This Week In Social: The Internet’s Most Divisive Cookie

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by Melissa Santiago

Everyone has seen these cookies. They magically appear for any and every occasion and holiday. Apparently, there is a corner of Twitter where people think these are, “bottom of the barrel, flavorless piece of sh*t things they have the nerve to call cookies.”

After Twitter user @taysux posted that in a tweet with a photo of the cookies, Twitter jumped to defend the cookies. 

A few came to Taylor’s defense. Sadly, they are all wrong. Refinery 29 aptly stated, “if they’re flavorless, then all sugar cookies are because THAT IS THE FLAVOR, TAYLOR.”

That IS the flavor, Taylor. And go ahead, pass those cookies by. That leaves more for those of us who appreciate their soft, sweet, cakey goodness. 


Intel Drone Serves Assists in NBA Dunk Contest

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Intel drones. Is it just me or are they amazing athletes? I mean, they made a remarkable appearance during Super Bowl 51 and then they were assisting “10″ scores in this weekend’s NBA All-Star Dunk Contest.

During Saturday’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon used Intel’s “AscTec Neo” drone to perform one of his dunks — the first ever to be completed with assistance from a drone. 

“There it is, the Intel drone!” TNT announcer Kevin Harlan said on the national live broadcast as an Intel logo appeared on screen. “Fresh off the Lady Gaga Super Bowl halftime performance.”

Apparently, Gordon approached Intel with the idea as noted in an Intel press release (Gordon’s mom has been an Intel employee for 35 years). Maybe he thought this would be the 2017 version of Dee Brown’s 1991 Reebok Pump dunk.

A bit heavy-handed with the integration but a great example of how brands can insert themselves in a meaningful way to league events.

Watch the dunk here.


Gatorade & NBA Partner To Create G-League

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The NBA is rebranding its developmental D-League in partnership with Gatorade to be called the G-League. This marks the first time a U.S. professional sports league has had an entitlement sponsor. 

The NBA made the announcement via a press release and YouTube video.

The NBA has been shopping for a naming sponsor since 2014. “For the D-League to go to the next level, one of the top items on our agenda is potentially selling a naming-rights deal for the league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told USA Today

Gatorade has been affiliated with the NBA since the mid-1980s. PepsiCo, which owns Gatorade, replaced Coca-Cola as an official sponsor of the NBA in 2015.


AAA’s Insurance Group Launches New Effort Via MH

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by Maureen Morrison

Imagine you’re sitting in your living room watching TV, minding your own business. You look out the window and see a delivery drone hurtling toward your house, smashing through the window just a few seconds later. Will your home insurance cover that broken window? Is your insurance company even thinking about burgeoning technology like delivery drones? Good questions! 

This week our client, California State Auto Association, part of AAA’s Insurance Group, is launching an ad with that very scenario playing out. AAA might be a 100-year-old company, but it promises that a changing world is nothing new — reassuring members that whatever the future may hold, AAA is already thinking about it. “The future: it keeps bringing new surprises,” says the voice over. “But for over 100 years, AAA has been ready to help — like creating home insurance, built to protect members, whatever comes next.”

“We know the world around us continues to change and we wanted to create work that shows that AAA will continue to provide the best insurance coverage for what’s ahead,” says John Ingersoll, CSAA Insurance Group, Vice President Brand Marketing and Customer Experience. 

Check out the video.

 


The Dictionary Will Not Be Silenced

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A few months ago, we wrote about the sudden sauciness of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Twitter account, but post-inauguration, their snark has reached a whole new level. In a recent interview with their social media manager, she tells Digiday: “We’ve been doing a lot of interesting things for a while. And we’re not political, so I hope people don’t hang around and just get disappointed after.”

Politically charged or not, their Twitter account has been savage with their timely commentary, subtweeting of political figures, and their relevant pop culture references. It’s hard to believe their claim to being non-partisan when it comes to tweets like this, but regardless, it’s enjoyable and educational. And anything we do to broaden the social media vocabulary of America beyond “on fleek,” is welcome on my timeline.  


Grammys Hit 3-Year High

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Viewership for the Grammy Awards rose on Sunday night, with an average of about 26 million viewers, about a million more than last year’s ceremony, according to Nielsen.

The show featured a showdown of sorts between Beyonce and Adele, with live performances from both, among other noteworthy artists.

Twitter nearly exploded when Adele once Best Album of the Year instead of Beyonce’s “Lemonade”. Adele went on to dedicate her award to Beyonce. See video here (jump to the 1:45 mark for the Beyonce dedication).

Additionally, the show was hosted for the by CBS late night host James Corden (of Carpool Karaoke fame) for the first time. He played a more involved role than previous host LL Cool J. 

This is the third straight year that the Grammys ratings have held strong. The Golden Globes were also up 8% this year. 


John Oliver Buying Cable News Ads to Educate The President

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In a recent segment on “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver addressed the president’s grasp on reality or lack thereof. “How did we get a pathological liar in the White House?” Oliver asks at the beginning of the segment.

In “Trump vs. Truth” Oliver illustrates how the president spreads a lot of false info. Why? Well, Trump gets a lot of his information from morning cable news like Fox News, Oliver and his team have concluded.

The team at “Last Week Tonight” is taking it upon itself to educate President Trump. How? Buying ads on morning cable news and thereby sneaking facts into Donald’s morning cable news routine.

They created a series of commercials with educating facts covering everything from the nuclear triad to female sexuality. The ads are narrated by “a folksy old white guy in a cowboy hat” to better the chances of the president paying attention.

Check out the full episode of “Trump vs. Truth” here.


ACLU Overwhelmed With Donations

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by Melissa Santiago

Amid a confusingto say the least—travel ban on seven countries, protests erupted from those in opposition to the President’s Executive order. The ACLU took the lead in fighting against the ban. 

As a result of their firm stance to fight against Trump’s order, the ACLU saw a surge in donations. “It raised six times its yearly online fundraising average in just a few days, in part thanks to public figures and tech executives offering to match people’s donations.” 

The ACLU was accepted in Y Combinator’s Startup School. YC will aim to help maximize the ACLU’s huge influx of donations and, “how to use its new funding to effectively induce change.” 


Barstool Does TV with Strong Ratings

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Barstool Sports, the unapologetic “dude” sports platform with an intensely passionate fan base, broke onto TV last week with “The Barstool Rundown Live from Houston on Comedy Central.” 

Barstool is one of those media companies you see only every few years — different from anything else and experiencing rapid success.

It started as a print publication in Boston offering fantasy football projections. It has grown into a media phenom via a popular online destination with a cult-like following, a robust audio network including some of the top podcasts like Pardon My TakeKFC Radio, The Dave Portnoy Show and Zero Blog Thirty as well as twice-weekly, 2-hour show on SiriusXM, a huge social following and now TV shows on Comedy Central.

In its first night, The Barstool Rundown was Comedy Central’s top program among M18-34, beating Daily Show by +7%.

Barstool does carry controversy as a result of embracing of “Bro Culture.” In a smart move that surprised quite a few, Barstool hired Erika Nardini as CEO last summer. (Listen to a great interview with Nardini when she sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch here).

The NFL does not love Barstool, however. Last week they revoked Barstool’s Super Bowl media credentials. Why? Four Barstool Sports employees once organized a sit-in at the league offices to protest Roger Goodell’s handling of “Deflategate.” The league said it “doesn’t credential people who have been involved in such antics.” But Barstool isn’t letting up. They continue to openly hate on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and even sell anti-Goodell merch


Stitch Fix Launches New Effort

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by Maureen Morrison

Six-year-old Stitch Fix last week expanded its marketing efforts to reach a broader audience with its first national campaign — including its first TV ads.

Though TV might seem like too traditional a route for startups like Stitch Fix, it’s a crucial medium for expanding brands.

We created the campaign, opting to use the TV ads to highlight the personalization Stitch Fix offers and tell the brand’s story through a Stitch Fix stylist’s point of view.

The ads are running now across national TV buys, but keep an eye out for social ads and posts on Facebook and Pinterest as well.

See more on the campaign in this Ad Age feature.