James Harden Reluctantly Takes a Selfie With a Camel in Foot Locker's Twitter-Dares Campaign Also, rides a tricycle

Your wish is James Harden's command. Or it was, at least, for one day.

Last Thursday marked the culmination of Foot Locker's #PlayMyTweet campaign from BBDO New York. For two weeks prior, the brand had invited consumers to pose challenges to the Houston Rockets star, via Twitter. Foot Locker then printed a selection of the requests onto basketballs, and on October 8th, Harden shot the custom balls during a live event, promising to take on the dares if he missed. "Yodel? Eat a raw onion? Wax my leg? Braid my beard?," Harden suggested in the September 24 call to action.

None of those punishments made the final cut. But Harden did find himself riding a tricycle wearing a clown nose while eating an ice cream cone (a feat all the harder, it seems, given his signature beard)—and more.

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October 12, 2015, 12:10 PM EDT

The Headless Horseman, His Pumpkin, Play the Odd Couple in Sweet, Creepy Reese's Spot Sharing treats gets tricky for Comedy Central

Imagine if the iconic Headless Horseman and his flaming pumpkin noggin had a bit of a love-hate relationship. They've been together so long that each knows just how to push the other's buttons.

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October 12, 2015, 10:54 AM EDT

SNL Adds Guns Into Life's Sweetest Moments, With an Assist From Amy Schumer Highlighting the absurdity of the American debate

If you've got a gun, why wouldn't you want to bring it along for all those special occasions—like a first date, or having a baby? That, at least, is the tack that Saturday Night Live takes in its latest parody ad, using the kind of singsong tone usually reserved for jewelry ads. 

Initially, the two-minute piece seems like it'll make fun of Airbnb or some other tech giant's pitch about its now-ubiquitous place in everyday life. But the plot turns on a dime when comedian Amy Schumer, host of this past Saturday's show, opens a box over a romantic dinner and finds that her paramour has given her a very special gift.

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October 12, 2015, 9:41 AM EDT

Google Used Clickable Paper in Posters Asking People Which Nonprofits It Should Fund Choosing from among 10 Bay Area projects

The nonprofits competing in the second Google Impact Challenge have some pretty innovative ideas for how to make the Bay Area a better place to live. And Google's method of soliciting votes for the contest is pretty cutting edge, too.

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October 9, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT

These Creatives Knitted Outfits for Street Signs as a Way of Asking for Clothes for the Poor Heartwarming OOH ads

Wool is cool again, and yarn-bombing is a thing. In a nod to the trend, a group of Brazilian creatives started "Doe Agasalho," or "Donate Warm Clothes," a campaign that reminds people to offer clothing to the poor.

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October 9, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT

Airbnb Offers the Ultimate Halloween Sleepover: A Night in the Paris Catacombs Get cozy in costume with 6 million resting souls

Looking for the ultimate scare? Airbnb is running a contest that will give two lucky people the chance to sleep in the Catacombs of Paris, home to over 6 million dead and labeled "the world's largest grave."

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October 9, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

USA Today Used Facebook's New Emojis on Its Front-Page Stories, and It's Awkward Update: Editor says goal was to show how communication is evolving

Via The Newseum

Facebook's new emoji-esque "Reactions" haven't launched stateside yet, but USA Today decided to give them an early test run—on its own front page.

The results are ... rather awkward. 

A sad face next to a stabbing story? An angry face next to an item on Russian missiles reportedly hitting unintended targets? (There's no questioning the "wow" emoji for Kevin McCarthy's shocking withdrawal from the House speaker race, though. That one's dead on.)

While they stop short of editorializing, the icons do feel like they're trying to reflect how you should feel about the news, which blurs the line of journalistic neutrality a bit. 

We've reached out to the USA Today staff to learn the background of the decision and confirm it wasn't any sort of official partnership with Facebook. We'll update this post if we hear back.

UPDATE (12:20 p.m. ET): We received the following answers from USA Today's editor-in-chief:

AdFreak: I'm assuming this wasn't any sort of official Facebook partnership and was just a way to integrate the idea in a unique way?
David Callaway, editor-in-chief, USA Today: There was no official partnership with Facebook. This was fully an editorial decision. The front page editors discussed putting the new FB emojis on the top of the front page, as a reference to a story about them in our Money section, which brought about the discussion of whether to use them on the stories.

Was there any concern about these emojis seeming too flippant next to serious content like the stabbing or Syria?
Yes, of course there was discussion about being too flippant.

Whose decision was it to use the emojis? Was there much debate among the editorial team? 
My feeling (as editor-in-chief) is that a billion FB users may soon start using these to share stories—all kinds of stories—which of course is Facebook's intention. Social media and its icons are becoming a dominant form of communication in our world. We wanted to show what they would be like if transferred to print.

October 9, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

Kids Are Given Toy Cars That Can't Crash in This Amusingly Mean Mercedes-Benz Ad Clever way to talk about brakes

Mercedes-Benz's new ad doubles as a social experiment for children.

The automaker installed heavy-duty magnets inside toy cars to highlight its Brake Assist System PLUS. The video then shows kids—who are delighted, of course, by crashing toy cars into each other—playing with the magnet cars. Let's just say they're not in love with them.

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October 9, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

Al Gore's Stirring New Climate Change Ad Calls on World Leaders to Be Accountable Edward Norton, Richard Branson add star power

Al Gore's Climate Reality Project tries lighting a fire under world leaders in this two-minute film directed by Hungry Man's Richard Bullock.

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October 9, 2015, 10:20 AM EDT

Your Life Should Be This Dreamy, Say 6 Beautiful New Ads for the Apple Watch Because reality is just too messy

Get an Apple Watch, and replace the ice cream cone your daughter just dropped without even having to free your hands.

In the first of six new beautifully designed Apple Watch ads, a mother deftly prevents a small mishap from devolving into a full blown tantrum: With a few quick wrist taps, a new treat magically replaces the old one as if the spill never happened.

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October 9, 2015, 10:02 AM EDT


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