Turning the camera on Big Brother

NYTimes is analyzing the music used by candidates at their rallies. Music is a powerful emotional signal, transmitting a message deep into the emotional brain where we feel connection. So, it is helpful to know how candidates are using this psychological messaging tool to reach voters.

Extrapolating meaning from data sets, such as song tracks used in political campaigns, can bring to light information that would otherwise not emerge. The growing trend of using big data to help us understand and manipulate the world may be coming more into the hands of the public.

Why it’s hot: Knowledge is power. Whoever has the data and the processing power, has the knowledge and can learn things about the world that no one would have discovered otherwise. Primarily this power has been with brands and governments. But what if more of that power came into the hands of the people? This article points to a possible future where open-source data mining could help us learn things about governments and companies that could level the playing field in the war over territory in our collective consciousness.

If big data was in the hands of the people, what would we do with it? How would it effect our relationship with brands and products.

Source: NYTimes

Shuttershock Gets Strange…Imagines Stranger Things 3 with Only Stock Imagery

In preparation for the July 4 release of Netflix’s Stranger Things 3, Shutterstock has gotten in on the world of the Upside Down by releasing its own version made entirely of Shutterstock stock footage.

Via Adweek:

If you’re eagerly awaiting the July 4 debut of Stranger Things’ third season—dubbed Stranger Things 3—on Netflix, Shutterstock is hoping it can quench your thirst with a version of its own, made entirely from stock footage.

The stock-footage company’s new campaign, Strange Things, intended to parody the science-fiction horror aesthetic that’s made Stranger Things a pop-culture phenomenon and the recipient of dozens of awards nominations.

“Enjoy binge watching strange things?” the ad for Shutterstock reads as an ominous synth plays. “Well, you’re in luck. We have millions of strange things. Like 80’s things, shady things, upside down things—and even stranger things.”

Save for the iconic cast of the show, the video—made entirely from Shutterstock’s own assets—points to the breadth of the company’s stock-footage library.

ESPN Goes All-In On Fantasy

ESPN Fantasy sports app is driving a massive chunk of the network’s digital traffic, and Disney executives are looking to replicate that success for other networks.

  • ESPN Fantasy produces more log-in events than any other application in the Walt Disney company.
  • On NFL Sundays, ESPN Fantasy accounts for 53% of all minutes consumed across ESPN Digital platforms.
  • To date, Fantasy has engaged more 20 million unique users in 2017. The network gets roughly 90-100 million combined monthly uniques on average, per comScore.

The success of ESPN Fantasy has the attention of ABC executives. Last year, Disney launched a fantasy league game for ABC’s “Bachelorette” to help broaden the Fantasy reach to women and found enormous success. The two Bachelorette Fantasy League games were played by more than 700,000 users, 75% of whom were women.








Why It’s Hot:

ESPN and its parent company, Disney, are experimenting with online offerings that go beyond traditional TV content. They are beginning to see the value in providing additional services that pair well with their owned televised content and their partners content (ABC, NFL, NBA, MLB, etc), both of which will drive people online capturing attention on TV, mobile, and possibly future subscription products.

The Crazy German Theater With a 19-Mile-Long Stage

The Bewegtes Land is a project that started recently in Germany. Passengers traveling by train through Germany’s Saale Valley will have an unexpected treat, as the train route was transformed into a long stage for performance art.

The acting is performed by 400 residents (and volunteers) along the 19-mile train route. The vignettes showed various situations from “running” bushes to a shark emerging from a lake right beside a canoer. The goal of the project is to amuse passengers and, at the same time bring people from these small communities together.

The project was created by Jörn Hintzer and Jacob Hüfner, media artists, and professors at the Bauhaus University Weimar.

Why it’s hot:
They managed to create a new and creative media and a narrative fully designed for it.

Recommended: “A Piece of Work”

Here’s a shameless plug for a podcast I really dig: Abbi Jacobsen’s new “A Piece of Work” podcast, a collab with WNYC and MoMA.

Read more here: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-piece-of-work-inside-abbi-jacobsons-new-art-podcast-w494252

And listen to it here: https://project.wnyc.org/new-piece-of-work-moma-podcast/?gclid=CjwKEAjwoNrMBRD4-viTlaj42GcSJAD84Ni_ahV6_Nn_s1DD-4Ghu_OA8CVfaSjqxUpt4qPH1CZ5sxoCB-Tw_wcB


I appreciate A Piece of Work for the way it demystifies what fine art is all about. It’s incredibly accessible– even the curators she interviews are surprisingly unpretentious– which is so refreshing. Plus, her guests are great–  there is nothing not funny about Hannibal Burress talking about Duchamp’s urinal found art sculpture. As an Art History nerd I love it, but I recommend it because living in New York City it is easy to forget the incredible art all around us and A Piece of Work is not only a great podcast but a great reminder.

Too big to ignore: LA Times hires first beat reporter to cover Black Twitter

The newspaper announced today it’s the first news organization to hire a beat reporter to cover the influential Twitter collective that is largely ignored by the mainstream media. The hiring of freelance journalist Dexter Thomas to cover Black Twitter is part of a broader push to beef up its digital side.

Managing Editor S. Mitra Kalita said that covering Black Twitter is “so much more complicated than that.” She’s right. At any one moment, the vast online culture is dominating the social network by discussing the news or initiating topics that trend on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Stereo Williams from the Daily Beast described it as an “online culture of black intellectuals, trendsetters, and talking heads giving voice to many of the issues that 20 years ago would’ve remained far away from the mainstream media.” He points to the recent hashtag campaigns (#BringBackOurGirls) and protestors using Twitter following the deaths of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin as how important it is to the black community. In fact, research from Pew reveals that 40 percent of black 18-to-29 year olds are active on Twitter, compared to just 28 percent of white Twitter users in the same age bracket.


Why it’s hot:

With Twitter struggling to find its purpose recently, black entrepreneur Tristan Walker says the platform “should pay attention” to its growing community of black members.

Imagine Dragons and Target Win the Grammys with #MoreMusic

Target took a different approach to its Grammys advertising this year. Rather than opt for a traditional 30-second spot, the brand pooled eight 30-second media buys into a single four-minute commercial: A commercial break turned into a live performance by rock group Imagine Dragons.

Target’s VP of Marketing said the #MoreMusic campaign, launched this past week on the night of the Grammy Awards, gives the fans just what they want when watching the awards show: more music! In doing so, the campaign promotes the retailer’s exclusive release of the deluxe edition of the band’s upcoming album.

#MoreMusic literally gives fans more music: During the Grammys broadcast, viewers were treated to an additional live performance during a commercial break, and fans will get exclusive bonus tracks when they purchase the album from Target.

In addition, fans are also able to unlock bonus content on Twitter by joining the conversation with #MoreMusic.

Read more via Adweek and AdAge.

Why It’s Hot: What better audience to try to sell your new album to than viewers watching the biggest night in music? Imagine Dragons and Target made history with the first ever live ad to air in real-time during the Grammys. The #MoreMusic campaign lives on in rotation the week after the awards show, when the Imagine Dragons album is set for release.

With technology booming and us marketers having to be even more creative with ad content and media, this is just one of a list of infinite possibilities of connecting a brand to the consumer.