This Week In Branded Content (November 16)

“The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned. We have these dark ads that target and manipulate me and then vanish because I can’t bookmark them. This is not democracy – this is putting who gets selected into the hands of the most manipulative companies out there.”

– Tim Berners-Lee






Ryan Reynolds “Is Taking Performance Art to Another Level” With ‘Deadpool 2’

Comic book creator Rob Liefeld and actor Stefan Kapicic take a look at the new teaser. Perhaps no one is more excited for the Wednesday’s first footage of Deadpool 2 than the person who started it all. Comic book creator Rob Liefeld tells Heat Vision he’s already watched it “millions of times.” Ryan Reynolds plays Deadpool impersonating late painter Bob Ross, wearing a wig to mimic his trademark afro. It’s a fascinating balancing act, with the actor playing comics’ dirtiest and most hyper hero playing perhaps the public television’s most calm artist of all time.

BY Aaron Couch



Popular Shorts May Lead To ‘Overwatch’ Animated Feature

Blizzard Entertainment is open to the idea of a feature-length project inspired by its hit sci-fi MOFPS Overwatch, thanks to enthusiastic fan response to its online animated shorts. Tim Kilpin, who heads Blizzard’s Consumer Product Group, told MCV in a recent interview that: “We would like that very much.” (Um, so would we!) The company is currently setting up a movie based on its M-rated Call of Duty franchise through Activision Blizzard Studios. Officially launched in 2016, Overwatch is a futuristic combat game which pits two teams of six players each against each other, offering players a selection of colorful and distinct hero character avatars.


BY Mercedes Milligan




Sean Hannity Decides Enough Keurigs Have Been Destroyed In His Honor

Keurig, the economy-class airfare ticket of coffee makers, found itself at the center of a conservative protest over the weekend after it pulled its ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. The company’s decision came after Hannity interviewed Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama, on his radio show, allowing him to defend himself against accusations that he pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls when he was in his thirties. After dealing Moore a series of softball questions, Hannity cast doubts on the accounts of the then-four alleged victims, arguing that viewers should give Moore the benefit of the doubt.


BY Maya Kosoff



EA Answer To ‘Star Wars’ Hate Becomes Reddit’s Most-Downvoted In History

Reddit’s video game community has the lightsabers out for the developer of “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” as a response to complaints about the game set a new record for the most-disliked post on the site. Electronic Arts has been feeling dark side-level rage from “Star Wars” fans all week, ever since it was discovered that the company was withholding popular characters Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader behind a paywall in their new “Battlefront” game. The characters could only be unlocked by paying money, or logging 40 hours of playtime. “Seriously? I paid $80 to have Vader locked?” one user wrote on Reddit Sunday.


By Josh K. Elliott




Watch Mohegan Sun’s New Branded Entertainment Series Back Of House

Go behind the scenes with a group of fun employees at one of the largest casino resort destinations in the world. See the organized chaos that is transformed into fun for every guest.


BY Mohegan Sun



Alibaba’s ‘Singles Day’ Requires An Event Bigger Than The Super Bowl

Alibaba Group’s Singles’ Day” is a bonanza of billions of dollars. But to get the money flowing, the company knows it needs to put on a show. Actress Nicole Kidman and musician Pharrell were among the participants in a four-hour live spectacular that enlisted the talents of 789 different performers and a crew of 2,900 and is streamed to millions of Chinese consumers eager to use the e-commerce giant’s sites to scoop up everything from appliances to shellfish. Analysts have estimated that last year’s event resulted in the sale of $17.7 billion worth of goods and products.


BY Brian Steinberg




Facebook Live Is The New QVC

It’s not Tracie Reeves’s thick Tennessee twang that hooks viewers into the two-hour-long shows she broadcasts via Facebook Live, six times a week. “I don’t know how they listen to my voice,” Reeves confides. “I’ve tried to watch the videos back. Can’t do it. I’m absolutely one of the most annoying people that I’ve ever heard.” Beejoli Shah is a freelance journalist and a contributing editor for Pacific Standard. ——— Sign up to get Backchannel’s weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Yet 25,000 Facebook fans tune in to watch Reeves—a bubbly, relatable young mother of four, with a habit of dropping F-bombs—do what she does surprisingly well: sell oysters over the internet.


BY Beejoli Shah



For The Next Six Hours You Can Guide A Robot Through A Web Of Miniature Reddit-Themed Escape Rooms

Something weird is about to happen on Reddit. Starting at 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, an AI-powered robot the size of a computer mouse will star in a live event that’s part reality show, part interactive puzzle and all an homage to the internet’s premier repository of dank memes. The, uh, thing (event? live stream? brand activation?) is known as “Cozmo Lost in Reddit” and it’s a collaboration between consumer robotics company Anki and legendary ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to promote Anki’s popular tiny, mighty consumer robot.


BY Taylor Hatmaker






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