This Week In Branded Content (March 24)

“We may look back at self-expression as the terrible deadening conformity of our time. It doesn’t mean it’s bad and it doesn’t mean it’s a fake thing. It’s gotten so that everyone does it–so what’s the point? Everyone expresses themselves every day.”

– Adam Curtis





With Video Series, Chipotle Tries To Rebuild Trust With Parents After Safety Crisis

Chipotle Mexican Grill, whose rapid growth was fueled by millennials enamored of the chain’s signature fresh ingredients, is looking to families to help it recover from a food-safety crisis that tarnished its carefully crafted image.

BY Leslie Patton



YouTube Enlists Agencies To Adapt Classic Books Into Witty Six-Second Ads

From selfie-snapping Dracula (because no photo, no proof applies even in the world of vampires), to schizophrenic Don Quixote and heart-broken Jane Eyre, top ad agencies set to recreate classic stories from the Western canon in the six-second format. Launched at SXSW, The Six Second Storytelling Challenge is part of YouTube’s effort to push Bumper—unskippable, six second pre-roll ad format. Result: 19 delightfully clever and witty shorts.






Banksy Explains Why He Built A ‘Walled Off Hotel’ On The West Bank

When Banksy opened a dystopian version of the Waldorf Hotel last week in Bethlehem, directly facing the border wall, it was shrouded in the pseudonymous artist’s typical veneer of mystery. Now more information detailing the hotel’s rhyme and reason is available—straight from the source.




Sony’s March Madness ‘Boss Button’ Is An Online Ad That Works

Lots of smart people in the advertising business say that the future of advertising won’t be advertising — it will be some kind of “branded content.” Not an interruption, but a baked-in part of something people actually want to watch/read/consume.






The ‘Archer’ Team Made An App That Could Change The Way We Watch TV And We Have An Exclusive First Look

In a small office, the Floyd County team is talking, extensively, about fingers. Specifically, they’re pondering whether Archer can turn a half eaten hot dog and some scraps into a passable human finger with a class ring on it. Archer, like the team, has to work with what he can get. But this isn’t a joke for an episode.




Meet Julia, A Muppet With Autism – And The Newest Character On ‘Sesame Street’

In a coming episode of “Sesame Street,” a new character will make her television debut. Her name is Julia — and like so many other Muppets, she’s “smiley, curious and loves to play.” Julia also has autism, which means she does some things a little differently. For instance, upon her introduction to Big Bird, she doesn’t make eye contact or speak, but rather continues coloring.

BY Amy B Wang





The Big Winner At SxSW This Year Wasn’t An App: It Was A Mattress Company

The annual South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, has catapulted various apps to stardom, although they haven’t always lasted much longer than that. In 2007, Twitter took off there. In 2009, it was Foursquare’s turn; in 2015, Meerkat (which only lasted about a year and a half). But this year, it wasn’t an app that got people talking. It was mattress company Casper.

BY Michelle Castillo



‘Power Rangers’ Merchandise Hits Stores For New Fans, Nostalgic Adults

For nearly 25 years, Saban Brands’ “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” entertainment franchise has fueled the imaginations and backyard adventures of a generation of young fans. Like its athletic, monster-fighting heroes, the tokusatsu (“special filming,” meaning a blend of live-action footage and special effects) series has morphed into countless iterations, including 19 interconnected television programs and three feature films.

BY Paul Gaita





Personalized Advertising Is An Oxymoron

In 1999 Stephen Spielberg was in pre-production for the film Minority Report, an adaption of Philip K Dick’s short story. He invited a group of prominent thinkers, writers and scientists to spend two days brainstorming what that future would look like. They were tasked with questions such as…

BY Faris



Ad Agencies And Accountability

It’s never a good thing when a news story begins with the phrase “summoned before the government.” That, though, is exactly what happened to Google last week in a case of what most seem to presume is the latest episode of tech companies behaving badly.

BY The Times






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