Monday, 30 June 2014

Transformers: Age of Product Placement

For those who don’t know, product placement is defined asan advertising technique used by companies to subtly promote their products, usually through appearances in film, television, or other media”.

Even if you technically didn't know that this is what they call it, I bet you already noticed that product placement has been used for some time now, and it’s happening progressively more in the movies industry. Subtle or not, this technique profits both the brand and the media company where the product is being advertised. It’s a win-win situation. 

Age of Product Placement
In my opinion, this is a very interesting and successful form of advertising because while we create empathy with the different characters, we want them to succeed, we want to be just like them, and this is the way we create good associations with the brands and the products, increasing their value and also our consuming habits.

Yesterday at the movies, while watching a definitely too long Transformers sequel, I realized that they took product placement to a whole different level. It’s everywhere: from Chevrolet, Bud Light, Tom Ford, Beats by Dre to Victoria’s Secret!

The funny thing there is that they don’t confine themselves to show the products now: they include them on the scenes in such a noticeable way that it just became ridiculous at some point. I’m serious; brands were popping out of the screen every minute!

There’s one scene where a giant beer truck is destroyed by an awesome Transformer, and after the crash Mark Wahlberg picks a Bud Light and drinks it - because he’s so cool and everyone who is trying to save the world as we know it from Aliens, should refresh from time to time. This is just brilliant and funny in one way, but too evident in another, which I think ruins the whole purpose of the product placement technique.

In conclusion, I believe that they really have to rethink the way they are doing this. Consumers/spectators  don’t like to be confronted with this kind of advertising in such an obvious way - let's face it, it's kind of insulting!

Apart from that, if you’re the kind of girl/boy who wants to see a Transformer riding a dinosaur, then this is the movie for you, don’t expect more than that… and brands everywhere!

Your TopCrusher,

Sunday, 29 June 2014

We're crushing this!

Hi guys! We just want to say thanks to everyone that has been visiting our blog! We had more than a thousand views in our first week, and we believe that's pretty good! Our team will keep crushing it like Miley's wrecking ball! 

Your TopCrushers,
Alex, Daniela and Dúnia

10 things that only the city of Porto can teach you

Recently, The New York Times payed high compliments to our city, Porto, which are all true and long overdue, in my opinion.

Full of life and wisdom, Porto mixes the old and the new generation quirks and has a soul of their own. I know Porto by heart. I know its scents and flavors from the fresh baked bread to the last week still-on-the-counter pastry that you absolutely need to shove down your throat before going home at 4.00 p.m.

Porto is home. So, I'm going to share the 10 things that you can only learn from Porto:

1. Learn the proper way to eat a Francesinha and be a man about it.
The Francesinha is a traditional dish with a large beef between two slices of homemade bread, an egg, sausage, all of that drenched in heated cheese. Your heart will beat fast, if you don't pass out you'll be fine, continue eating. Nhamy.
Porto is a city full of life
Porto is a city full of life

2. How to tolerate cold water at the beach.
Yeah, we have sunny skies and we have amazing beaches that will make go insane but, yes, the water is so cold that will make your chest hair grow two inches. Welcome to the Atlantic,baby.

3.Women in Porto know how to stand up for themselves.
Porto has beautiful ladies that can smell fear. When talking to one be polite, above all, might get slapped.

4. Master the art of getting by.
After spending a little more time in the city, you'll find out that the people here they got one thing down: no matter how hard the situation you're in is, one way or another, they know that they'll get by.

5. There is a way to get beggars off you back.
Porto is a small town, sooner or later you're going to figure out that the beggars all know each other and usually even work together and better, they have a big boss. Once you've figure out who it is, make friends, buy him a hot-dog and you'll never be bothered again.

6. Hot dogs (with fries and every sauce known to man) are the best thing to eat at 3.00 am.
Sit anywhere on the pavement and just munch on it.

7. People will come up to you, deal with it.
Porto's people are special, they just wanna get to know you and will, without shyness or awkwardness, approach you for a number of silly reasons. Bottom line: they like to get to know new people. Don't be scared, be nice.

8. South is a deadman's land.
Say no to all things past the river Douro. Yep, not cool. Lisbon? Where is it? You've never heard of it.

9. The Name is Porto, not Oporto.
Your name is Peter, not Opeter.
Your name is Rita, not Orita.
You get the point.

10.There's never a dull moment here.
 People get bored everywhere but here. There's always somewhere to be, something to do and someone to see.

So come to Porto, get ready to fall in love and never leave. Porto has a way of stealing people hearts and  rarely gives them back.

Your TopCrusher

Friday, 27 June 2014

Four simple things to improve your weekend.. and any other day!

Another week that is finally ending and you must be exhausted, like everyone that works hard all week. Sometimes we just forget the simplest things that can make us feel so good at the end of the day! When you get home after long hours at the office and your brain is just not working anymore, try to enjoy the things that are right there for you to improve your day. Here are four things that I adore and highly recommend:

Hear some nice music, according to your mood
If you feel the need to sing or dance, don't be shy, that's fine with me, it's not like I'm there to watch you!

Spoil your pets
You know what, they also deserve it, and the more you give, the more you get!

A cup of hot tea
Perfect to warm your body and soul!

(all images)

Fresh and clean bed linen
Oh god, finally bedtime, what's better than this?

See, all simple, right? The secret is to stop rushing everything and appreciate the simple tasks that we do at home! I hope you guys have a nice weekend!

Your TopCrusher,

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Facebook versus Real Life

The short film “What’s on your mind?”, about the Facebook depressing effects, went viral this week and made me think about what kind of feelings are being associated to the social network. I mean, we all know that the things we post online are, generally, the good stuff! No one wants to see their failures and sad moments spread on Facebook for everyone to watch, comment and laugh!

We pose for the picture, choose the best outfit for a selfie before a night out, put the plate together to show how healthy we are and run the miles on the treadmill just to confirm it again! Every single detail of our lives is now open to the eyes of our followers and friends, and we seem to be ok with that. 

Enjoy Real Life
At least, I am. I know exactly what I am showing. I’m ok with every photograph I have and with every detail I give. The problem with this short film is that the principle there is that we can’t measure our happiness comparing it to the things others publish online. But, isn’t this also applicable to real life? No one should live comparing themselves to others, so this is not about Facebook, this is about you, looking at your life and making it better regardless of what your neighbor is doing or what your Facebook friend is posting.

Personally, I don’t agree with the message they are trying to send. This is not about what’s on our Facebook wall, this is about our way of appreciating our families, our relationships, our food and our pets, among a million other things, just because they are ours.  Even if someone else has an awesome life, that doesn't mean we can’t have it too, maybe in a different way. We can enjoy our real lives while we are using Facebook and other social networks, that's what should be encouraged nowadays. 

Facebook is not the bad guy here, if you are depressed looking at your friends' photographs and posts, you are doing that to yourself. Just stop it, go outside and get a life offline! 

Your TopCrusher,

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Banks, the goddess

I am so in love with Banks! This is the perfect sound to relax, to study, for the office, even to work out; it’s so pleasant to my ears that I can’t get enough of it! I have to admit I’m addicted to her album. The first song from Banks that I discovered was “This is what it feels like”, and I was immediately curious to hear more from her. 


Then, there was “Waiting Game” and she convinced me that she is not just another “one hit wonder”. This American singer is a beauty and her style has been considered “dark R&B”. Her biggest influences are Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple – that means she is in good hands! Today, I’m hearing “Goddess” on repeat and this is my soundtrack for this rainy week! Just go on YouTube, give her a chance and enjoy, you can thank me later!

You TopCrusher,

Julie Delpy's women

If you're a man, there's no way you ever look at your wife, girlfriend, mother or grandmother and thought "I 've got you all figured out", because if you did, then you are probably wrong. 

Julie Delpy, however, knows us inside and out.

Julie Delpy is a genious
Julie Delpy is a genious
The french distant beauty sitting on a train in Before the Sunrise, begun her acting carrer with a film from maestro Jean Luc Goddard, one of the most acclaimed directors of all time. Delpy grew up on a house full of actors, both mother and father that actually have feature in her latest movies, so naturally she had a crush on Ingrid Berman and all the itallian guys from the seventies: Brando, Pacino, De Niro...(oh! haven't we all at some point). But what makes Julie Delpy see women so clearly, what makes her characther so relatable that you almost feel robbed like the reactions she's having on screen and words she's speaking were yours at some moment in time? 

How does she do it without making rool your eyes at the female character she's portraying?
How does Julie Delpy get us?

She's a great actress, that might be it. 
No, there's more. 
She has the soul of an artist an she's sensitive and emphatetic. 
No, there's more. 

Truth be told, she's a genious. She makes the imperfection seems so perfect that you can't help but wanting some of it. You can't help but wanting to be a woman that goes off on a rant on any kind of subject and just because she feels like it without being funny or sacarstic, you want to be the girl on the screen with the golden hair that is always messy, you want to be the girl that starts talking about different subjects at the same time and doesn't really finishes them.  You want to be her, the one that is a little bit overweight but can still be sexy even doing the most usual things you can think off, you want to be the woman that get mad for no apparent reason and you want to be that women that in the back of her mind is always, always doutbing herself but still she is capable of doing the most amazing thing in the end. 

And then you realize that you kind of are that imperfect perfect woman and that is ok. 
So, Julie Delpy is a genious actress, director and a women that gets women and that's rare.

P.S: When asked about the perfect way to wacth the sunset trilogy, she said : "Backwards. Why not?! Go back in time."

See? I told you, she's a genious.

Your TopCrusher,

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Sugar is sweet, sugar is bitter

The truth is we all love sugar!  Although it is so good to indulge in all the great stuff we can find at the supermarket, the sad thing is that it is proven that the amount of sugar we are consuming on a daily basis will have disastrous consequences on our health. 

Bitter aftertaste
It's not like we don't have information about what we are eating and drinking these days, sometimes we just don't care, sometimes we just need that guilty pleasure, other times it's just easier and quicker to choose junk food. Anyway, everyone is free to choose a different lifestyle, we just have to be aware that our eating habits will dictate (or at least have a huge influence) on what we are going to be in the future.

Regarding this matter, Wall Street bank Credit Suisse has published the video Sugar: Sweet With a Bitter Aftertaste, which explains all the numbers about sugar consumption and what countries are in the worst situation. I think this video is a great portrait of what's happening in the food industry: since everyone discovered that fat is bad for us, they replaced it by sugar, and nobody seems to care now. 

Let's face it, I'm not going to erase sugar from my life, that would be an impossible mission; first of all I would be a miserable person, and second, our bodies need sugar to work. Still, I think this video is a really interesting way to explain the "evolution of sugar". Take a look if you have the opportunity,  hopefully you will learn something from it as I did! 

Your TopCrusher,

Monday, 23 June 2014

How to prepare for a job interview with four simple tips

I’ve been working in the human resources area for almost a year and a half now, and even if this is not a long time, I’ve seen things that I never thought I would see. First of all, giving the economic situation in Portugal, of course there are a lot of people searching for our services; although not all of them have real expectations about the job offers: nowadays, for some reason, many people think they are entitled to get rich really fast, without doing any effort. However, the thing that worries me the most is that I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them are not really prepared for a job interview.
Keep it simple

Without wanting to disrespect any of the people who have worked with me, I have seen the most innocent mistakes… And the dumbest too! So, I want to give you four simple tips that, in my opinion, will make the difference in a job interview:

Information. Make sure you do some research on the employer. Probably the interviewer will try to understand what you know about them and if you don’t have any idea of what the company does or about their services/ values, it will certainly disappoint the person in front of you. Come on, it’s not like you can’t google it in 10 minutes!

Presentation. I don’t care what they say; your appearance will influence your interview. The moment you walk into a room, they will judge you, even before you open your mouth, you just have to make sure they will look at you and feel comfortable with the way you are dressed. Of course this will depend on the type of employer, but most of the times I would recommend to dress formal, simple and clean.

Study. Of course there are always tricky questions that you can’t avoid or guess, but the interviewers are not reinventing the wheel. Questions like “tell us about yourself” “what are your main skills and qualities” “how are you going to contribute to our team?” among others, are very common and you can always study your speech in advance. Practice in front of the mirror, if that works for you! 

Punctuality.  BE THERE ON TIME. I don’t care if you didn’t sleep very well, if there was too much traffic, if your car broke down or even if there was an earthquake or any other natural disaster. If this was Pompeii and you wanted the job, you would be there on time. This will show the interviewers that you are a responsible, reliable and committed professional. Since these meetings are organized in advance, you can use Google again (just get out of Facebook for a minute!) and search the best way to get there by car, public transportation or even by foot, just don’t get there sweating.

Once you are there, just breath and do your best to impress! I also want to give you some tips on what to do and how to act during an interview and even after that, but for now you can start with these ones! I will return to this subject later, we have plenty of time! 

Your TopCrusher,

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Let the crush begin...

Here I am!

My first post is only to introduce myself within the blog and say that I'm truly happy to be here with my two lovely Top Crushers, Alexandra and Daniela.

So, I just want to say: let's do this together!

Fingers crossed. Hope for the best.


Your TopCrusher,

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Alimenta um animal abandonado com o OLX através de um simples clique

Hoje, depois de colocar um anúncio no OLX, precisamente para adopção de dois gatinhos abandonados que encontrei na rua, deparei-me com esta louvável iniciativa. Através deste site, na secção das adopções, podemos ajudar um número de animais que estão ainda em diferentes associações, apenas clicando no botão “Alimente”. E sim, é tão simples quanto isso, não tem nenhuma contrapartida

Ajudar através de um clique!
Tal como se pode ler nas regras explícitas no OLX, “o objectivo desta acção é proporcionar alimentação suficiente para 3 meses, para animais abandonados (cães e gatos) e ao abrigo das Associações abrangidas”, que também podem ser consultadas na página.

Para participar e ajudar a alimentar, basta clicar no botão, e isto não tem qualquer custo para quem ajudar. 

Podemos ainda ler que “cada cão pode receber até 50 Kg de ração e cada gato até 25 Kg, suficiente para aproximadamente 3 meses de alimentação - que nesta época do ano em particular tanta falta faz”.

Esta iniciativa termina a 4 de Julho de 2014 por isso toca a clicar, para contribuir de alguma forma para todos estes pequenos que não podemos adoptar!

A vossa TopCrusher,

Thursday, 19 June 2014

J. K. Rowling, strike II?

The Silkworm
After reading Time’s review about the new J.K. Rowling book, The Silkworm (under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith), I am really curious to read it. 

Before going any further, I have to admit that I am a Potter absolute fanatic. I was addicted to those books as I am nowadays to chocolate, and I felt that I grew up with the different characters, since I started reading the first book when I was eleven and I believe I finished by the time I was old enough to drink. I read every book more than twice and I still get excited every time I’m zapping and I find a Potter movie on.

With this in mind, and because I never gave a chance to any other J. K. Rowling book, I think I’m going to give a try to The Silkworm. I believe that she is great writer, and even as a child, I could picture everything she described in such a beautiful way, it definitely was one of my best reading experiences and only enhanced my passion for books. 

I will give you guys my review after I read it!

Your TopCrusher,

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

My love affair with content marketing

Content is King.
Context is God, right?

And I feel right at home in the context of digital marketing.
In the beginning, 2000 b.c, I tried to be a journalist.
But all I was, was frustrated, because, well, let's face it I wasn't very good. So, I sold my soul to marketing. Not good enough, still.
I not a blogger, I'm a Top Crusher
I'm not a blogger, I'm a Top Crusher

Something was off, but it was too late to dwell about what it, I needed to find a job and so I did.
And guess what? It took me a year and a half (plus 10 years of college) but I found something to do that I truly like. Right now, I'm a digital marketer, social media manager, all around SEO gal, a linkbuilding geek and I pull content out of my ass everyday. All with heartfelt love.

So there 4 things you'll need to get out of this story:

1) Do your research. Before you apply to college, do everything you can to learn about your future context!
2) Take it serious (but don't forget to have fun).
3) Don't go jumping to a master degree, find a job first, learn what you want and what you need and what you don't. Then you may apply to one.
4) Don't give up!

It's never too late to find out what you love and the great thing about it is that it is ever changing.

P.S: Oh and I'm a blogger and I crush it like it's hot!

Your TopCrusher,

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Beginners luck!

This is our first post! Everything has to start somewhere, somehow.
We hope this is the beginning of a long journey! Like you can see on our Blog, we are three adventurous girls, learning to overcome the different challenges of the modern life expectations! Between relationships, friendships, studies, work and everything else that's going on, we might have learnt something to share with you guys!

Motivation for a new beginning

So remember this powerful message: never give up, take a breath and start again!

Your TopCrusher,