The Curator’s News Feed: November 16, 2012

Rolling Stones

This week we’re sharing everything from Rolling Stones branding and guilt-free Thanksgiving dishes to mapped out election results and viral videos for brand promotion. Enjoy!

Advertisers Setup Bogus Storefronts to Skirt Seattle Billboards, Consumerist. This sheds some light on Seattle’s billboard laws and what that means for retailers and agencies… – Dan

Keith Richards These Riffs Were Built to Last a Lifetime, NPR. I'm not much of a Rolling Stones fan. I can absolutely appreciate Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme me Shelter — which are two songs I have on my iPod that I manage to find as the hills approach on a morning run.  But, what I am a huge fan of is building brands that last. And there is no denying that these guys have done something very right. A rock band that is still selling out stadiums and selling music 50 years after their inception is something to behold. 50 years! HBO is airing a documentary on the band's longevity I'm looking forward to. But as I listened to this interview on the way into work, I was struck by something Richards says about his bandmate Charlie Watts on their chemistry as they recorded a new song Richards was wanting to innovate on, "This record, to me, is one of the examples of what can happen when two cats believe in each other." There is so much that goes into building a brand — and internal culture, in my mind, is the number one priority. In this case, just two team members creating, getting weird and trusting each other. Love it. – Scott

Guilt-free Thanksgiving side dishes, Washington Post. I will NOT be counting any calories this Thanksgiving holiday. Turkey day is a time that most Americans let go of their strict dieting tactics. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a tasty holiday meal and still be healthful. These “guilt-free” sides are definitely worth a try! – Johanna

 Seal of Approval, Bon Appetit. The editors at Bon Appetit earlier this week released a list of, in their opinion, the 50 items everyone needs to have in their home kitchens. To create the list, they first identified the ingredients they had been cooking with and depended upon for decades. Next, they put the competitors to the test and held the ultimate taste off. In the end, some of the most beloved food brands including, Skippy and Heinz claimed victory. – Jennifer

Steve Jobs vs. Sam Walton: The tale of the tape, Fortune. “Who was the greater genius, Sam Walton or Steve Jobs?” Good question! We’re an entrepreneurial bunch here at Curator and all of us are passionate about building a great business. I loved reading this comparative look at the business minds who created the most valuable company on the planet (AAPL) and the biggest company in the world (WMT). – Ann Marie

Finding the Best Ways to Drink Beaujolais Nouveau, Gadling. Beaujolais Nouveau is a pretty interesting phenomenon. The wine celebration takes place on the third Thursday of November, no sooner as mandated by strict French law, and is the celebration of the release of the first early harvest wine from the Beaujolais region in France. I’ve lived in Paris during Beaujolais Nouveau and experienced firsthand the incredible joy and excitement that not only the French, but people around the world feel when this young, fruity wine is released. The parties and celebrations are great, although not sure about the wine baths in Japan…. – Julia

Maps of the 2012 presidential election results, University of Michigan. One of the most essential skills in the communication industry is to be able to take complicated information and make it easy to digest. The major TV news networks manage to screw this up about every four years, though. I'm talking, of course, about the Election Day map, which usually shows an ocean of red surrounded by a thin frame of blue, regardless of the actual results. This happens because we have several geographically large states with few electoral votes and several geographically small states with many electoral votes. And because I guess if you warped the map's geography to display population, TV viewers would change the channel. Fortunately, Mark Newman, a physics professor at the University of Michigan, has put together just such a series of maps, which make the election make a lot more sense, e.g.:


Don't let this one map skew your view, either, though — it does a good job of displaying the country based on electoral votes (Pres. Obama = blue, Gov. Romney = red), but it doesn't tell the story of how close this year's nine battleground states were. Click through to check out more specific displays that use gradients to show where each candidate performed strongly or barely squeaked by. – Paul, by way of Shawn

If at first you don’t succeed, try a different country, The Guardian. In this world, and especially in technology, you have to innovate or die. Blackberry seems to be in search of a third option. With interest in their product waning in America, Europe and Asia, Blackberry sees the growing economies in Africa as potential new markets. It seems to me that interest there will wane just as quickly as superior products make their way into the market, but what do you think? Could this save them from collapse, or will it just delay the inevitable? – Matthew

OMG! P'TRIQUE MEETS REBECCA BLACK & MAN REPELLER!, The Platform. I recently saw this video again and aside from thinking it’s hilarious, I find the idea behind it to be really fun and actually effective. More and more we see brands using video to promote products and engage their audiences. This particular video is one of a large series of videos from The Platform, a YouTube channel/fashion blog featuring tutorials, trends and DIY videos on beauty and fashion, and is of course a parody, but this video features style maven The Man Repeller and singer Rebecca Black. In poking fun of the fashionista world I think it’s a really great example of how brands and companies can use multimedia channels to engage with people and simultaneously create or strengthen a community. After seeing these videos, I myself became a fan of the more serious ones too and follow their profiles regularly. The P’Trique videos are spoofy, but they make the audience laugh at themselves and embrace the quirks of those in style community. What I love most is watching brands like Coach use videos and viral internet sensations for promotional purposes. From both the professional and consumer perspective, I think it’s great to see brands playing around in that space and having fun with their products. – Chelsey