SPARK: A homeless charitable experiment at SXSWi, Jack Kerouacs' 'On The Road' rewritten for bro's and a cupcake ATM

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BBH are piggybacking onto the upcoming SXSWi event to trial an experimental way to raise funds for the homeless which doesn’t use the tried (and failed?) model of selling magazines or newspapers. Instead they’ve honed in on the one thing that all SXSWi attendees crave, a fast and reliable internet connection. This year in Austin, as you wander between locations murmuring to your coworker about how your connection sucks and you can’t download/stream/tweet/instagram/check-in, you’ll notice strategically positioned individuals wearing “Homeless Hotspot” t-shirts. These are homeless individuals in the Case Management program at Front StepsShelter. They’re carrying MiFi devices. Introduce yourself, then log on to their 4G network via your phone or tablet for a quick high-quality connection. You pay what you want and whatever you give goes directly to the person that just sold you access. What a brilliant idea!  

Less than a week after Sprinkles Beverly Hills announced their very first 24-hour cupcake automat, the baked goods ATM is up and running.

Sprinkles engineer Vineet Chaplot was on hand for the machine's launch to make sure everything was going smoothly. He pointed out that behind the automat's bright metal grates, you could see 600 freshly-made, individually boxed cupcakes ready for the day. Eventually, the ATM will also offer Sprinkles cupcake mixes, apparel and dog treats. Check out the video demo.

ON THE BRO’D

To celebrate the release of ‘On The Bro’d’, a book which is every sentence of Jack Kerouacs ‘On The Road’ retold for Bro’s, the publishers have made a video showcasing famous scenes from classic movies with subtitles for Bro’s so they can understand the gist of what’s going on. Hilarious.

COCA COLA PORTUGAL: THE FAN DORM

After testing soccer fans' honesty with 'Rivalry Wallet', Coke Portugal and agency O Escritorio launch another feel-good campaign. Coca-Cola has been an official sponsor of the Benefica Stadium since 2000. As part of this sponsorship, it owns a luxury corporate box for the use of Coke employees and partners.

But why should Coke higher-ups get all the privileges? Coke gave up its "eagle eye view" box and turned it into a dormitory for fans -- for the use of the fanatics that can't sleep a wink before a big game.

Fans can apply to spend 24 hours in the dorm with seven of their closest friends (and get a free breakfast!).

THE TOP 50 BRANDS IN CONTENT MARKETING

Marketing principles are being turned upside down. Brands have historically paid for media to deliver their messages, but now those brands are becoming the media, attracting their own audiences, and not just within social networks, but through their own online publications. This new strategy is known as content marketing, and it has been embraced by leading brands like American Express, IBM, and General Mills, with more joining the ranks every day.

As marketers pursue their own content marketing strategies, they'll need a roadmap of the content marketing landscape, a guide to the precedents set by the pioneers. For that reason, Clickz have compiled a list of the "Top Brands in Content Marketing in 2012." They conducted the study analysing top content marketing operations, evaluating them through qualitative and quantitative measures of their websites, content, and search and social efforts. Click to check out the findings.

CONVERSE: DOYATHING

Converse has launched “DoYaThing”, an integrated advertising campaign featuring the Gorillaz, Andre 3000, and James Murphy. “DoYaThing” is part of Converse’s ongoing Three Artists positioning. One Song series fuses the animated world of Gorillaz with real life footage featuring the animated Gorillaz members Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle and Russel along with graphic interpretations of Andre 3000 and James Murphy. The campaign features the Gorillaz Converse shoe range and the downloadable track. 

CARTIER: L’ODYSÉE DE CARTIER

Cartier have created a 3 minute video which can only be described as Narnia with diamonds. Elephants carry palaces, there are bejewelled alligators and airplanes that look as fragile as paper. It doesn’t really say anything or lead to anything so my verdict is just that it’s nice but random.

SPAIN GETS DISCOUNTED SUBWAY TICKETS THANKS TO BRANDS

Sponsorship has powered many of the “free love” innovations we’ve seen over the years, including free mobile internet, free school bus transportation, free photo printing and freee-book streaming and sharing to name just a few examples. The latest spotting? Barcelona subway tickets offered at reduced prices thanks to the sponsorship of advertisers.

RUMOURED APPLE iTV COULD BE THE BIGGEST LAUNCH SINCE THE SMARTPHONE

Few people on this planet currently know whether Apple plans to release its owntelevision set and Piper Jaffray’s in-house Apple analyst Gene Munster claims to be one of them. During a recent interview with Bloomberg Radio, Muster said “Apple Television is real, I think it’s going to be the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone came out. The biggest thing in five years. Based on some of the things we’re hearing about it, I think it’s going to live up to some of the building hype.”

LADYBLABLA: BUY A PHONE, SAVE A LIFE

You know Tom’s Shoes, buy a pair of shoes and donate a pair to a child in the developing world? Well this is the smartphone equivalent. If you buy a phone from ladyblabla.co.uk you help donate a smartphone, the HTC Sensation + internet data contract, to a health worker in southern Africa who uses it to improve the quality of healthcare and to save lives. It’s a collaboration with mothers2mothers who work in seven southern African countries to help pregnant women living with HIV. The idea is to help them prevent HIV transmission to their unborn babies. It's all about keeping precise medical data about each patient. The HTC Sensation runs android apps that connect back to the central database and means health workers have accurate and up-to-date information at their fingertips, much better than the scrappy paper records in broken filing cabinets they used before.

IKEA CREATE BRAND NEW PRODUCT TO LAUNCH IPAD APP

IKEA has solved many a young urban dweller's problems with its unique storage and furniture solutions, turning small, cluttered living spaces into a minimalist's dream. And now, it's solving other problems too such as the frustration you feel when you can't use your iPhone or iPad in the cold winter months because you're wearing gloves. While launching IKEA's iPad catalog in Norway, agency SMFB had to outsmart the brutal Norwegian winter, when gloved hands couldn't swipe away at touch-screen devices.To solve the problem in a uniquely IKEA-esque way, it created "Berora," (which means "to touch") a sewing kit containing a conductive thread that you can sew onto your gloves so you swipe away happily. The idea is brilliant because of its simplicity and how well it falls into line with IKEA sensibility.

THE BIG APP OF SXSXi: HIGHLIGHT

The latest in mobile trends is "ambient social networking", and leading the pack is an app that recommends users with similar interests and mutual friends: Highlight. Rather than the check-ins feature that even Foursquare founder, Dennis Crowley, has admitted was losing steam, ambient social networking applications will onlynotify users with a pop-up notification when another user of the same application approaches your immediate vicinity. The purpose of an application like Highlight is simply to connect users with similar interests. Users within the same vicinity can view a snippet of each other’s profile, which includes their “Blurb,” the number of mutual friends and interest in common, and a map showing their location. Drilling down further into a profile reveals a few detailed pieces of information pulled from Facebook, including your job and lists of your mutual friends.

MERCEDES CREATE AN INVISIBLE CAR

When Mercedes wanted to promote its new fuel cell vehicle, instead of placing it squarely in front of everyone in the world, the company decided to make the car invisible thereby dramatising the fact that with no omissions, it’s virtually invisible to the environment. They did it by placing a mat of LEDs across one side of the vehicle and mounting a video-shooting digital SLR camera on the other side. Check out the result.

BANANA REPUBLIC ‘MAN MEN’ FASHION SHOW IN THE AIR

Banana Republic this week decided to make like Chanel and present its second Mad Men-inspired collection on an airplane.

Bloggers and models jetted off from New York's JFK airport to LAX in Los Angeles in a customised Virgin America plane. The show included only four key looks (otherwise it would have been cramped), but Banana Republic upped the luxe factor for a real fashion show feel with branded swag and in-flight cocktails (Bloody Marys!).

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