The Week In Branded Content (30th March)

“How families are still struggling and what they do about it. There’s an arc in this season, and it’s the closest I’ve been to doing what I want to do. It’s about everything in our country. It’s about opioids and health care. How we deal with whole new issues that we didn’t even have before, like gender-fluid kids. How working class people — how and why they elected Trump.”

– – Roseanne Barr






This Artist Flooded N.Y.C. To Remind Us The Next Sandy Is Coming

When Hurricane Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan in 2012, it killed dozens, destroyed 250,000 vehicles, and caused $19 billion in damage. In the aftermath, it seemed like maybe, just maybe, the U.S. was finally ready to take the realities of global warming and rising oceans to heart. Yet while the city came up with an ambitious plan of protective levees and green space dubbed Big U, or, the Dryline, it’s still just a plan. Nothing is built. Another Sandy could happen tomorrow.

BY FastCoDesign



Netflix Teams With Formula 1 Racing For New Series

Formula 1 and Netflix have announced a season-long collaboration culminating in an original docu-series of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship, to be screened in early 2019.

The Netflix original series will attempt to immerse the audience inside the cockpits, the paddock, and the lives of the key players in Formula 1 racing. The series will have exclusive access to the world’s fastest drivers, team principals and owners, as well as Formula 1’s own management team.

Netflix has commissioned 10 episodes from the 2018 season.The series will be executive-produced by Academy-Award winner James Gay Rees (Senna) and Paul Martin for Box to Box Films. Sophie Todd will be the showrunner.


BY Bruce Haring




Why US supermarkets are selling 100-page puff piece on Saudi prince

The odd special interest publication from American Media Inc. that hit stands earlier this month appears to be a giant advertorial extolling the virtues of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and it’s raising eyebrows across the industry.

Its headlines credit the prince with “Transforming the World at 32” and being “Our Closest Middle East Ally Destroying Terrorism.”


BY Keith J. Kelly



Alibaba’s car vending machine in China gives free test drives to people with good credit scores

Alibaba and Ford signed a deal to form a partnership last year that would see both companies working together on new technological opportunities. Now, the companies have opened a cat-themed car vending machine in Guangzhou, China, that lets customers easily test-drive Ford vehicles they’re looking to buy. The “Super Test-Drive Center” is an unstaffed, digital vending machine that works with the Tmall app. Users select the car model they’re interested in, put down a deposit electronically, schedule a pickup time, and snap a selfie so the vending machine can recognize them when they pick up the car for a test drive. The test drives are free, as long as customers have a very respectable credit score of 700 or above.


By Dade Hayes





Harrowing sculptures have been unveiled on top of ITV’s London buildings to raise awareness around male suicide.

Male suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, with 75 per cent of all suicides in 2015 in the UK reported as being male.

ITV HQ has shown its support for this important issue by promoting the “Project 84” campaign launched by charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).





Roseanne Conner Has Become a Trump Supporter. Just Like Her Creator.

When last we saw Roseanne Conner, in 1997, the character was sitting alone on that old living room couch, after revealing that her husband, Dan, had died of a heart attack and that all nine seasons of “Roseanne” had been a grief-induced fantasy about her family. (Or something like that.)

Now Roseanne is back, the fantasy is out and Trump is in.

The show’s Emmy-winning star, Roseanne Barr, returns Tuesday night to ABC with a nine-episode revival season. Dan’s back too, once again played by John Goodman, as is daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert, who is also an executive producer) and much of the original cast.







Yesterday we reported that Match, the parent company of Tinder, was suing Bumble for patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property.

Specifically, Match alleged that Bumble “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise” for which a patent was filed in 2013 (before Bumble was founded) but just granted a few months ago.

Today Bumble has responded to Match’s lawsuit with a letter published on their own blog and other news outlets. The full letter is linked here and we’ll also include it in full at the bottom of this post.


BY Fitz Tepper



Movie adaptations of video games are still mostly terrible. Why has no one cracked the code?

No other film genre boasts such an unimpeachable reputation for dreadfulness as the video game adaptation. Some, such as this year’s Tomb Raider film and the zombie-themed Resident Evil efforts, almost achieve mediocrity. Others are so fascinatingly terrible that they have become Hollywood legend – for instance, the baffling interpretation of Super Mario Bros proffered by edgy British directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton in 1993, in which Nintendo’s bright, joyful Mushroom Kingdom was reimagined as a futuristic dystopia called Dinohattan, where everyone was dressed in fishnets and black leather trenchcoats. A quarter of a century later, it is still impossible to understand why anyone thought that was a good idea.


BY Keza MacDonald




This Is So Much Bigger Than Facebook

After five days of silence, Mark Zuckerberg finally acknowledged the massive data compromise that allowed Cambridge Analytica to obtain extensive psychographic information about 50 million Facebook users. His statement, which acknowledged that Facebook had made mistakes in responding to the situation, wasn’t much of an apology—Zuckerberg and Facebook have repeatedly demonstrated they seem to have a hard time saying they’re sorry.









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