The Curator's News Feed, April 27, 2012

This week, we've got a transportation slant to our reading list: check out our take on Ford's multi-platform "Escape Routes" campaign and the already-infamous Craiglist Pontiac ad. And if you're traveling in South Africa soon, you'll be happy to know your fourth wife can fly for free.  

Pontiac ad

Meet The Two Guys Behind The Greatest Craigslist Car Ad In History, Jalopnik. But really, this ad shows how with a little creativity, even a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT can be appealing. Tip of the hat to the two guys behind this hilarious craigslist ad. - Megan

New York Bakery Takes Legal Action Against Dunkin' Donuts' Fake "Artisan" Bagels, Forbes. If it seems like every company is using “artisan” in their advertising these days, it’s not your imagination: according to research, more than 800 new food products have been dubbed “artisan” from 2006 to 2011.The latest is Dunkin Donuts, which has introduced a new line of “artisan bagels.” Riiiiight. That was the reaction of a New York bagel maker, who took offense at his truly hand-made product being classified as the same as DD’s mass-produced version. But instead of just being annoyed, he took the next step and filed a legal complaint alleging false advertising. Dunkin has fought back, claiming they’re within their rights to use the term. It’s a fascinating debate to follow. On the one hand, seeing massive national companies co-opting this term indicates they see it resonating with many consumers, not just mustachioed Brooklyn hipsters. On the other, isn’t it disingenuous to those same consumers to claim a product is “artisan” when it was made by a machine? And with no official definition of “artisan” from an advertising standpoint, do the real small biz craftsmen really have any say in the matter? – Lisa

Twitter becomes a key real-time tool for campaigns, Washington Post. Twitter has been on the political scene for years now, but this is arguably the first presidential election that Twitter will be seen as a key tool for communication and temperature checks of speeches. Talking points are no longer confined to candidate websites and mass emails, they are now sent out in to the expanse and carried by supporters. Someone who might never pick up a paper, (wonder how long “pick up” will be an acceptable verb for reading a paper?) or research a policy can now participate in the presidential conversation with the stroke of a hashtag. Will this electronic empowerment translate into votes this November, or will slactivism disappoint the efforts? – Matthew

Today in Pictures: Water Cannon, Pakistani Mourners, Art Installation, Picture This: ABC News. ABC’s Blog, ‘Picture This’ captures in the glimpse of an eye several news items throughout the week or even within one day. Although the blog isn’t the news item itself, the pictures in one of this week’s posts struck me even more than usual. It’s amazing how the newsworthy elements of each story can be portrayed so clearly in just one image. As professional communications, it makes you step back and reevaluate the best way to share a message with your audience. For ABC, sometimes the news is better portrayed through photographs rather than words.  - Annie

The Brand Content Breakdown: Behind Ford “Escape Routes,” Fast Co.Create. I LOVE the idea of branded content where it makes sense. I think Ford has been doing a good of it and this article highlights a new concept they are rolling out for a fully branded primetime network series where their 2013 Ford Escape plays the central role. As a marketer for lifestyle brands who believes that to truly build a relationship with the consumer that is real the brand needs to be made relevant – to be woven into their life. These branded content strategies can be highly effective, if properly balanced. I’ll be interested to watch it play out. – Scott

'Fourth Wife Flies Free': Kulula Airlines Ad Uses President's Fourth Marriage To Sell Flights, Huffington Post. Good news! For the next few days, if you’d like to take a jaunt from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Kulula Airlines, in honor of the South African president’s marriage to his fourth wife, your fourth wife can fly free! – Julia

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Brand Journalist: Joe Chernov of Eloqua, MarketingProfs. Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas and attend a PR conference presented by our client Whole Foods Market and Ragan Communications. There was a lot of discussion about the rise of brand journalism. Like it or not, brands have more opportunities these days to tell their own story. In fact, according to this MarketingProfs post, hiring a brand journalist will make everything better. However, compelling brand journalism relies on a certain skill set – a nose for a good story, the ability to structure a great piece of content, and someone who is used to writing and producing under deadline. - Ann Marie