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Oreo Feeds the Beat During Day One of SXSW 2014

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 7, 2014 06:49 PM

SXSW 2014 kicked off today in Austin, Texas, with the festival's film portion expected to attract 30,000 people alone. 

The interactive festival, better known as the launching pad for Twitter and Foursquare, has become "a living, breathing manifestation of the Internet where you can get all kinds of different inputs and all kinds of different ways of information and put them all together and somehow come out slightly better at the end of the whole experience," Hugh Forrest, the festival's interactive director, told NPR. 

This year's festival is a cultural mélange with a line-up that includes Edward Snowden, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Julian Assange and feline Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, as well as musical acts including Lady Gaga. Speakers include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and SVP Sundar Pichai, as well as Dell CEO Michael Dell.Continue reading...

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SXSW '14 Preview: Snowden, Gaga and Nye, Oh My!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2014 06:20 PM

Each year, it seems SXSW (South By South West) gets more and more curious—and this year is no exception. Once dedicated to music, the 2014 SXSW festival, running from March 7 through 16 in Austin, Texas, now defines itself as "Music, Film, Interactive." Indeed, the festival has served as the launch pad for some of the market's most high-profile startups, including Foursquare. 

Beyond that, SXSW is a potpourri of personalities, popular trends and brands vying for attention. Indeed, last year's extravaganza was a "feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts." This year? Well, you can expect more of the same—just amped up a few notches.

In fact, SXSW 2014 may end up being known for notoriety. None other than the world's most infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, will speak on March 10 via teleconference. He'll be conversing with Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance," according to the festival's site.Continue reading...

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Nissan Mans Up For Football

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 11, 2010 11:00 AM

College and pro football are that increasingly rare bird in the modern TV landscape: "appointment television." This means very little DVRing for later, and makes the gridiron-loyal audience one of the last remaining viewer demos that reliably sees most ads aimed at it.

Those who watch enough football come to despise many of the commercials they see over—and over, and over, and over again and, please just make it stop. Even a commercial that seems interesting the first time, can be unbearable by the 100th viewing, when tiny details become annoying and the "sports fan" sell becomes unbearable. (We're looking at you Buffalo Wild Wings "Sprinkler Maestro.")

For this reason, two new Nissan ads deserve praise.Continue reading...

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Last Call for AOL's Artist Grants

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 20, 2010 04:00 PM

AOL's 25th anniversary gift to 25 artists: $25,000 in cash.

As part of its 25th anniversary, AOL is joining the ranks of Huggies and PepsiCo in offering grants for creative innovators – a welcome disintermediation in the laborious process of researching and applying for grants. Final submissions must be snail-mailed and postmarked by midnight tonight, September 20th. Online submissions are closed.

Seeking to support cultural creators of all stripes, twenty-five creative thinkers will be awarded the $25,000 grants as part of the Web giant's 25 for 25 grant program, which itself is part of the portal's year-long Project on Creativity to invite artists and creators (such as UK-based digital artist Matt Pyke, above) to freshen the AOL brand.

Inspired by Chuck Close's philanthropic work in art and arts education, the 25 for 25 advisory board includes Close, designer Andy Spade, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and other leaders in the arts.Continue reading...

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does at Diesel

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 6, 2010 03:00 PM

Sometimes a movie or an ad campaign makes it too easy for critics. For example, a terrible film titled The Bomb is just begging for the obvious pun. Such is the case with fashion label Diesel's latest campaign "Be Stupid." But that doesn't mean stupid doesn't work.

"Be Stupid." That seems to be the entirety of Diesel's brand marketing. Forget "Keep it Simple, Stupid." Think: "Keep it Stupid. Simple!"Continue reading...

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Eager to Start Your Own Agency?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2010 11:30 AM

Then you won't want to miss the “Million-Dollar Challenge.” It’s an open invitation to would-be entrepreneurs to create and launch a marketing communications agency.

The winning startup's business plan will receive $1 million from MDC Partners in return for a 51% stake. MDC Partners is the Toronto-based holding company of Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.

The criteria: “you do brilliant work, you want to make brands famous and you want to drive results for clients.”Continue reading...

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