The Week In Branded Content (16th March)

The Week In Branded Content (16th March)

Fifteen years ago, when we were coming here to Austin to talk about the internet, it was this magical place that was different from the rest of the world. It was a subset and everyone was cool. There were some spammers, but that was kind of it. And now it just reflects the world. When we built Twitter, we weren’t thinking about these things. We laid down fundamental architectures that had assumptions that didn’t account for bad behavior. And now we’re catching on to that.”

– – Ev Williams






Viacom’s TV channels went off the air for 17 minutes during national walkout over gun violence

A number of major Viacom channels, including Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon went off the air today to recognize the national student walkout in schools across America protesting gun violence. The channels went off the air for 17 minutes from 10AM to 10:17AM today.

BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, the Paramount Network, and TV Land all went off the air for precisely 17 minutes earlier today to honor the 17 victims killed last month in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

BY Shannon Liao



3 Entertainment Activations Immersing Consumers In The World Of Sci-Fi

Part of the entertainment industry’s job is to lure us in with spectacle. Recently, hit television shows and big blockbusters have been presenting visions of the future in ways that are eerie or exhilarating—and always larger-than-life. PSFK explored a few activations that brought that same grandiose style to experiential marketing and branded products.






7,000 Pairs Of Shoes On Capitol Lawn Are Powerful Nod To Gun Violence

With the epicenter of policymaking looming large in the background, activists on Tuesday placed 7,000 pairs of empty shoes across the Capitol lawn, an impossible-to-ignore symbol of the children lost to gun violence since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Families who have lost children to shootings were invited to contribute their kids’ shoes, said global advocacy group Avaaz, which organized the event.


BY Willa Frej



If Jennifer Lawrence Can’t Open a Movie, Who Can?

The A-list actress’ recent stumbles with ‘Red Sparrow,’ ‘mother!’ and ‘Passengers’ are no reason to gloat. The death of the movie star is bad news for everyone in Hollywood.
In 1993, John Travolta’s career was teetering on the brink. The actor, who’d become a superstar with Saturday Night Fever and then added to his luster with Grease, had all but ceased to matter as a cultural force. True, he could still deliver the occasional hit, such as Look Who’s Talking, but at the domestic and foreign box office he was a has-been, someone largely remembered for a white sharkskin suit and a few fabulous dance moves.


By Stephen Galloway




Ask Your Doctor. Until Then, Here’s a Word From Our Sitcom.

A reader recently wrote in about drug advertising.

“I used to work in production of TV commercials,” she emailed. “Unless I am mistaken, the U.S. is one of only 2 countries IN the WORLD that allow television advertising of pharmaceuticals. It is outrageous and it is clearly one of the reasons that our drugs are more expensive than any country in the world.”

I checked. It’s true that only the United States and New Zealand allow direct advertising of prescription drugs to consumers, while Brazil allows some advertising of nonprescription, over-the-counter medications.





Thunder Road

The first 10 minutes of the SXSW Dramatic Feature film winner from the 2018 festival.


BY Vimeo




Brilliant Jerks review: Rating the Uber trip as a culture soured by machismo

The inspiration for this spicy hour-long piece from Joseph Charlton is his work as a journalist covering Uber, though he’s certainly not claiming it’s a docudrama. He’s alive to the essential paradox of being employed as a driver – a solitary role, yet also one that involves moments of revealing intimacy. At the same time he’s intrigued by the gig economy’s voracious overlords and their disconnection from the people toiling on the front line.

The result, in Rosy Banham’s lean production, is a vision of a truly sour corporate culture. At the top level it’s defined by macho excess, grandiose mission statements and an insistence on giving every element of the business a snappy name that’s frankly beyond parody.





Crypto Influencers

We just published a new list: 300 most influential brands in crypto on It’s experimental and we’d love to know if this is useful to you!






Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat. I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.


BY Paul J. Zak







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