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55 Brands Rocking Social Media with Visual Content

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Remember that saying "a picture is worth one thousand words? Well that notion plays well in social media just as it does everywhere else. To help you get a sense of just how important visual media can be and how brands are using imagery today, inbound marketing company HubSpot has compiled this list of 55 brands killing it with visual content on the top visually-driven social networks.

Use this for inspiration to launch your visual content strategy.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-18-12    
Topic: Research, Social



Awkwardly Sexy, Christmas-Themed Ad Pimps Funeral Parlor

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OK so we've all seen those cheesy car dealer commercials filled with ridiculous inanities and horrific production values, right? But how about funeral parlor commercials? If you ever do see them they're usually somber and dignified. Well, not so with Funeraria Lopez which, though not necessarily undignified, is certainly filled with cheese.

In the ad, we see the funeral owner, his staff or family, Santa and two hotties clad in sexy Santa costumes, one of whom can be seen lounging in a coffin.

Weird. Just weird.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-18-12    
Topic: Racy, Strange



Our Agency 'Holiday Card' Roundup

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Here's a quick summary of what we've seen so far from some agencies. We're sure there will be more to follow this week.

- Austin-based GSD&M is celebrating the holidays with a Sweater Soiree. Check out the agency's collection of client-inspired holiday sweaters. You can vote on your favorite sweater. The sweater with the most votes gets placed on a Frosty the Snowman in the agency's lobby.

- The Sydney office of VML has released their 2012 digital Christmas card, titled Reindeer Races, a real-world interactive race between four of Santa's reindeer, streamed live via webcam and played online. The game allows users to take control of a reindeer on a real-life Christmas-themed track, using their keyboard to control its speed while they race against three of their Facebook friends, or computer-controlled 'bots'.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Agencies



EverydayActors Aims to Become iStockPhoto For Video

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Toronto ad agency exec Kyle Hosick has launched EverydayActors, a site that ams to change the way video talent is sought. In a way, it's like iStockPhoto for video. Creative types can source talent for their video needs.

Users can browse the database to find exactly who they need (based on location, gender, age, ethnicity, special features and style like "geek chic") and negotiate the gig directly with the actor. The site doesn't take any kind of back-end percentage or charge a fee. Actors pay $20 to create a profile.

For marketers who need an "everyday" person to serve as an extra, a face, or an actor in a video for a campaign, this just might be worth checking out.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Agencies, Tools, Video



Disney-Like Soundtrack + Bikini-Clad Model = Fruit Drink Ad

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With a soundtrack that plays very much like a tune from the latest Disney pop star, this work from Israeli agency Reuveni Pridan IPG for fruit drink Yafora Tavori is all fun and frivolity...complete with a red-headed beauty in a bikini swimming with fish.

And somehow the notion of fish and salt water connotes a fruit drink that actually tastes good.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Commercials, Racy



Jell-O Aims to Prevent Mayan Apocalypse

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Jell-O, aiming to "fun things up" and save the world from ruin on December 21, is making an offering (see the video below) to the Mayan Gods with...Jell-O pudding. And in accordance with their aim to "fun things up," the brand is hosting a contest. Through Dec. 20th, 12 daily winners will be randomly selected to win $100. To be entered, people can follow @jello, tweet what they want to do before the word ends and include the hashtag #funpocalypse.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Promotions, Social, Video



'The Motherhood' is Fiat's Answer to Toyota's 'Swagger Wagon'

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Perhaps riffing a bit on the Toyota "Swagger Wagon" Sienna video from Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Fiat is out with "The Motherhood," an ode to life as a mom and how the Fiat 500L is the, well, swagger wagon of motherhood.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Video



Mrs. Claus Gives Santa A Racy Video

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Following the Samsung Galaxy S III commercial in which a wife sends her husband a racy video as he leaves for a business trip, the brand is out with a holiday-themed version. Upon leaving to deliver presents Christmas eve, the elves offer Santa something to watch during his sleigh ride. Then Santa's wife offers up a video and says, "you probably shouldn't watch it on the sleigh."

Both commercials, of course, promote the phone's ability to send videos from one phone to another by touching them. Hmm. Sort of like the iPhone Bump app has been doing for about five years.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Commercials



Should the Creative Process be Democratized Across an Agency?

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At Central Desktop's Collabosphere 2012, the topic of democratizing the creative process was discussed. The heart of the conversation centered on whether or not (and how much of) the creative process should or should not be extended outside the department.

While there was general consensus for agency-wide collaboration at the outset of the creative process (ie. a good idea can come from anywhere), in the end, one entity (the creative department) has to turn a good idea into a workable idea

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by Steve Hall    Dec-17-12    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Newspaper Apologizes For Placing Gun Ad Next to Newtown Shooting Story

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South Carolina's Rock Hill Herald placed an ad for gun shop Nichols Store adjacent to a news story about Friday's Newton school shooting. While the paper issued a profuse and, no doubt, sincere, apology along with the explanation the newspaper's layout was determined before the shooting, it's hard to believe no one caught this prior to printing. In any event, the newspaper's apology is below.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-16-12    
Topic: Newspaper



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