Is Your Antiquated Legal Department a Brand Killer?

Additional reporting by Luke Dringoli and Jon Thomas.

We’ve all seen it before: Marketers create an innovative social media campaign only to have it squashed by the legal department into a bland, lifeless lump of the original idea. Sadly, many archaic legal departments are wary of social media at best and digitally illiterate at worst. Their fear of embracing these tools can be a barrier for brands that want to interact with their audiences in authentic, transparent and engaging ways. But that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t sacrifice creativity (or throw out their old-school legal department) just yet.

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8 Traits of Successful Viral Videos

Making a viral video is just like that carnival game where you throw the whiffle ball into the big basket. It looks easy, but when you try it, it’s surprisingly tough. Then you fork over more money to try again because your girlfriend is obviously disappointed in you. After three more misses your now ex-girlfriend has left you and you're wondering what went wrong.

Viral videos seem so easy to make. I mean, even Rachel Black made one! However, the reality is that virality is ever-elusive. There’s no single equation. You can’t buy it anywhere. No internet marketer/video editor, no matter what they tell you, has the one formula to guarantee viral success. It’s not like six pack abs—those are sought after but there’s a clear formula. Eat well. Exercise often. That’s it. That’s the formula. You heard it here first. Just look at my abs as proof (please don’t).

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The Future of (Auto)Mobile Advertising

Growing up, all I wanted was a black Pontiac TransAm that spoke to me and helped me fight crime through a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of criminals operating above the law. What I got was a 1985 Peugeot 505s with cigarette burns on the canvas seats and a tape player that didn't have a reverse button. Cars have come a long way since the "forward-thinking" days of Knight Rider. Cars not only speak to us, they can drive for us, give us directions, and show the kids some Dora the Explorer while en route to a ski trip in Vermont. And this is just the beginning.

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When Faking It (on Twitter) Is a Good Thing

It’s late November, and UK Lord Chancellor Sir John Simon has just told Parliament that Britons have sent watches, jewelry and gold to help the government pay for war. According to Sir John, “One girl sent a small envelope, asking me to accept her ‘peace offering.’ Inside was her engagement ring.” Incredible. Particularly because I just learned of this from a tweet chronicling the world war that’s raging in Europe right now.

You didn’t know there was a war going on in Europe? That’s because it took place in 1939. It’s the beginning of the Second World War, and it’s being retold on this date and at this time by the Twitter account @RealTimeWWII. After tweeting for only three months, @RealTimeWWII, which according to Mashable is maintained by Oxford graduate Alwyn Collinson, has already exceeded 150,000 followers. Why can't brands be this inventive?

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The Post-Advertising Summit marketing conference in New York October 21

Story To Host World’s First Post-Advertising Summit!

After three years of charting the emerging Post-Advertising world right here with you guys, we decided to throw our very own real world event: The Post-Advertising Summit! (March 29th, at New York’s Cult Studios. Details here). In other words, we're throwing a party...and you're all invited!

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Would You Watch This New Fall TV Show? Please??

Mysterious expression. Well-coiffed hair. Piercing, Photoshop-blue eyes. Just who is this “gifted man,” and do we even want his gifts? The poster for this new CBS series may be thought-provoking, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the show. Instead of using this real estate to engage consumers with actual content, mysterious billboards like this one leave the premise up to the imagination of viewers. Sure, it’s meant to intrigue, not to inform. But is that wise?

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Post-Advertising Summit :: October 21st :: Cult Studios, NYC

Post-Advertising Summit

The Post-Advertising Summit celebrates the end of the broadcast age and the dawn of a new era for marketing. The advertising-as-interruption model has collapsed and the ad world is evolving. Today, we live in an opt-in culture, which means the only messages your audience will see or hear are those that they choose to see and hear. So how do you get positive attention? By creating great media that is relevant, informative, and on-brand.

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5 Big Ideas for Content Marketing

5 Big Ideas for Content Marketing

This post originally appeared in our August issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

Most marketing agencies approach their content with the standard brush. They take a look at the latest tools and trends, and pull together a few tips here and there. That subtle approach is not necessarily a bad thing, but in this difficult economy, that’s no longer good enough. Desperate times call for bold strokes. That's why we at Story Worldwide have decided to put our money where our mouth is — we're not only outlining five key ideas for the future of content marketing, we’re currently investing in them.

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How to Brand a City (Are You Listening, Cleveland?)

As geographically stable as most cities are, their identities shift over time. Pittsburgh was the symbol of American muscle in the '50s and '60s; today it’s a poster child for urban decay. New Orleans evolved naturally from frontier military port to bead-strewn decadence hotspot…then a disaster took it straight to Desperation City, literally overnight. How people feel about a city can mean all the difference between the heaven of tourism millions and rising property values and the hell of the butt of national jokes (see Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) Identity is big business, and that means branding.

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Why Milk’s PMS Campaign Went Sour

Over the past few weeks, a bold campaign by the California Milk Processor Board, featuring men as suffering victims of PMS-crazed women and milk as the cure, has become the latest poster child for brands using shock and awe to generate online conversation at any cost. If controversy is its own reward, the campaign was a smashing success. But since the campaign, and its spiritual home at everythingidoiswrong.org, was hastily shuttered late last week, it seems very forgiving to call it a smash hit, doesn’t it?

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