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The Fearless Girl

Pedestrians in lower Manhattan had a new piece of branded art to ponder on Tuesday morning, as McCann New York and client State Street Global Advisors conspired in the middle of the night to drop a statue in Bowling Green Park of a girl facing off against the famous Wall Street Charging Bull.

The stunt, timed to International Women’s Day on Wednesday, is meant to symbolize the power of women in leadership. More specifically, it’s part of a campaign by SSGA to emphasize that companies with women in top positions perform better financially.

The sculpture, titled “The Fearless Girl,” was made by Kristen Visbal and photographed by Federica Valabrega. The guerrilla aspect of the placement is in keeping with the Charging Bull itself, which was installed without permission by artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989. It was meant to be a symbol of the strength and power of the American people following the stock-market crash of 1987. Residents fell in love with it, and the city allowed it to remain.

McCann did get a permit for the girl statue. It will be up for at least a week, says the agency, which is negotiating with the city for it to become part of the art program so she can stay longer. Continue reading

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Tesla opens ‘Project Loveday’ contest for fan-made ads

Tesla has refused to do traditional advertising for its electric vehicles, instead relying on PR and its reputation for innovation. Some fans love the cars so much that they’ve gone ahead and made advertisements for the company, inspiring a letter from “green” fan Bria asking Elon Musk to run a contest looking for the best one. A few days ago the CEO promised he’d do it, and just like that, Project Loveday is on, seeking out 90-second YouTube submissions that relate to “Tesla, SolarCity, our products, or our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Continue reading

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What’s in a Legendary Name? The Waldorf Astoria Is About to Find Out as It Transitions to Condos

When New York’s legendary Waldorf Astoria closed its doors earlier this week, it left two things behind: a legend and questions.

First, the legend. In the nearly nine decades since the soaring, Art Deco hotel opened its doors on Park Avenue in 1931, nearly every luminary of the 20th century (and many of the 21st) stayed, danced, ate, performed or lived within its storied limestone walls—Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (to name just a few).
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Jim Delligatti Invented the Big Mac and Changed Fast Food Forever

Jim Delligatti was frustrated. It was 1967, and Delligatti had been running a McDonald’s franchise for eight years. His market was Pittsburgh, and his bread-and-butter customers—men trudging to and from the steel mills—brought huge appetites in the door. But all Delligatti had for them was a regular cheeseburger. That’s when he decided to experiment a little. He put two beef patties into a new burger, adding lettuce, pickles and onions, plus a center bun to stabilize the thing. Finally, he added a “special sauce”—Thousand Island dressing, some have chided, though the recipe remains a secret. Delligatti was going to call his creation the “Big Mc,” but that didn’t sound right, so he opted for “Big Mac” instead.
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Burger King’s New Ads Show Actual BKs That Caught Fire From Flame-Grilling

We’ve seen ad campaigns here and there through the years that intentionally put the client or its products in an unflattering flight—think, for example, of the great Harvey Nichols “Shoplifters” campaign by adam&eveDDB, which featured surveillance footage of the department store being robbed.

But never have we seen ads that show a company’s retail locations on fire.

That’s what Burger King has done in a pretty incredible series of print ads from agency David, which show real emergency-scene photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze.

The point? To remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers—which usually has tasty consequences, but can sometimes have disastrous ones. Continue reading

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After 51 Years, Vans Is Finally Explaining What ‘Off the Wall’ Means

If you happened to catch the 2001 film Dogtown and Z-Boys, you might remember the story of how a bunch of ragtag teens in Venice, Calif., would expropriate neglected backyard swimming pools, then drain the water out so they could have a nice cement bowl to skateboard in. “Riding” the pool meant carving paths across the bottom, working up to the rim and then, using momentum to defy gravity, going “off the wall.”

The thing is, not a lot of people caught Stacy Peralta’s 2001 film, and not many more people know what “off the wall” actually means. And for fashion brand Vans, that’s always been a bit of a problem. Because Vans—known for its rubber-soled canvas shoe—wasn’t just part of the Z-Boys’ standard skateboarding uniform in the mid-1970s, it has used the phrase “Off the Wall” as a brand slogan since the late 1960s, when Paul Van Doren started selling shoes that bore his name out of a shop in Anaheim, Calif. Continue reading

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YouTube Kills 30-Second Unskippable Mobile Ads for Shorter and More Interactive Formats

Longer isn’t necessarily better when it comes to mobile video. In a statement on Friday, YouTube said that it’s fazing out its 30-second unskippable ads for advertisers this year.

Beginning in 2018, brands will not be able to buy the 30-second ad format but can purchase other lengths of unskippable pre-roll ads like 20-second promos and 6-second bumper ads.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” said a YouTube spokesperson in an email. Continue reading

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Snap Inc.’s Spectacles Are Now Available for Anyone to Buy Online

If you want one of Snap Inc.’s Spectacles, you no longer have to find a randomly located Snapbot and then stand in line to buy one of the elusive $130 gadgets. Starting today, you can purchase them on Spectacles.com.

Following the ecommerce launch, the company’s pop-up store in New York City will close down in a development that’s been expected since January. But Snapbots—the high-tech vending machines that had been the only place to buy Spectacles—will continue to appear in locations around the U.S. following a brief break.

Snap, which owns the popular app Snapchat, first revealed Spectacles at a private event in early September 2016. The devices first went on sale last Nov. 10 via a few Snapbots that toured the country.

Spectacles are souped-up sunglasses that record video, via an integrated camera, from the wearer’s eye-level perspective. Users can then upload 10-second video clips to the Snapchat platform via a smartphone synced through Bluetooth or WiFi.

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Ebay Survey Results Point to More People Buying and Researching Cars Online

Every three minutes, a car or truck was sold on eBay via a mobile device during the fourth quarter of 2016. And if the results of a new eBay Advertising survey hold true this year, auto buyers could be more likely to buy online this year.

According to the report released this week, the internet is increasing in prominence for every part of the car-buying process. The survey, which was given to 1,000 general consumers and 1,000 customers of of eBay Motors, found that 87 percent used the internet in some way in the past six months when buying a car. Continue reading