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9 (More) Brands That Gave Us Their Takes on ‘Mad Men’

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While our own Tonya Garcia already offered a quick list of social media promos tied to last night’s “Mad Men” premiere, we couldn’t resist a follow-up.

See, there was one question we just had to answer: Is real-time marketing deader than Don Draper’s career?

Find out after the jump!

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

WATCH: GoldieBlox Shows You ‘Your Brain on Princess’

Now that the much-discussed spat between GoldieBlox and The Beastie Boys has been settled, the gender-stereotype-challenging toy company is back with a new, equally-clever (but probably less legal action-inducing) commercial.

The spot, titled “This is Your Brain on Princess,” is a threefold masterpiece. Not only does the ad’s focus on an egg perfectly spoof that classic “This is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, but it’s perfectly-timed for Easter toy-buying, and manages to hammer home the point that little girls, like eggs, either crack under the pressure of a beauty-obsessed culture, or hatch by fully recognizing their multifaceted potential. Pretty brilliant.

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The Future of Content Marketing Is Here, and It Looks a Lot Like Snapchat

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One of the more interesting social campaigns honored at this week’s Shorty Awards was the one promoting Wet Seal on Snapchat–a campaign for which the brand’s agency ICED Media lent the “keys” to its account to a 16-year-old fashion vlogger.

Like many of our readers, we’ve only begun to dip our toes into the Snapchat pool (by drawing various hairstyles on our puppy). We’re still not sure what to make of the network as a promotional tool, yet Wet Seal’s campaign earned the brand more than 9,000 new followers.

Many top agency leaders will tell you that Snapchat and networks like it represent the future of creative content marketing.

We spoke to ICED president Leslie Hall to learn more.

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Here’s What Happens When a Comedian Takes Over Your Twitter Account

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In case you missed it, comedians are pretty good at using social networks–especially Twitter. It’s not just Rob Delaney.

Now, you may be excused for responding to the prospect of a funnyman/woman taking over a client’s account with a brief panic attack.

Yet comedy and social media are such natural partners that a pairing could be a huge win for your client.

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Honey Maid Issues World’s Nicest ‘STFU’ to Gay Rights Haters

Well, then.

You may recall that Cheerios received what we residents of the 21st century would call a shocking number of negative comments about its ad featuring interracial parents–and that Honey Maid got even more blowback from commentors and conservative Christian groups like One Million Moms (more like 64,500 moms) for the “Love Is Wholesome” spot featuring same-sex couples and their kids.

Here’s the company’s response, released this week:

You could call this a case of “doubling down” on corporate messaging efforts, but since One Million Moms referenced Romans 1:26-27 in its call to action, we’d prefer to summarize it with Biblical verse. Here’s Matthew 5:39:

“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

Here’s another one that comes from a book whose name we can’t quite remember…

“You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

Yep. That’s the one.

Watch: This Spoof of a ‘Generic Brand Video’ Is Brilliant

Disclaimer: we’ve been fans of McSweeney’s publications for years. We also think, talk, and write about branding every day. So, this is pretty much the greatest thing we can imagine seeing this week.

McSweeney’s recently published a brilliant zinger of a piece by Kendra Eash, titled “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” which cuts the bullsh*t side of branding to the quick with lines like the following:

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Felons Create Powerful Brand Campaigns and PSAs through ‘Concepting with Convicts’

A good idea can come from anywhere.

That was the revelation that led two interns at DigitasLBi in San Francisco to utilize the prison pen pal system to startConcepting with Convicts,” a project that helps convicted felons tap into their creativity by designing campaigns for major brands and PSAs.

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Inspired by powerful pieces of art made by felons, Ben Pfutzenreuter and Pat Davis, with the help Marcus Lof, sent hundreds of emails through prison pen pal websites seeking people who might be interested in the project. “We realized that if we could contact convicts themselves, maybe we could also show them that their creative talents can translate into a real career on the outside,” Davis told PSFK.

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Meow Mix Launches ‘Catstarter’, Which Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Remember when Charlie Kelly of “It’s Always Sunny” invented Kitten Mittens? Well, maybe such an ingenious cat-related product would have taken off if only a feline-centric crowdsourcing cite had existed.

Enter Meow Mix and Catstarter.

The website and campaign were thought up by agency EVB, and are meant to encourage cat-lovers to release their creativity. The site is set up like the well-known crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, but is geared specifically toward “things cats love, made by people who love cats.” The best part is that you don’t even need to donate your own money to help your favorite idea become a reality — you can just vote for the products you support, and Meow Mix will pay to bring the most popular inventions to fully-functioning life. Read more

15 Journalistic Clichés That You Should Also Avoid

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We’re sorry to say we missed this Washington Post list of top journalism cliches last month, but it’s a must read.

Writers often lecture PR people about phrases they should studiously avoid in press releases and pitches. But we rarely see such a rundown of easy linguistic standbys that reporters need to ditch along with last year’s BlackBerry.

The best part about this list is that—truth be told—we regularly use many of the suspect phrases ourselves! We used a big one in that last sentence, for example.

So we decided to pick out a few whoppers from the 150(!) to illustrate the fact that journalists are human, too—and sometimes it’s really hard to think of a better way to phrase an idea, especially when you have to write thousands of words a day.

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Duracell-Powered Bus Shelter Equipped With Heaters that are Hand-Holding-Activated

If you’re waiting for a bus in one of those little road-side shelters, you’re more than likely actively trying to stand or sit as far away from the other people in said shelter as possible — it’s not that you’re inherently unfriendly or antisocial, it’s just how it is. But in the bitter cold of a Canadian winter, might it be worth getting a little cozier with your fellow commuters for the sake of keeping warm?

Duracell decided to encourage strangers to create “Moments of Warmth” by installing heaters in a Montreal bus shelter. The heaters would only activate if the chilly commuters were willing to join hands, completing a circuit. It’s basically that scene in “Practical Magic” where the benevolent witches get the skeptical townspeople to join hands in a circle to save Nicole Kidman’s life…only less demon possession and more Duracell branding. In other words, strangers coming together to make life more comfortable, if only momentarily — what’s not to like?

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