Criticism’s Sting: The Author Curtis Sittenfeld on Book Reviews

The novelist describes how she reacts to unsparing reviews and has come to take criticism less personally: “Sometimes fate smiles on you and sometimes it doesn’t.”

See the Colorful House an Agency Built for These Eye-Catching Heating and Cooling Ads

Brunner stages a colorful open house in its first major campaign for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating.

To dramatically convey the idea that Mitsubishi systems allow different temperature settings for various zones of a home, the agency built a life-size mock-up house, facilitating a seamless commercial shoot with no CGI required.

The dwelling consists of two huge 22-by-35-foot open-faced sections, each containing five fully furnished rooms across their respective upstairs and downstairs levels.

The rooms are color coded to represent different “Shades of Comfort”—e.g., the heating and cooling preferences of different family members. For example, Grandma likes it warm—76 degrees—so her room is rendered in deep coral tones, while Dad’s mancave elsewhere in the house is set to 68 degrees and decorated in cerulean hues.

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See the Colorful House an Agency Built for These Eye-Catching Heating and Cooling Ads

Brunner stages a colorful open house in its first major campaign for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating.

To dramatically convey the idea that Mitsubishi systems allow different temperature settings for various zones of a home, the agency built a life-size mock-up house, facilitating a seamless commercial shoot with no CGI required.

The dwelling consists of two huge 22-by-35-foot open-faced sections, each containing five fully furnished rooms across their respective upstairs and downstairs levels.

The rooms are color coded to represent different “Shades of Comfort”—e.g., the heating and cooling preferences of different family members. For example, Grandma likes it warm—76 degrees—so her room is rendered in deep coral tones, while Dad’s mancave elsewhere in the house is set to 68 degrees and decorated in cerulean hues.

read more

Uber Now Most Used Taxi App in 108 Countries


As the battle for the world’s ride-hailing customers heats up, here’s one statistic to consider: Uber is now the most used taxi app in 108 countries.

That’s according to analytics provider SimilarWeb, which tracked the reach and usage of ride-hailing apps in 171 countries on Android devices. Uber is the most dominant player in broad swaths of the globe, including all of North America and much of Europe, Africa and South America.

San Francisco-based Uber has a particularly big lead in the U.S., where the app is installed on 21% of all Android devices, compared with just under 3% for its main domestic competitor Lyft, according to SimilarWeb. Australia has also proven to be a strong market for Uber, with 13% of Android users in the country having installed the app.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Fans.Com Is a Place to Talk About Concerts

An entrepreneur bets there is room in the crowded social media space for at least one more platform.

Google Ramps Up VR Push Ahead of Hybrid Store, Software Service Daydream's Debut


Google is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece in virtual-reality films and programs, part of a plan to line up exclusive content for the debut of its new Daydream service in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

Google will help promote projects from Hulu and fund the production of 360-degree videos with YouTube stars like the Dolan twins and Justine Ezarik, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deals. The division of Alphabet has also partnered with video-game producers and sports leagues to boost its biggest virtual-reality initiative.

“It’s apparent they’ve spent a lot of money internally,” said Finn Staber, co-founder of TheWaveVR, a virtual-reality startup developing a music app for Daydream.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Von Miller Appears to Be the New Old Spice Guy

Since concluding its Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa feud last November, W+K introduced the new “Legendary Man” character to promote Old Spice’s Hardest Working Collection and launched a “Smell Em Who’s Boss” campaign in June.

Now P&G has drafted Von Miller, fresh off his dancing lesson in Heat’s “Start Me” spot for Madden NFL 17, as the face of Old Spice for the 2016 season, promoting the brand’s Hardest Working collection. 

Adweek broke the story this morning, but we get all our important news from celebrities’ Twitter accounts.

The first spots starring Miller, presumably from W+K, are expected early in the NFL season. For now, though, there are series of photos starring Miller promoting the brand — in his Broncos jersey, naturally.

“We’re excited to welcome Von, one of the NFL’s top-performing players and unique personalities, to the Old Spice family,” added Old Spice brand director Janine Miletic. “Von’s engaging, humorous demeanor and hardworking on-field performance align perfectly with our ridiculously masculine brand and the performance of our Hardest Working Collection combining our most popular scents with our most powerful sweat and odor protection and deep cleansing body washes.”

“Between winning the Super Bowl, solidifying my status with the Broncos and being named the newest Old Spice guy, 2016 is shaping up to be quite a year,” Miller said in a statement. “I’ve had my favorite Old Spice scents for a long time, and I only trust the Hardest Working Collection to give me a deep clean after practices and keep me smelling fresh on and off the field. There’s a reason you find Old Spice in every team’s locker room.”

Dude never gets a break. And we do not in any way believe his last sentence.

Facebook Tests Video Ads With Sound Automatically Turned Up


Facebook has been testing autoplay video ads that load with the sound turned on, instead of off as usual, Facebook said Tuesday, confirming a report by Mashable of a test in Australia.

“We’re running a small test in News Feed where people can choose whether they want to watch videos with sound on from the start,” a Facebook spokesman said. “For people in this test who do not want sound to play, they can switch it off in Settings or directly on the video itself. This is one of several tests we’re running as we work to improve the video experience for people on Facebook.”

Facebook popularized autoplay video ads, but it has also made sure that their default volume was “mute” so as not to turn off users. The problem has been that most of the ads are therefore viewed silently, forcing advertisers to find creative ways to get consumers to turn on the sound — or to build ads that work without volume.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Minimalist Monochrome Watches – The Kiura Chronograph Watch Features a Sleek and Mature Design (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) The Kiura Chronograph is a minimalist monochrome watch that is designed by none other than Italy-based Alessio Romano Design Studio, although it is inspired by Japanese aesthetics that focus on…

Marketer's Playbook Video: Retail Like You've Never Seen It Before


Following “The Truth Behind the Unstore” and “Brick-and-Mortar Armageddon,” this installment of our Marketer’s Playbook series on the future of the customer experience explores how changing consumer behaviors are forcing some retailers to embrace the theater of retail.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

KBS Goes Through a Round of Layoffs

Today MDC Partners’ KBS confirmed that its New York office went through a round of layoffs earlier this week.

While not providing specifics on the number of employees impacted, a KBS representative cited the need to “restructure our offering and resources based on the needs of our clients,” adding, “With 21 new business wins since January 1, we’re growing and hiring too, but we’re also taking steps to ensure that the kinds of talent we have are the kinds of talent our clients’ businesses require. It’s difficult, but it’s important for the health of the agency.”

The spokesperson told us that the changes weren’t related to any specific piece of business, but rather reflected a general restructuring across several accounts and departments. Sources claim that the total number of staffers affected was in the low two digits.

As noted in the above statement, the latest news follows a string of wins for the agency, which scored AOR duties for Red Robin at the start of July following a review launched in April. Back in June, Stanley Black & Decker consolidated its digital account with the agency, which also welcomed new global CCO Patrick Scissons that month.

Beyond the new CCO, KBS also promoted Katie Klumper to president of its New York offices, Jonah Bloom to global chief strategy officer and Matt Powell to global chief technology officer. Last week, KBS hired Michele Prota (formerly with Barbarian Group) as its global chief talent officer.

A Bumbling Magician Finds His Stride in This Charming, Peculiar Short Film From Ray-Ban

Meet Loudini. He’s a sad sack illusionist who can’t even pull a rabbit out of a hat. But even after the world’s worst day, he stays at it, dumping the excess glitter out of his shoes and getting back out on stage—because it’s who he is, and it’s what he does.

That’s the basic premise of a new video from Ray-Ban Films, part of the eyewear brand’s #ItTakesCourage campaign, which has also seen the brand make people stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes, hoping to spark … something.

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Hunter-Inspired Sneakers – New Balance's Plaid Sneakers Were Made Specifically for Adventurous Men (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) The ‘Sporting Gentleman’ plaid sneakers from New Balance were made in collaboration with Ball and Buck, a Boston-based menswear store that offers apparel made for hunting.

In order to…

Symbolically Circular Tables – The Earth Table Was Designed In Remembrance Of the Twin Towers (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) One of the lingering images in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 was the sight of the enormous mass of rubble left behind following the collapse of the Twin Towers; this memory has now lent…

Multi-Sensory Workout Clubs – Nike's 'Unlimited You' Offers a Unique and Immersive Experience (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) Nike is bringing a three-day immersive experience to East London that will provide fitness junkies with their dream environment.

The workout club will function as a “high-intensity training…

45 Unconventional Sunglasses Designs – From Futuristic Rihanna Collections to Pizza-Covered Lenses (TOPLIST)

(TrendHunter.com) As these unique frames and lenses show, there’s much more to sunglasses designs than just protecting the eyes from sun damage.

While some companies are choosing to revert to classic vintage…

Expansive Family Dwellings – This Large Family Home is Designed to Accommodate Familial Additions (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) Most people design their family dwellings to accommodate themselves and their children, but a large family home in Singapore is taking a different approach, and is being designed to have enough room…

Nature-Embracing Homes – This Ukrainian Home Integrates Green Surroundings Into Its Aesthetic (GALLERY)

(TrendHunter.com) Architectural practice Azovskiy & Pahomova has gone ahead and designed an innovative Ukrainian home that, rather than hinging on trying to create a visual and functional separation between…

McDonald's Recalls Happy Meal Activity Bands


McDonald’s is recalling millions of activity wristbands that were given out in Happy Meals after getting reports from customers of skin irritations and burns from wearing the colorful bands.

The Step-It Activity Bands were given out in Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals, or Happy Meals for kids with heartier appetites, earlier this month. The world’s largest restaurant company stopped handing them out on Aug. 17, after reports of skin irritation surfaced. Now it is recalling any that were already handed out to customers.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers which is why upon learning about concerns with these bands we acted swiftly to stop distribution of these products,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement. “We are now asking customers who have the activity bands to stop wearing them and return to any McDonald’s for a free replacement toy and a choice of a yogurt or apple slices. We apologize to our customers who were impacted and for the inconvenience this recall has caused.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Why the London International Awards' 'New' Category Isn't for Novelties


In 2009, I helped the London International Awards define a new category to reflect how advertising was evolving outside of traditional media. It grew from a desire to move things forward, because nothing inspires different kinds of work like new award categories.

We created the “New” category to look for generative mutations — ideas that could create new types of advertising and new roles for the agencies that midwife them. And things did change in response to the incentives categories like the “New” created. Unfortunately, in the wrong way.

Agencies that didn’t understand technologies, or consumers, or culture, created endless “prototypes,” or worse, fakes.

Continue reading at AdAge.com