The Week In Branded Content (September 7th)

The Week In Branded Content (September 7th)

“As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously. We can’t take on every issue. But as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities.”

– Chip Burgh / CEO Levis Strauss






Watch: How Eminem’s ‘Fall’ Music Video is A Solid Example of Branded Content

This time, he’s most definitely ‘not afraid.’
Released unannounced and unexpectedly, Eminem’s latest album, Kamikaze, dropped late last Thursday evening to kick-off the long Labor Day weekend. His 10th raucous studio album, the work took a recently “in vogue” approach to mass distribution: release with as little fanfare as possible; who needs a hit single for promotion when the artist’s mere existence is the promotion?

And now, just a few short days later, the first single and accompanying music video for Kamikaze—the angrily catchy rebuttal, Fall—has sprouted upward.

BY Erik Luers



A 5-star boutique hotel in Switzerland with a world-famous infinity pool no longer has to pay for advertising, thanks to Instagram

A five-star hotel in the Swiss countryside has become so Instagram-famous that it doesn’t even need to pay for advertising anymore.

Thanks to the popularity of its infinity pool on Instagram, Villa Honegg hasn’t paid for advertising since 2011, according to Forbes.

“Social media is our advertising,” general manager Sebastian Klink told Forbes. “We haven’t had paid media since our renovation in 2011.”

According to Klink, the hotel first blew up on social media when a Brazilian blogger posted a video on YouTube of the pool at night — and it went viral.


BY Katie Warren




Samsung found a new smart home evangelist in ‘Family Guy’

Samsung gives me smart home fatigue. Enough about Smart Things, enough about how a thousands-of-dollars TV can connect to a new thousand-dollar fridge or washing machine. Enough beautiful families showcasing features in beautiful houses that I can only dream of living in. Samsung’s leaning on augmented reality and some Family Guy branding to show the kind of tasks that can be accomplished with connected home assistance — and make it a little more, well, friendly.


BY Mat Smith



The surprising reason why this yogurt drink is flying off store shelves

A recent boom in sales for a Japanese yogurt drink that’s been around for decades is proving, once again, that being featured in a popular Netflix program can be a boon for business.

After a Yakult-like product, a probiotic dairy drink, made an appearance in the recently released Netflix original romantic comedy, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” it’s been flying off supermarket shelves.


By Erica Chayes Wida




‘You can’t just treat it as a retail platform’: Inside Lego’s Amazon voice strategy

Lego is spending more money on Amazon, using everything from video advertising to voice to augmented reality.

Lego has already launched two Alexa Skills within the last eight months. The second debuted in May as an interactive storytelling service for children aged 2 to 5. While it’s too soon to share feedback, the toymaker is already thinking about how similar services might look as podcasts or audiobooks on Alexa and beyond. Lego’s approach is less about buying search adverts — for now — and more about producing content.


BY Seb Joseph



Here’s 23,000 Ways That Branded Content Is a S**t Show (Guest Column)

My company, Studio71, received a request for proposal not too long ago from a major Hollywood studio looking to hire an influencer to promote one of its upcoming projects. We were one of four shops competing for the work and we felt confident, given that we worked with the perfect talent for the project, that we could win the business.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out … for any of us.

Just days after submitting our proposal, I received a call informing me that every shop had pitched the same talent — our talent — for the project. The exec on the phone said that she had never seen anything like it.






Levi Strauss CEO: Why Business Leaders Need to Take a Stand on Gun Violence

In November 2016, I wrote an open letter requesting that gun owners not bring firearms into our stores, offices, or facilities, even in states where it’s permitted by law. This was following an incident in one of our stores in which a customer accidentally shot and injured himself while trying on a pair of jeans. While that was bad, it could have been worse: The bullet could have killed him, another customer, or one of our employees.

In the days after I published that letter, I received threats to our stores, our business, and even on my life.





Global social media regulation is coming – Alex Jones is just the start

Despite all his rage, is Alex Jones still just a rat in a cage?

In August, Facebook removed four pages run by Jones, a vile conspiracy theorist, and his company, Infowars. YouTube closed his account. So did Pinterest. Apple banned several audio streams. Spotify cut a major podcast. Twitter suspended Jones’ account for one week.


BY Samuel Scott




Is Colin Kaepernick’s Nike deal activism – or just capitalism?

Gil Scott-Heron famously noted that the revolution would not be right back after a message, would not go better with Coke, and certainly would not be televised. It now appears, if Nike’s current advertising campaign is to be believed, that the revolution comes embossed with a Swoosh.

On Monday the famously underemployed NFL player Colin Kaepernick tweeted a black and white image of his face, his eyes staring at us, with the words “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” etched over the top. Below sits Nike’s Swoosh.


BY Ben Carrington







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