Wednesday, May 17, 2017

News You Can't Use: Step Into Our Selfie Booth and Help Us Build Our Brand

If there's two ideologies I will aggressively defend with my life and treasure it's narcissism and building brand identity. This is especially true now that this blog has somehow become ground zero for sports wagering "systems" and "pick up artist" get the ladies via hypnosis spam. Clearly I'm on the very brink of leveraging my new status as a dumping ground for terrible and completely bogus goods and services into CEOing for 10/k per week. And when I'm doing it I'll be sure to take lots of pictures, because I'm nature's most incredible creation and you'll never get sick of it.

First there were selfies. Then there were selfie sticks. Now comes a new phase: selfie booths, which some stores and other businesses are adding as a sort of next-generation photo kiosk.

It's really the same old shit we had in malls in the eighties, but we'll pretend this is some exciting new breakthrough because we need at least one story that isn't about Donald Trump's ice cream social blunders.

In the age of ubiquitous social media, these booths and rooms seem to be the latest way to engage customers and build a brand.

Wait, entire rooms? How wasteful do you have to be to have a "selfie room" at your not properly established brand? Just go in there and duck-face, and remember, no one gets your teeth whiter than Alpha N' Omega Brand mouth bleacher.

At several branches of the optical company Warby Parker, myopics unsure if those tortoiseshell frames are really “them” can jump into the on-site selfie booth, snap off some images and email them to friends and family for a second (and third, fourth and fifth) opinion.

Great glasses, dudemar. Let me click the little blue button to formally register my approval. We're "friends."

At Paintbox, a nail studio in New York City, clients can get a manicure, then insert their hands into a photo box where their latest coat of metallic teal will be immortalized.

Latest coat of metallic teal! I'm a serious author!!! I'M WRITING!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneone

And at Doomie’s, a vegan restaurant in Toronto, there is a dedicated selfie room where patrons stand in front of a mirror, snap a photo and post it to social media, often with a caption like “just emerged from my food coma.”

And just got ready to enter my real coma brought on by a poor diet and endless virtue signaling. Look pale and weak at Doomie's, fellow righteous eaters! Document the slow wasting away process with lots of tacky photos!

“When we were planning the restaurant, we wanted clever ways to promote it and differentiate it, and the younger demographic always wants something Instagram-able,” said one of Doomie’s owners, Hellenic Vincent De Paul.

The original "Meet your Doom at Doomie's: Come here and die" slogan met with tepid enthusiasm, at best.

The restaurant had an unused basement room, so Mr. De Paul painted the floor white and had the walls papered in cartoons by an artist known as Vegan Sidekick.

Stranger approaches for no discernible reason. "Hey buddy, I'm vegan!" Before you can even formulate a response the Vegan Sidekick pops out. "Me too!"

The novelty has prompted a lot of publicity, including by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is just the thing to air after the hockey game but before the maple syrup documentary.

A lot of people are like, ‘Let’s go to the vegan restaurant with the selfie room.’ ”

It's either that or the other plan of taking turns punching ourselves in the abdomen. I'm still undecided, here.

Here is a sure sign that the selfie booth is officially ready for its close-up: The Tracy Anderson Method, a fitness chain with a high-end cult following — Lena Dunham is an acolyte, and Gwyneth Paltrow is a partner — installed just such a nook in its new 6,000-square-foot studio on East 59th Street in Manhattan.

It's hard to imagine a better endorsement for a gym than "Lena Dunham goes here."

Morgen Schick, a Ford model turned beauty and anti-aging guru, sidled into the bright white photo booth on a recent morning and pondered the tools she could use to embellish her selfie: props in the booth include tiny flags festooned with hearts and a pair of weights — and there are four photographic filters, all designed to flatter like mad.

Surely this will ward off the grim specter of death following a life completely wasted.

“That’s not bad,” said Ms. Schick, 52, examining herself on the screen before clicking. “There isn’t a filter to make me look 25, but that’s O.K. We’re embracing the now.”

This was followed by three hours of weeping and wailing.

Full Article. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.   

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