Ad Love: Lexus for Black Panther

Brands roll the dice when they affiliate with movies since it’s anyone’s guess what will be a blockbuster.

Lexus chose correctly when it signed on 18 months ago to play an integral part of Disney’s “Black Panther,” where the main character drives a Lexus LC 500.

The movie, which opened in theaters Feb. 16, is smashing box office records. Global ticket sales by Monday will total an estimated $387 million, according to comScore. Disney said on Sunday that ticket sales for the film in North America alone will total roughly $218 million between Friday and Monday.

The partnership includes a website with a series of online comics featuring the vehicle. A 30-second spot “Long Live The King” ran during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. The 60-second version of the spot has already garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube.

Check these out

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McDonald’s Lavish ‘Bling Mac’ Ring Could Be Yours

This Valentine’s Day, how will you show your love for McDonald’s Big Mac?

Let’s see … you could eat a Big Mac, of course. Or maybe a Grand Big Mac. Or even a Big Mac Jr. Or you can save yourself all those empty calories by playing a pair of brand-boosting games. (Kidding, of course. This stuff is health food, at least compared to the chocolate shakes.)

If you’re feeling poetic, try composing a few lines of love to the sandwich on Twitter for a chance to win the “Bling Mac.” That’s an 18k gold, stackable ring with seven tiers of gems representing Big Mac ingredients, including orange sapphires as the special sauce:

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 Only one burger buff will win the Bling-y thing-y, designed by Nadine Ghosn and valued at $12,500. Do you love it?

Alamo Drafthouse is Donating to Nonprofits in The Name of King T’Challa

Seeing so many people jump on and do the #BlackPantherChallenge is amazing. I brought my tickets a month ago and can’t wait to see the movie!

In honor of this challenge, Alamo Drafthouse locations across the country are teaming up with local community groups who work with the underprivileged to give back and raise money to benefit the leaders of tomorrow (including Black Panther screenings in some markets).

Starting this week, they’ve added an optional charity ticket add-on to the checkout process for all films. Funds raised will go directly to helping a local community group/organization in your area (they’ll also be contributing in each market).

Here’s what that ticket add-on looks like:

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Check the list below for more information on who they’re working with:

Austin, TX | Boys & Girls Club of Austin
Ashburn, VA | Loudoun County NAACP
Brooklyn, NY | NAACP and Girls, Incorporated
Charlottesville, VA | Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet
Corpus Christi | SRG Force Sports
Dallas, TX | Boys & Girls Club of Dallas
Denver, CO | Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver
El Paso, TX | TBA
Houston, TX | TBA
Kansas City, MO | Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City
Laredo, TX | SRG Force Sports
Lubbock, TX
New Braunfels, TX | SRG Force Sports
Omaha, NE | House of Afros, Capes and Curls
Phoenix, AZ | ICAN Arizona
San Antonio, TX | SRG Force Sports
San Francisco, CA | Bayview Magic
Springfield, MO | Springfield Dream Center
Winchester, VA | NAACP chapter of Winchester Virginia
Yonkers, NY | Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle

“The world is changing. Soon there will only be the conquered and the conquerors. You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.” – King T’Chaka.

 

Ad Love: Apple’s Animoji

I will likely never purchase an iPhone. I just don’t like them. I must admit, though, the two Animoji ads which aired during the Grammys tonight,  almost changed my mind.

The spots highlight the Face ID technology in the iPhone X that can make custom 3D versions of animated emoji based on your facial expressions, and are so darn cute!

One ad, called “Amigos,” features a dog and a poop emoji singing along to “Stir Fry” by hip-hop trio Migos, while carrot, broccoli, and cucumber emoji fly by.

The other ad features Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” being sung by an alien emoji and unicorn backup singers, which spiral out into a psychedelic universe of cascading cat, panda, robot, and unicorn emoji.

Both Migos and Childish Gambino were nominated for multiple Grammys, including Gambino’s Awaken, My Love! up for album of the year and Migos’ Culture up for best rap album.

Check out on of the ads below:

Bill Gates is Paying Off Nigeria’s Debt

Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates will pay off $76 million of Nigeria’s debt through their namesake foundation. The payments, which will be made over the course of 20 years, are due to begin this year.

In 2014, Nigeria borrowed the money from Japan to fund its fight against the preventable disease. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has “agreed to repay the loan after Nigeria met the condition of achieving more than 80% vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in very high-risk areas across 80% of the country’s local government areas.”

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No new cases of polio were reported in the country in 2017. That’s a drastic change from 2012, when Nigeria had over half of all polio cases worldwide, according to the publication.

 In a recent blog post, Gates acknowledges the significant strides made towards wiping out the disease globally — 30 years ago, there were 350,000 cases of polio per year worldwide, while last year, that number dropped to just 21.
Among those paralyzed, two to 10 percent die. The Gates Foundation spent $3 billion in 2017 to help stop the spread of the disease, and names polio eradication one of its “top priorities.” In 1988, the virus was present in over 125 countries, paralyzing about 1,000 children per day. Since then, cases of polio have decreased by over 99 percent.

Jeff Bezos Sends Dreamers To College

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated $33 million to TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and are protected from deportation under the DACA program.

The grant is the largest in the organization’s history. It will go to DACA-eligible graduating high school students around the country. Each student will get $33,000 in aid over four years to help pay tuition and fees. The students will be eligible to attend one of 76 colleges and universities in 15 states that partner with the scholarship fund. At present, nearly 3,000 undocumented students are enrolled today through TheDream.US.

Bezos is the richest person in the world. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his wealth at $108 billion. “MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships,” he said.

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In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg gave $5 million to TheDream.US to fund college scholarships.

Bezos’ donation is the latest step by the nation’s top CEOs to protect Dreamers. Donald Trump moved to rescind DACA in September, and it is set to end March 5.

More than 100 business leaders, including Bezos, signed a letter to Congress this week urging Congress to pass legislation preserving provisions of the program. Failure to act will cost businesses valuable employees and hurt the economy.

Facebook Goes Back to Its Roots

Welp…it was cute while it lasted.

Today, Facebook began to change the way it filters posts and videos on its News Feed, the start of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would be a series of changes in the design of the world’s largest social network.

In a sweeping post, Zuck said the company would change the filter for the News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

Facebook, which owns four of the world’s most popular smartphone apps including Instagram, has for years prioritized material that its complex computer algorithms think people will engage with through comments, “likes” or other ways of showing interest.

Zuckerberg, the company’s 33-year-old co-founder, said that would no longer be the goal.

“I‘m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The shift was likely to mean that the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement would go down in the short term, he wrote, but he added it would be better for users and for the business over the long term.

Advertising on the social network would be unaffected by the changes, John Hegeman, a Facebook vice president, said in an interview.

The company has been criticized for algorithms that may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people’s feeds, influencing the 2016 American presidential election, as well as political discourse in many countries.

Last year, Facebook disclosed that Russian agents had used the network to spread inflammatory posts to polarize the American electorate. Congress is expected to hold more hearings this month, questioning the role social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube play in spreading propaganda.

Zuckerberg said an overhaul of the company’s products, beginning with changes to the algorithms that control the News Feed, would help to address those concerns. Similar changes will be made to other products in the coming months, he said.

With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media network. It is also among the world’s largest corporations, reporting $36 billion in revenue, mostly from advertising, during the 12 months that ended on Sept. 30.