GRAVITY PRODUCTS AND BIG SPACESHIP GIVE POV ON PRODUCT LABS

BY MAX WILLENS, DIGIDAY

Publishers use their audiences, creative services and their editorial judgment as selling points when they’re vying for advertising dollars. A growing number of them are trying to use those same ingredients to cook up consumer products they can sell directly to their audiences on their own, or on behalf of big-spending ad partners.

Less than one year after it acquired a direct-selling operation in Rodale, Hearst has already developed and launched one high-end consumer product — a yoga mat — and it plans to bring eight to 10 other products to market next year. Meredith quietly launched a brand products lab this fall and is weeks away from its first consumer product launch, with several more products in the pipes for 2019. BuzzFeed’s commerce team, which has developed full product lines for its brands Tasty and Goodful, also offers product development sprints as a service to advertisers; it’s helped brands including Scott’s and Maybelline develop ideas for products.

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BAILEY LAUERMAN HELPS DESIGN BUSH'S FUNERAL TRAIN

BY TIM NUDD, THE MUSE BY CLIO

Nebraska ad agency Bailey Lauerman has worked with Union Pacific, the railroad company, for many years. This week, one of its UP design projects from over a decade ago has suddenly taken center stage. 

In 2005, the Omaha-based shop helped to design the UP No. 4141 George Bush Locomotive, a custom-painted Union Pacific locomotive created to honor George H.W. Bush. The locomotive was designed with the colors and other elements of the Air Force One design used during the 41st president's time in office. 

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on The Muse.

NEW PODCAST HOSTED BY ALEXIS OHANIAN

BY DAVID COHEN, ADWEEK

Entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit and managing partner of Initialized Capital, will host Business Schooled, a new podcast from financial services company Synchrony.

Ohanian, husband of tennis superstar and Adweek 2018 Brand Visionary Serena Williams, was also a partner at Y Combinator, helped launch travel search website Hipmunk and started social enterprise Breadpig.

“I wanted to dust off my podcast skills and meet some OG entrepreneurs from outside of the Silicon Valley bubble and beyond the millennial founders I’m used to taking pitches from and working with at Initialized,” he said in an Instagram post.

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PORTAL A UNVEILS TWO NEW ORIGINAL SERIES

BY TUBEFILTER, SF EGOTIST

Content studio Portal A announced that it has greenlit two pilots as part of a brand-new program called ‘Moonshots,’ which will focus on funding and producing innovate projects anchored by digital-native talent.

“Some of the most groundbreaking series in recent memory — from Insecure to Broad City — have come as a result of creative talent bypassing the traditional gatekeepers and taking the idea directly to the audience,” says Nate Houghteling, an executive producer at the company. “We pride ourselves on our ability to experiment with new formats and platforms, and we see a huge opportunity to use YouTube and social media as a proving ground.”

NBC PARTNERS WITH GIANT SPOON TO HELP WOO D2C

BY ADAGE, CAMPAIGN US

As TV networks expand capabilities to target audiences beyond traditional age and gender demographics and deliver data showing if commercials drove specific business results, it's opening up an opportunity for DTC brands that have relied on Google and Facebook for these types of data and results.

As these DTC brands look to grow and "transcend the feed," they are turning to TV to build scale and awareness, says Laura Correnti, partner at Giant Spoon.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: GLOW'S ROBERT LESTER

BY ROBERT LESTER, THE MUSE BY CLIO

Over two days in downtown Los Angeles earlier this fall, more than 1,500 people converged at LEAPcon, Magic Leap's eponymous event, to learn, share and see the curtain pulled far back on the mysterious company and its new spatial computing (read: mixed reality) headset, the Magic Leap One. 

As a creative director, this event held more promise to me than any advertising conference I've ever been to, because the work they're doing represents both tangible and philosophical leaps (sorry) forward in physical and digital entertainment. 

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TOMBRAS GROUP WINS AOR FOR BB&T BANK

BY ADWEEK, LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T Bank selected Knoxville-based agency The Tombras Group as its agency of record, following a comprehensive yearlong review.

BB&T Bank formerly worked with Moxie and LGA. It’s unclear if either agency defended in the review.

“What attracted us to Tombras, and ultimately convinced of their capabilities, is the team’s ability to connect data and creativity to dramatically grow businesses,” BB&T Bank director of marketing and advertising strategy Kim Moore said in a statement. “We were impressed with the depth of talent at Tombras and are truly excited about embarking on this new partnership.”

STREAMING SERVICE CAN FIGHT FAKE NEWS

BY ISH HARSHAWAT, SMARTBRIEF

There was a long period of time when this quote was absolutely true. But in the era of fake news, seeing something on TV (and especially the internet) doesn’t mean it really happened.

We’ve all read the news that Facebook and Google are working tirelessly to develop processes and code that will help everyday people filter that which is fake, leaving only that which is true.

But there are others working toward this goal too. Streaming services, like ours at Haystack TV. Our aim is simple -- to take credible news media, usually found on OTA and cable channels, and funnel them into OTT experiences that are more in line with modern viewing habits.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Smartbrief.

ERIN HAUSWIRTH SELECTED FOR THE DRUM'S 50 UNDER 30

BY SAM BRADLEY, THE DRUM

Each day this week, The Drum is publishing profiles of some of the highest achieving women in creativity under 30. Make sure you don't miss out by signing up to our newsletter.

The Drum's 50 Under 30 US showcases women who have made their mark before the age of 30. Based on nominations from our readers and curated with the help of a panel of industry experts, the list sets out to celebrate female creative talent in the industry, highlighting their careers and their plans for the future.

Here you'll find the third set of 10 individuals chosen by our industry panel.

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GIANT SPOONS CREATES HP'S LATEST SERIES "THE WOLF"

BY ADAGE, ADWEEK

HP's "The Wolf" series, in which an evil Christian Slater plays a cyberhacker demonstrating the flaws in your printer technology, returns with the campaign's longest and most ambitious project yet. 

The latest film, created by Giant Spoon, clocks in at 20 minutes, around three times as long as its predecessors, and crams elements of Bond and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" into its action-movie premise. It takes place at a Davos-like economic forum attended by the "one per cent," where a female hacker/ security expert (Betty Adewole) is out to get revenge on an evil oligarch who wants to cash in on climate change (on top of all that, he's responsible for her girlfriend's death). She's working with the Fixer, played by Jonathan Banks, who appeared in HP's previous series centered around his exploits. At the last minute she decides not to go through with her hacking plan, but The Wolf (Slater) is one step ahead. 

DOOLEY TOMBRAS TALKS MOONPIE ON THE GROWTH SHOW

It’s August 21, 2017. There’s only one thing on people’s minds: The solar eclipse.

Every brand under the sun jockeyed for the cultural zeitgeist, but it was MoonPie — throwing a little shade at Hostess — that won the day. The company’s viral tweet “Lol ok” broke brand social records, and the ensuing demand sold out stores and even caused their bakery to shutdown. Who said social was only good for engagement?

Dooley Tombras gives us a look into how how he made a humble snack cake one of the most out of this world brands on social.

TOMBRAS GROUP LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN FOR ORANGETHEORY

T.L. STANLEY, ADWEEK

For shame, people! You say you have no time to get fit but yet you’re frittering away untold hours binge-watching, Twitter warring and Fortnite playing. Just because you sometimes bust a sweat does not make those active pursuits.

And, in short, you lie.

Orangetheory, the Florida-based fitness studio, is here to call bullshit on your top excuse for skipping the gym. And on Nov. 4, when the clocks roll back for the end of Daylight Saving Time, the brand is launching a free day of classes to celebrate that 25th hour.

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FUTURISM'S ALEX KLOKUS TALKS GRAVITY BLANKET & MORE!

BY GEOFFREY COLON AND JILLIAN LAKS

In this episode of Future Boutique, Microsoft’s Geoffrey Colon and Jillian Laks speak with Futurism CEO Alex Klokus to talk about their Gravity Blanket success and feature length film Trust Machine.

PODCAST: MOVIDIAM CREATIVE LEADERS

BY MOVIDIAM

GLOW Media’s COO and CEO Howie Kleinberg and Pete Levin share the creative structure from the point of view of a technologically powered creative agency such as GLOW and how their client longevity is just as important to them as longevity of their internal team.

GE, GIANT SPOON, AND NYT'S "LISTEN TO THE WORLD"

BY SARA JERDE, ADWEEK

You’ll listen to, not read this week’s issue of The New York Times Magazine.

With a sponsorship with GE, The New York Times Magazine’s “Voyages issue” will feature stories told through audio that correspond with full images without captions in the magazine.

“We have really just reinvented how you work your way through a magazine and the kind of experience you have,” said Jake Silverstein, editor of The New York Times Magazine.

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GSTV PARTNERS UP WITH CHEDDAR

BY ALEX WEPRIN, MEDIAPOST

Cheddar, the “post-cable” news network, is making the jump to the gas pump. The company will now provide content to GSTV, which programs content to screens at more than 18,000 gas station pumps across the country.

Under the terms of the deal, Cheddar will provide new segments to GSTV. The segments will be about 20 seconds long and focus on topics like technology and entrepreneurship. They will rotate in and out a couple of times per day to keep them fresh.

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BIG SPACESHIP'S VICTOR PINEIRO SHARES INSIGHT

BY TANYA DUA, BUSINESS INSIDER

With more than 400 million users lapping up content on Instagram Stories daily, the format has become hard to ignore for advertisers. And now they're getting savvier about using the nascent platform, hoping to avoid burning their media budgets on lousy ads.

The likes of Cisco, Smirnoff, Budweiser, and Benefit Cosmetics are using Instagram Stories as a testing ground for ads. Specifically, they have been publishing organic Instagram Stories or making small bets on sponsored ads, seeing which ones users respond to, and then dialing up the dollars on the most effective ads.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Business Insider.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: HOW MARKETERS CAN REACH PRO ESPORTS

BY SEAN LYNAM, ADWEEK

From soccer star Dele Alli celebrating his Russia World Cup goal by rocking the “Ride the Pony” Fortnite dance move before a vast global TV audience to J.D. Martinez and George Springer performing favorite Fortnite dances on pre-game video at the MLB All-Star game, there has been an unprecedented mash-up of gaming, esports and traditional sports recently. Many sports fans are getting a first taste of the esports hype.

As Fortnite’s tentacles reach across traditional sports, esports has gone from underground gaming to media mainstream. Its stunning growth throws up an unprecedented set of marketing challenges for esports marketers. 

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AGENCIES IN SMALLER CITIES OFFER INSIGHT TO BRANDS

BY ERIK OSTER, ADWEEK

For generations, the prevailing view in advertising held that a world outside the major metro hubs of New York, Chicago and later Los Angeles didn’t exist—or at least didn’t matter.

But as the industry settles firmly into its digital age, a new generation is flocking to smaller cities like Austin, Texas, Omaha, Neb., and Knoxville, Tenn., offering greater opportunities for career advancement, work-life balance and a lower cost of living. With shrinking advertising budgets and clients questioning whether agencies in large cities can speak to the average American, agencies in smaller cities can often work for less while offering valuable perspective on consumers.

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