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This Week In Branded Content (October 6)

“That’s where the love affair started with Target. We’d have these Easter eggs throughout the store. Whether you chose to participate and buy the designer dress or the Michael Graves toaster, they were there. They made you feel sort of chic because you weren’t just immersed in drudgery. We like to feel like we were elevating the everyday and making that shopping experience joyful.”

– Dave Peterson / Target






The Danish artisan behind the world’s most unique bicycles (HUCK x Carlsberg)

I don’t know what perfection is. But it is something to strive for. And it means everything to me.” Rasmus Gjesing is the proprietor and perfectionist-in-chief of Cykelmageren — which translates in a typically Danish straightforward manner as ‘bike builder’. There is an air of elfin melancholy about Rasmus, who has spent a life honing the skills, defining the execution and combining the poles of the building process with an intense exactitude.


BY Michael Fordham



Toys R Us releases an AR app that lets you interact with its failing stores

When Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection last month, retail juggernauts like Walmart and Amazon were cited as the reasons behind the company’s woes. Now, in efforts to try and attract more customers to its shops and add a technological edge like its competitors, Toys R Us has released an AR app that lets users interact with its stores. AR has seen a surge in popularity thanks in part to a wave of new iPhone apps developed with Apple’s ARKit. Toys R Us is hoping to ride that wave.


BY Thuy Ong




Tinder taps comedian Whitney Cummings to launch ‘Reactions’

Following in the footsteps of Facebook and iMessage, Tinder has today introduced Reactions, letting Tinder users send each other custom animated responses. These reactions include Hearts, Eye Roll, Round of Applause, Martini Throw, etc. This makes it even easier for Tinder users to casually use the app without actually having to work at the conversation. In January of last year, Tinder introduced Giphy support and bigger emojis. Reactions seem like a natural extension of that, making the already featherweight Tinder experience even more casual and simplified.


BY Jordan Crook



Sigourney Weaver and sci-fi shorts: Inside Neill Blomkamp’s secret film studio

What is Neill Blomkamp playing at? The last you might have heard of the District 9 director was the death of his much-anticipated Alien sequel, apparently at the behest of Ridley Scott (Blomkamp diplomatically put it down to politics). But rather than railing against the injustices of Hollywood, he has set up his own little studio and started giving away films for free on YouTube..


By Steve Rose




What Happened When I Wore Google And Levi’s “Smart” Jacket For A Night

One evening last week, I got on my bike as I normally would. But this was no ordinary ride. Instead of pulling out my phone to get directions from Google Maps or figuring out what music was playing by glancing at my screen, I was hearing directions and music in my ear, and controlling it all by simply brushing or tapping on the cuff on my connected jean jacket–the product of a yearlong collaboration between Levi’s and Google’s Jacquard, an experimental project to design smart garments that act as interfaces.


BY Diana Budds



Why is Ikea buying TaskRabbit? Think about it.

On Thursday, Ikea said it has acquired TaskRabbit, the on-demand marketplace for finding gig workers to carry out random tasks, such as doing handyman work, waiting in line and … putting together Ikea furniture. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in October, were not disclosed. But TaskRabbit, which operates in 40 cities in the United States, as well as London, will continue to function as if it were an independent company. It will still be able to strike up new partnerships with retailers and others outside of Sweden-based Ikea.


BY Sara Ashley O’Brien




Fashion brands still succumbing to the high-priced artsy film

Fashion brands continue to blow money on artsy short films that have little to no payoff. Luxury brands, in particular, have shown an increasing fondness for the medium in the last few years. To wit, the last 12 months have seen film debuts by brands including Gucci, Kenzo, Miu Miu, Gareth Pugh and Louis Vuitton. Spending between $500,000 and $1 million on production that takes anywhere from one to four months, these films usually feature multiple locations, numerous celebrities and models, a big-name director and complicated visual effects


BY Jessica Schiffer



Advertising The Rebirth Of Retail

To forget a name but remember a face—it’s a common affliction, and Peterson Milla Hooks has embraced something of the sort as the cornerstone of its identity in dubbing itself the “famously unfamous” ad agency. Established in 1989, the Minneapolis-based firm earned some far-reaching stripes thanks to its neighbor Target when founder and Executive Creative Director Dave Peterson led the branding project that brought forth the retailer’s synonymous red and white bullseye logo.”


BY Isabella Alimonti




The Millennial Walt Disney: Maryellis Bunn

The Museum of Ice Cream, in San Francisco, is not a museum. Rather, it is a sprawling warren of interactive, vaguely hallucinatory confection-themed exhibits: brightly colored rooms with flattering lighting that contain, among other things, a rock-candy cave, a unicorn, and a swimming pool of rainbow sprinkles, now Instagram-influencer-infamous. It smells like fruit-flavored chemicals. There are seemingly infinite backdrops against which to take a cute selfie. It’s like a haunted house for digital natives; a Willy Wonka–induced fever dream. It’s not a store, though there’s plenty to buy. It’s not an ice-cream joint either, though the treat’s available.


BY Jake Stangel



Mark Ritson: Media buying’s deadly sins – and why agencies are too late to save their souls

Last week saw the great and the good of the advertising world trundle to New York City for Advertising Week – four days of talks, events, awards and general navel-gazing. If you have been to any advertising event you can imagine how it generally went down: the usual ongoing orgy of ‘disruptive digital purpose’ and ‘purpose-driven digital disruption’, and of course the big keynote on ‘the digital disruption of purpose’. Take your pick.


BY Mark Ritson






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