This Week In Branded Content (October 12)

“I’m talking about market research firms like Cinemascore, which started in the late ’70s, and online “aggregators” like Rotten Tomatoes, which have absolutely nothing to do with real film criticism. They rate a picture the way you’d rate a horse at the racetrack, a restaurant in a Zagat’s guide, or a household appliance in Consumer Reports. They have everything to do with the movie business and absolutely nothing to do with either the creation or the intelligent viewing of film. The filmmaker is reduced to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer.”

– Martin Scorsese






Move over, Mark Zuckerberg: Taylor Swift Is Launching Her Own Social Network

Taylor Swift is getting ready to launch a social network that will let her fans play play play far from the hate hate hate. The Swift Life app will let Swift’s fans connect with each other–and Taylor herself–through message boards, photos, quizzes, exclusive clips, and her music, which is probably going to fulfill some of her fans’ wildest dreams. Considering how ardent Swift’s fans are, the project could be a hit, which would be good news for Glu Mobile, the company behind The Swift Life as well as other celebrity-driven apps like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Restaurant Dash: Gordon Ramsay.





Is Steven Soderbergh’s New App The Future Of TV?

Director Steven Soderbergh—the man behind Magic Mike, The Knick, and this summer’s Logan Lucky—just released the trailer for his latest project. He made it with the help of HBO, but it’s not a movie or TV show. Instead, Mosaic is an interactive narrative app that will be available for free download in November. Co-written by Ed Solomon, it’s a murder mystery starring Sharon Stone that lets viewers click through a growing web of “chapters,” deciding how the homicide investigation unfolds. This isn’t a novel idea; creators have been experimenting with branching narratives for decades without garnering much popular interest.


BY Sarah Burke




Ai Weiwei Launches Controversial Public Art Project Focused On Immigration

In 1937, French artist André Breton opened a surrealist art gallery in Paris called Gradiva. The artist Marcel Duchamp designed the glass door entranceway with a silhouette of two figures stepping in unison, symbolizing cultural advancement, which guests could walk through. That very same silhouette is making a comeback, rebuilt in steel under the arch of the Washington Square Park monument in New York City. It’s part of Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, a public art exhibition by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei which has launched this week and continues to 11 February.


BY Nadja Sayej



Mensa Offers To Host IQ Contest Between Trump And Rex Tillerson After President Lays Down Gauntlet

Mensa has offered to give IQ tests to Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson, after the President boasted that he would have a higher score than his secretary of State. Responding to reports that Mr Tillerson had called him a “moron” — which Mr Tillerson denies — Mr Trump suggested that he has a higher IQ than his top cabinet member. “I think it’s fake news,” Mr Trump said during an interview with Forbes when asked about the reports. “But, if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”


By Clark Mindock




Microsoft Is Holding A $3.5 Million Competition To Find The Next Great Garage Startup — ‘Like American Idol’

Microsoft, suffice it to say, is a very big company. But even with its vast resources, it can’t go out and talk to every developer working on the next big thing. “There are many great companies pushing the boundary of [artificial intelligence] that we can’t reach, even with our efforts,” Microsoft Ventures head Nagraj Kashyap tells Business Insider. That brings us to today, as Microsoft announces Innovate.AI, a global contest to find the small startup with the biggest idea for how artificial intelligence can solve a real problem.


BY Diana Budds



9 Stunning Photos Of Millennials With Everything They Own

Millennials have been called “nightmare employees” and are credited with “killing” countless industries. This photo series shows their softer, more vulnerable side. Swedish photographer Sannah Kvist asks millennials to pile everything they own into a corner of their room and pose for a portrait. The resulting images provide revealing glimpses into who they are and how their generation lives. Here are nine photos from her series, “All I Own.”


BY Talia Lakritz




Reese Witherspoon Has A Line At Crate And Barrel — And It’s Simply Adorable!

So, we weren’t surprised when, Crate and Barrel announced a partnership with Witherspoon on Tuesday — as its first-ever celebrity ambassador — a move that will expand her Draper James empire and undoubtedly solidify her status as a full-fledged lifestyle maven. “We are honored to work with Reese Witherspoon, who expresses so many of the best qualities of our brand — style, warmth and optimism,” said Steve Woodward, president of Crate and Barrel, in a news release. “She has shown the world she has an eye for design, and we’re thrilled for her to showcase that as an ambassador for the company.”


BY Lindsay Cohn



Chris Murphy: Pence Walkout ‘A Multi Million Dollar Political Stunt Paid For By Taxpayers’

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday slammed Vice President Mike Pence for walking out of an Indianapolis Colts football game, calling it “a multi million dollar political stunt paid for by taxpayers.” “Don’t let these guys tell you they are fiscal conservatives. This was a multi million dollar political stunt paid for by taxpayers,” Murphy tweeted.


BY Brandon Conradis




What Was The Deal With Zuckerberg’s Virtual Trip To Puerto Rico?

When you think of blockchain, you usually think about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. While these are interesting and disruptive in their own right, it is the non-currency applications of blockchain that could truly revolutionize how we do business. The most obvious place we’ll see this is in marketing and advertising, especially as a means of controlling or eradicating the immense amount of ad fraud across the industry. But how many blockchain marketing technologies exist right now, and how quickly are they being launched?


BY Kate Knibbs, Alyssa Bereznak, Molly McHugh, and Justin Charity



Martin Scorsese on Rotten Tomatoes, Box Office Obsession and Why ‘Mother!’ Was Misjudged

The legendary director is critical of the outsize influence of Tomatometer ratings and Cinemascore grades, adding that “good films by real filmmakers aren’t made to be decoded, consumed or instantly comprehended.” I have serious doubts that anyone misses the days when they were back in school and getting graded on their work. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so..


BY Martin Scorsese






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