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Rihanna and The Uprising Creative bring important message to MTV’s Music Video Awards

When directors Darren Craig, Jonathan Craven and Jeff Nicholas from integrated creative + production company The Uprising Creative got together with Rihanna earlier this year to discuss a music video for the artist’s new “American Oxygen” single, everyone came away with some very inspired ideas. “We wanted to showcase both the positive and the negative,” the directors explained when the video was finally released widely in mid-April. “The struggles within the country and the ones those outside the country face in coming here; the dark side of the positive and the light side of the negative.”

Well before then, the powerful images of Rihanna performing in front of a giant American flag received international attention when they were used by the NCAA as a central part of the organization’s high-profile on-air campaign promoting March Madness all across the country. The video was officially released exclusively on Tidal in early April, where it ran for a full week before hitting Vevo and YouTube.

With well over 100 million views between Vevo and YouTube alone, the project has obviously drawn in a massive audience. This weekend, it’s up for a coveted MTV Video Music Award, in the Video With a Social Message category. Read more

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Sharing Secrets: 2015 Cannes Lions Live Sessions of the Day

It’s going to be an exciting week for me, even though I will once again miss attending the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity currently shaping-up in France. Fortunately for us non-attendees, the Festival running 21-27 June has teamed-up with Mindshare and YouTube to provide one live-streamed session every day over the next week, beginning today. I’m embedding a YouTube playlist here featuring every one of these sessions… so new videos will go live here over the days ahead. Hopefully these presentations – streamed in real-time for a global audience – will be rich with valuable secrets and insights.

Here is the complete rundown of the sessions that were chosen by almost 20,000 voters: Read more

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Artists: Submit to The Blooom Award by Warsteiner by 31 July

You don’t have to be a fan of beer to love Warsteiner, Germany’s largest privately owned brewery, which has now been owned and operated by the Cramer family for 262 years. Brauerei Warsteiner has had a close relationship with the arts for more than thirty years – starting with Andy Warhol, who immortalized the Warsteiner Pilsner glass to help launch the Warsteiner Art Collection. In 2010, Warsteiner established The Blooom Award to offer young creatives in Germany a chance to get their start in the international art market. Since 2012, the competition has been opened up to artists all around the world in the fields of art, design, urban art and film. Applications are due by 31 July. Read more

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Insights into AICP’s 2015 celebration of creativity

The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) is about to light the fuse on what is sure to be one of this year’s most celebrated creative industry gatherings. To connect and secure tickets to all events, be sure to visit AICP Base Camp – physically located at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater at 137 W. 26th Street in NYC. Operating during business hours June 2-4, Base Camp will serve as AICP Week information central, host many discussions and panels and feature numerous sponsor lounges. Read more

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Deadline approaches for 2015 Chip Shop Awards

About a dozen years ago, the UK’s most visited marketing news publication The Drum launched a very special awards program which has done much more than just stand up over time; with each passing year, it is proving to be of increasing importance. Well known as the only creative awards scheme with neither rules nor boundaries, the submission window for the 2015 Chip Shop Awards will close on April 2. Here’s what you should know. Read more

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Prepare for 2015 at the upcoming Most Contagious event in London

Contagious Communications was launched ten years ago in London by Paul Kemp-Robertson and Gee Thomson. Currently operating offices in London, New York, Sao Paulo and Singapore, Contagious is well known for helping brands and advertising agencies understand and adapt to shifts in marketing, consumer culture and technology. Through Contagious Magazine as well as the firm’s I/O intelligence platform, its Insider consultancy and its original events, the company aims to “make brands braver” by simplifying, filtering and advising.

On 10 December, the company’s annual Most Contagious curated innovation event will return to London. Celebrating the biggest innovations and analyzing the past year’s most impactful marketing, this is your opportunity Read more

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Let’s impact inequality on 16 October: Blog Action Day 2014

Knowing that Blog Action Day 2014 is this week, I have given the assigned subject (inequality) some thought, beginning with wondering what it might mean to you. Whatever comes to mind, I hope you will use your voice and your power to make your presence felt. To encourage you to advance your choice causes today, here are some inspirational examples of how other human beings are effectively addressing inequality.

. #Inequality – International charitable organization Oxfam is actively working in more than 90 countries worldwide to find global solutions to poverty and injustice. As key 2014 Blog Action Day partners, Oxfam has published this very helpful guide for writing about inequality. Consider this:

“Extreme inequality is not inevitable – it is the result of years of deliberate policies and rules that have been rigged in favor of the few. We know that these rules can be changed to benefit everyone, and that together, we can tackle inequality.” Read more

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ADCOLOR awards, conference and excitement hit LA this week

This week, the eighth annual ADCOLOR(R) Awards and Industry Conference will rock the Beverly Hilton, uniting leaders and change-makers from the advertising, marketing, media and communications industries to rise up and reach back in countless exciting and vitally important ways. A 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, ADCOLOR proactively champions advertising workforce diversity. This week’s schedule is filled with festive and formal social engagements advancing ADCOLOR’s vibrant FUTURES and University programs, with gala conference events running through Saturday. As highlighted below, many of those are awards-focused, set to honor scores of very impressive individuals. To learn more and register to attend Read more

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Marketing Innovation: Under Armour


On July 17, top executives from the world’s major sports marketing companies gathered in New York City to honor the best in sports advertising, design and communications at the first-ever Clio Sports Awards. That night, Steve Battista proudly accepted the Brand Innovation Award on behalf of Under Armour, where he serves as senior VP brand creative. Behind the scenes, I know that many of the companies and talents I have had the privilege to work with are also celebrating this monumental win. For example, global creative agency ATTIK provided key support for Under Armour’s launch of Armour39 (wearable tech that helps you track your workout intensity), as did creative production company Shilo… which also produced many of the epic brand films (including the one above) that have made Under Armour’s YouTube Channel must-see TV for serious athletes.

A story by Austin Siegemund-Broka for The Hollywood Reporter chronicles the brand’s growing success, and offers this insight Read more

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Case study: Smart ways to communicate

To me, one of the best ways to understand how effective marketing works is to look at campaigns that have won the most or the biggest creative industry awards, and you won’t find a recent campaign that has been more successful at winning major awards than this one from McCann’s office in Melbourne, Australia. I discuss many awards submissions with my clients every year, and in my experience, oftentimes what makes a project award-worthy is the documentation you can provide – especially when you can clearly present valid results the work has helped deliver. This theory is backed-up by the documentation for Dumb Ways to Die from McCann Melbourne, which was named “Most Awarded Agency” by Advertising Age in 2013 thanks to this project earning numerous “best of show” honors from the major international programs, including a record five Cannes Lions Grand Prix (in the Film, Integrated, Direct, PR and Radio categories).

Here are some highlights of the verbiage the agency used for this project, which was produced for Melbourne Metro Trains. Read more

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