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News On Paper Towels? Yeah, It’s A Thing Now

Like a throw back to the days of ripping the latest headlines off the wire, one newspaper in Mexico has come up with a fun and unexpected way to put the paper back in newspaper — with paper towels!

Check out this video from agency FCB Mexico about the fun campaign by free newspaper Más por Más, which according to the video literally prints the latest headlines ON paper towels as they come out of the dispenser. They put a QR code on the sheets, and report a significant increase in visitors to their website from the novel hand wipes (which were made with a special ink that didn’t smear).

Fun AND functional? You bet!

See more of the details about the creatives behind this idea on Creativity.
(H/T PSFK)

How News Orgs Can Make Weather Interesting on Social Media

Weather forecasts can’t possibly be funny, right? But Digital Communities Manager at the Dallas Morning News, Michael Landauer, has made the impossible possible in his hilarious daily weather Facebook posts.

Poynter has been giving Landauer’s postings some love over the last week, but as I’m a Dallas native and follow the comical newspaperman on Facebook (he was my editor back in the day, when I wrote for the DMN as a Student Voice), I’ve been noticing Landauer’s unique take on weather for several weeks now. Another disclosure before we go further: I write for the DMN-owned content agency Speakeasy doing sponsored editorial, though that has nothing to do with the News‘ general Facebook presence.

Back to the weather. I read these posts each morning as I scroll through my Facebook feed in bed. Here are a few of Landauer’s most inspired works:

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Finally, Viral Content That’s Actually Funny: The Onion To Launch ClickHole.com

Watch out Upworthy, BuzzFeed and the other bazillion viral content producers who rely on visitors falling into the rabbit hole of clicking link after viral link on their website. There’s soon to be a new, funnier kid on the block who’s going after your audience by poking fun at you…

(Screen capture from ClickHole.com)

(Screen capture from ClickHole.com)

Parody news site The Onion, which already garners robust traffic by playing off newspaper and TV news story stereotypes, announced this week it will set its sights on stealing some of the click love with a parody site of the viral content farms.

The new site, ClickHole.com, will launch in June. Don’t worry though if you can’t wait that long, there’s already a fun infographicesque tutorial up on the homepage where you can practice your clicking skills. Plus, the name is such a perfect parody of such sites that it’s hard to believe that domain was even available.

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Vox.com Should Not Explain It All

voxlogo.jpgLike #slatepitches before it, the hype surrounding Ezra Kein’s endeavor, the focus on explaining it all, and the format of news cards — all good, interesting things — has basically set Vox.com up to be mocked.

When they’re talking about the Affordable Care Act or Ukraine, it all makes sense. When they start to explain Tinder? That’s where it starts to feel a little forced. It feels like some of the superfluous explainers, like the Game of Thrones recaps and maps, are good for social sharing and traffic, but not for their mission. If anything, they are distracting and sort of embarrassing, like when your mom used to write on your Facebook wall.

I know they want to cover everything and be the Wikipedia of news, but maybe they should stick to covering wonk. We can chart Nicholas Cage’s career over at Buzzfeed and talk about “hangry” over at The Atlantic. I know it doesn’t sound very innovative or new, but why don’t they stick to what they know? The card decks really work for that. Read more

CBS’ Watch Magazine Has a Soundtrack, and It’s Classical

Watch_June08If films get soundtracks, and television shows are backed by popular music and original scores, who says a print magazine can’t be, too?

Watch — an entertainment magazine produced by CBS, just debuted marketing videos for its celebrity and lifestyles coverage with a special bit of background noise — the sounds of a British violinist and a 22-piece orchestra.

According to an interview Watch magazine execs recently did with the New York TimesStuart Elliott, the CBS print spinoff (which, obviously, can also be accessed online, via smartphone apps and mobile devices, where the commissioned piece of music can be heard) decided to hire classical violinist Charlie Siem to write the piece for Watch‘s “brand videos”. Titled “Canopy”, the composition by Siem (who didn’t hesitate to call the project “unusual” but “rewarding”), was meant to “help [Watch magazine's] video content stand out amid the clutter.”

And after CBS’ Watch licensed the Chris Brown tune “Beautiful People” in 2013 for a big chunk of change, the pub was looking to incorporate original music into its social media and web promos for a cheaper price.

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