facebook’s new charitable Facebook Gifts to 12-12-12, one of the new product’s launch partners, which will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

There will be curated feeds of tweets with the hashtag #121212concert on display at Madison Square Garden during the performances.

Robin Hood will distribute the funds to different community non-profits in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The anti-poverty non-profit, with the help of McKinsey analysts, have determined how to best use the funds raised to reach those most in need following the storm.

Sounds like magic, right?

Celebs Help Obama with GOTV

Everyone knows that with the right people in your corner, anything is possible. That is exactly the case when it comes to celebrities hitting the campaign trail to support President Obama in his re-election efforts.

POTUS has got an impressive 181 (and counting) stars who have is back. Athletes, musicians and actors are all lending a hand – knocking on doors, calling constituents  who reside in swing-states and participating in rallies alongside him.

This past Saturday, Stevie Wonder played an unannounced concert for voters waiting in line to vote early in Cleveland. Wonder opened a rally for Obama by rocking the arena at the University of Cincinnati with a rendition of “Keep on Running.” Songwriter John Legend, actor Laurence Fishburne, and congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, D-Ga., were among those who went to Ohio to lead a “Souls to the Polls” effort with local churches. Danny DeVito and members of the FX sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” have canvassed neighborhoods in Wisconsin, made phone calls and visited colleges in the state.

Also included: Ice Cube, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Jason Mraz, Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Justin Long, Jon Hamm, Maggie Gyllenaal, Chanel Iman, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow.
Celebrity sells. Now get off your butt and go vote.

E = Roc Nation (Squared)

After meeting Mayor Corey Booker last Saturday at the #FOCUS100 conference, I thought I was on a birthday roll. Turns out, Jay Z was competing with me.

I had the pleasure of taking in the final Jay Z concert at Barclay’s Center on my birthday and to say that I had a blast would be an understatement. It was 3 hours of rapping along with Jay as he performed his classics and new stuff. And then there was the surprise Beyoncé appearance…words escape me at this moment.

What was really different about Jay’s show is that throughout, he sprinkled words of inspiration and encouragement that reflected his journey to perform before the intimate crowd of 18,000. My fave?: “I believe everyone in here has genius level talent – outside noise just gets in the way. Don’t let anyone put their fears or insecurities on your dreams.”

Can I Get an Encore?

Wow. Who knew Jay could be so deep?

Jigga is on a mentorship/giveback roll it seems. It was just announced that he signed a math teacher to his Roc Nation family. That’s right, Mr. Jovan Miles, a math academic coach and educator working out of Atlanta, GA., joins the likes of Rihanna and J-Cole. The signing marks the first time a record label has signed an educator to a major rap label of Roc Nation’s stature.

“Think about it like a grant. Yeah, I called myself the Kennedy of the game, but now call me the MacArthur of the game, too. Genius,” remarked S.Carter.

I don’t know about you but I’m interested to see what will come of this.

Cory and I.

How to Silence Kim Kardashian (for a Day).

This week , Kim Kardashian will shut up. Well, it’ll only be on Twitter and Facebook. And it’ll only be for 24-hours. Because it’s for a good cause, that is more than enough for me.

R.I.P.

R.I.P.

In honor of World Aids Day (12.1.10) Kim, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher,  Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Hudson, my homie Serena Williams and more will, ‘sacrifice’ his or her own digital life: They will ‘die’ (stop communicating ) via Twitter and Facebook for a full day and night and they will not be resuscitated until their fans ‘buy’ their lives back (that is, donate $1 million to the Keep A Child Alive Foundation, which finances medical care and support services for children and families affected by H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa and India).

About two months ago, Keys and her charity’s co-founder, Leigh Blake, started Buy Life, which sells $35 gray T-shirts imprinted with a bar code. People who have uploaded a Stickybits or Wimo application to their smartphones can donate $10 to Keep a Child Alive simply by scanning any Buy Life T-shirt’s bar code.

They call it ‘Impulse Giving.’ I call it smart.  Find out more.

Volunteer to Earn Your Ears?

When I first saw the commercials featuring Ms. Piggy daydreaming about Taye Diggs, I greatly empathized. Not for the obvious reasons (smile) but because I love the idea of being able to get those who have never considered service to volunteer for a day for an incentive. In the case of, ‘Give A Day, Get a Disney Day‘ the premise is simple: volunteer for a day (via the Hands on Network) and get free admission to a Disney Park (sans Mr. Diggs, unfortunately).

The initiative has proven to be a popular one, mobilizing over 1 million people to volunteer since its launch in January. Could it have been Taye in a hard hat that got folks to make moves? Or was it solely the incentive of a free ticket into the Magic Kingdom?

Or maybe, just maybe, people really wanted to give back.

Of course there are haters. Some say that people are being bribed to serve and that’s not a good thing. I remember there were folks that hated on Boost Mobile Rock Corps which got people to volunteer for 4 hours and would grant them a concert ticket.

I have to ask the obvious question: does it matter? If there is work that needs to get done and I incentivize you to do it, who cares? Furthermore, at the end of the day, you may just like all this ‘volunteerism stuff’ and decide to do it more often, make a career of it or, heaven forbid, write a check to a needy organization.

If you have to volunteer to earn your ears, I say rock on and tell Ms. Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo and Taye I said hello when you get to Epcott.

American Idol Gives Back (again)

Grab your cell phones and get ready to text because tonight American Idol will encourage viewers to support relief efforts in Haiti by donating to the United Nations Foundation.

Last year’s winner, Kris Allen, visited Haiti with the foundation to see United Nations relief efforts firsthand. Tonight’s  results show will feature footage from the trip, and information about how to donate either online or by text message to the United Nations Foundation Fund for Haiti.

The foundation is asking that viewers host viewing parties and encourage their guests to contribute.

“The UN needs our support to continue to provide food, water, shelter, medicine, security, and economic opportunities to the earthquake victims,” Kathy Calvin, chief executive of the United Nations Foundation said in a written statement. “The UN and Haiti are rising to the challenge and we all have a chance to help them rebuild their future.”

Will you be watching?

UPDATE: Some 18.3 million Americans watched Wednesday’s show and the special raised almost $45 million, Fox said.

Cause Marketing Feature: FFAWN and Catherine Malandrino Shine

Did I tell you how much I love Mary J. Blige? Now, I know I am probably one of billions of people that are expressing this sentiment at this very moment but I just had to get it out there.

Yes, I love her for her amazing voice. Yes, when she hits the stage each and every time I get excited. Yes, she is the epitome of timeless beauty. Yes, she is one of the most genuine individuals in the world of entertainment.

All of the above are great but I love her most though for two reasons.

First, when I was a lowly production secretary at ABC News and I snuck a buddy of mine on to the set of Good Morning America to see Mary, although she was pressed to leave, she stopped and took flicks. To this day, I will never forget the sheer joy on my friends face. It made her being late for work worth the risk.

Second, she’s committed to giving back.

In 2007, Mary and entertainment mogul Steve Stoute teamed up to create FFAWN, the Foundation for the Achievement of Women Now. The organization is working hard to use Mary’s personal story and success to inspire women from all walks of life to reach their individual potential.

Recently, Mary connected with friend and clothing designer, Catherine Malandrino to co-brand a T-shirt collection called FFAWN + Catherine Malandrino launching in stores next week. The collection features tunics with hand-painted messages such as “I’m Free” and “I’m Power.” The off-the-shoulder tops pictured on them retails starting for $39, will also be sold in the designer’s freestanding stores, and a percentage of all sales will benefit FFAWN. Additional styles will play up an abstract illustration of a phoenix and the FFAWN logo. If you want to meet them both, they will be greeting shoppers at Bloomingdale’s new 350-square-foot Catherine Malandrino concept shop in Manhattan tomorrow (2/17).

To support FFAWN, go to www.FFAWN.org.

Aren't they hot?!

 

FFAWN in Bloomie's Window

 

 

 

Cause Marketing Feature: Campbells and Woman’s Day Presents the Seventh Annual Red Dress Awards

Remember the slogan, “Campbell’s Soup is Good Food”? Well I do. And now that I have aged myself, we can move along.

Apparently Campbell’s is living up to that old slogan. Today, the Campbell Soup Company and Woman’s Day magazine’s 7th Annual Red Dress Awards will commemorate American Heart Month by honoring four women who have made significant contributions to the fight against heart disease, the number one killer of women.

This year’s Red Dress Awards will be held on at The Allen Room at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The View’s Sherri Shepherd will emcee the event, which will feature performances byMary J. Blige, Colbie Caillat and Anthony Hamilton, as well as appearances by Larry King, Jennie Garth, Tim Gunn andDancing with the Stars’ Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts.

The soup company along with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn are also working to help make heart health fashionable. Gunn has been encouraging people to design a Campbell red dress inspired by their heart-health hero to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. Starting in January, people began voting for their favorite finalist’s story and inspired red dress design at CampbellsAddressYourHeart.com to trigger a$1 donation from Campbell to the cause (up to $625,000). Gunn and the winner will debut the original red dress design at tonight’s awards ceremony. People can continue to generate contributions to AHA throughout February by clicking on the photo of the winning dress on the website.

For the second year in a row, all proceeds from the event will be donated to The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Established in 1988 by Larry King, the Foundation provides funding for life saving cardiac procedures for individuals who, due to limited means and no insurance, would be otherwise unable to receive lifesaving treatment. The 2010 Red Dress Award honorees will be featured in the March issue of Woman’s Day, on newsstands February 9th. For more information on Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, log onto http://www.womansday.com/reddress.

 

 

Ashton Does His Part to Put an End to Malaria

It was about a year ago that Malaria No More went viral with its “Nets Save Lives” campaign on Twitter. The initiative kicked off on World Malaria Day 2009, and the current Twitter initiative will conclude just in time for World Malaria Day 2010. The most retweeted message last World Malaria Day was: “Every 30 seconds a child dies from Malaria. Nets save lives. Support World Malaria Day = http://www.MalariaNoMore.org.” Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, P.Diddy, Oprah Winfrey and others helped make it happen.

89,724 malaria nets will be distributed in total, thanks to word-of-mouth on Twitter. The nets will be distributed in the Senagalese towns of Seraya and Vélingara; each person at risk for malaria will get a net to protect him or her from the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

We are the World – Over Two Decades Later

Today, music impresario Quincy Jones will gather with a host of musicians in Los Angeles to re-record the charity song “We Are the World” and sending the proceeds to Haiti. The original song was recorded in 1985 and was penned by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. It featured Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Tina Turner, among others

Jones made the announcement at a fete celebrating watchmaker Audemars Piguet’s donation of $1 million to the Quincy Jones Foundation.

The 76-year-old Jones would not reveal who will perform on the track “because we’ve got to make sure we’ve got who we got,” but that the revamped song will feature a new roster of all-star musicians. Proceeds from the track will go to benefit victims of the Haiti Earthquake disaster.

At last night’s 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, superstars Usher, Celine Dion, J. Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Smokey Robinson performed a stirring rendition of the Michael Jackson classic, “Earth Song.” There is no official word if the aforementioned will appear on the revamped “We Are the World.”

So, who do you think will lace the track?