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LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Already Exceeding its Goal

LeVar Burton wants the web to save reading and _Reading Rainbow_ | The Verge

Just like it always did, “Reading Rainbow” is counting on “viewers like you” to bring access to books and excitement about reading to children across America. And “you” are seriously stepping up to the fundraising plate.

By now, you’ve likely heard that the classic show’s longtime host, LeVar Burton (who may have been our childhood hero), has taken to crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to fund the resurrection of “Reading Rainbow” in a new, web-based format that would bring an unlimited library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.

Though Burton launched a successful Reading Rainbow tablet App two years ago, he points out that not every child has access to tablets, either at home or at school, but 97% of American children have web access. As the Kickstarter page explains: Read more

This Week’s Most Bizarre Branding Move: Axe’s Pheromone-Infused Business Cards. Gag.

In case Axe‘s incredibly misogynistic and epically douchey ads and overpowering fragrances don’t make you gag enough, here comes the brand’s newest campaign: “Pheromone Business Cards.”

In the promo video below, we see “Axe associates” (every frat boy’s dream job) working out while wearing sweatbands. The secretions collected in the bands (ugh, I can’t even write this without nearly losing my breakfast) are then extracted by “scientists” who go about “isolating their essence, distilling it into a concentrated solution that could only have come from that specific axe associate.” That solution is then infused into business cards stamped with the gross proclamation, “Infused with the essence of (name here).”

The idea, as the spot explains, was to create a business card that goes beyond communicating an associate’s contact information, and instead “communicates the very essence of that person’s attraction.” As such, it’s designed to be “a card that may attract more than just business for our associates.”

Yeah. Like a slap to the face and panicked use of hand sanitizer.

Lunar Advertising: Japanese Company to Launch Can of Soda to the Moon

LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT | キミの夢を、月に届けよう。

Japanese soda company Otsuka is about to take “one giant leap” for advertising.

The moon’s surface, once described by Neil Armstrong as “magnificent desolation,” is about to become a bit less desolate thanks to a 2.2-pound titanium capsule filled with “powdered sports drink and children’s dreams,” which the beverage maker, in partnership with Pittsburgh-based aerospace company Astrobiotic Technology, plans to bestow upon our lunar neighbor.

Astrobiotic is currently in competition for the $20-million Google Lunar X prize, which will be awarded to the first company to land a payload on the moon’s surface that can travel at least 1,640 feet and transmit high-definition images back to Earth. To fund such a project and to purchase a spot on a launch vehicle (which, in this case, is the Falcon 9 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX), the company needs sponsors, and Otsuka has offered Astrobiotic a hefty half-million in exchange for a can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink acting as a stowaway. Read more

GE and Jimmy Fallon Show You Their GIFs

Here’s an interesting little case study that combines three things we like: sponsored content, social media and real-time marketing.

General Electric is all about invention, right? So the company encouraged fans and followers to submit their own great ideas using the hashtag #SomeoneShouldInvent and created customized GIFs of their favorites.

On to the sponsored part, which features Jimmy Fallon and a bunch of adorable kids (come on, you have to click)…

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UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

tesla-review-hed-2014

I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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Kevin Bacon’s Brother and Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bacon Team Up to Challenge Their More Famous Siblings

It’s tough to be the equally talented, more heart-healthy sibling of a famous celebrity; if you’re going to have to share their last name, shouldn’t you be able to share their spotlight, too? Now, the other Bacons (Kevin’s brother Michael and Oscar Mayer‘s turkey bacon) are teaming up to help make this underdog fantasy a Twitter-fueled reality.

Sure, Michael Bacon might be 50% of the band The Bacon Brothers, but Kevin is likely almost 100% of the reason people want to hear them play. And while turkey bacon is undeniably delicious, T-shirts, recipes, and burger joints all celebrate its porkier counterpart. This campaign aims to change all that.

The campaign urges people to celebrate the story of the #UnsungBacon by following Michael on Twitter, with the eventual goal of overtaking his movie-star-brother’s number of followers — a lofty goal to be sure, as Michael currently has 1,680 followers while Kevin boasts over 431,000. But Oscar Mayer, brand king of all processed meats, really believes in Michael (and its own product), and is determined to show the world the wonders of both. Read more

Diet Coke Never Really Had a Drug Problem

Apparently, Diet Coke was just fake-dabbling in drugs; it never really had a problem.

You may recall that the “You’re On. Diet Coke” campaign attracted a bit of mockery back in March from a bunch of journalists who may or may not have written from personal experience.

We assumed that was the joke, but in the wake of such harsh media criticism Diet Coke seems to have grown both self-conscious and overly confident. They’ve been acting a little nervous and jittery. They want something new, something fresh. Just a little taste.

At any rate, the company decided to turn in-house and develop a new campaign…with a thirty-year-old tagline.

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Unilever Is Cool with People Mocking Latest Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign

Every brand wants to start a conversation, right? Unilever’s Dove has unquestionably scored one of the biggest media wins in recent years with its extended “Real Beauty” campaign by Ogilvy.

The latest spot, titled “Patches”, went viral faster than any of its predecessors. In an interview earlier this month, a branding expert told us it was an example for other brands to mimic.

And yet, with success comes criticism. As the ad got bigger, nearly every blog weighed in to knock it. EDGE Collective founder Ryan Aynes told us that the amplification of negative sentiments on social media made the backlash look larger than it actually was, but plenty of people still disapprove.

This parody of the spot isn’t the funniest thing you’ll see this week, but it does summarize the complaints made against Dove:

As our headline reads, however, Unilever is totally cool with it.

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Coming to a Freezer Near You: PR from the Frozen Food Section?

frozen food review

Because even the frozen pork rinds need love

DYK that there has been a shortage in the frozen food section?

Evidently, it has grown to Hungry-Man XXL proportions because the entire frozen food industry believes it has an image problem. It could be America’s push to eat healthy. Possibly, farm-to-table is to blame. Maybe, it is because of all those shows Food Network keeps creating forcing at-home cooks to believe they can be the next Emeril Lagasse.

Whatever the case, the American Frozen Food Institute has decided to invest in a “multi-year, multimillion dollar PR campaign.” Oh, it’s real. It’s very real.  Read more

Just in Time for Prom: KFC Introduces Chicken Corsage

Hey, prom-bound teenagers: unsure of your date’s favorite flower, or clueless as to which blooms would best match her dress? Fear not! KFC is here for you with a corsage that pairs flawlessly with everything (especially mashed potatoes and gravy).

Just in time for the prom-related promo season, KFC has introduced a new type of “arm candy” — a chicken corsage, which is exactly what it sounds like. For a mere $20, the savvy shopper can purchase a kit online, which will ship from a Louisville, Ky. florist, and comes complete with delicate corsage-makings and a $5 KFC gift card to be used for a drumstick. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether the morsel to adorn your date’s lovely wrist will be Extra Crispy, Kentucky Grilled Chicken or Original Recipe.

Just be forewarned of two things: First, it’s not easy to get grease stains out of chiffon. Second, if it suddenly seems as though your date is leaning in for a mid-dance kiss, she might just be leaning in for a nibble of her delicious accessory.

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