Whether you are an athlete or not, people everywhere use music to get into the proverbial “zone”.

Beats by Dre continues to effectively leverage celebrities to build their brand. Instead of solely having superstars endorse their product, the brand’s most recent spot provides a relatable, affective narrative of one of their main ambassadors, LeBron James.

Filtering back and forth between LeBron’s workout and videos of him growing up with his mother, the ad provides a raw, intimate look at LeBron’s humble roots in Akron. The shots of his blue-collar hometown remind you that the superstar is someone you can relate to—an individual who has worked hard to succeed and doesn’t forget about those who helped him along the way. 

With over 4 million views in two days, the spot has been motivating individuals everywhere. Check it out here to break your afternoon lull.

Snapchat joined other profitable social media influencers this past weekend by debuting its first advertisement. Users who updated their Snapchat app had the option of watching a 20 second video for the new horror movie Ouija, based on the board game.

Being that Snapchat is new medium for advertisers, an innovative approach was necessary. Fitting within the realm of Snapchat functions, users voluntarily watch the ad—however, similar to other Snapchats, the ad is only available temporarily. The disappearing ad sparks the attention of the users and retains the familiar format of a Snapchat Story— stitching together short clips and pictures to create a narrative.

This video advertisement sets the standard for future Snapchat ads, and could be the beginning of a very profitable future for Snapchat.

Walker Crisps, the UK Frito-Lay brand, gave a select few London bus stops an extreme makeover of the vending variety, as part of their “Do Us A Flavour” campaign. Each shelter was outfitted with a twitter-activated vending machine, seemingly occupied by Walker’s ambassador, soccer star Gary Linker. Linker’s virtual likeness would encourage onlookers to tweet @Walkers_busstop, which triggered the vending machines to dish out free bags of chips from the six finalist flavors.

This playful, interactive design drives both digital and physical engagement with the brand by creating a space where digital brand participation is rewarded with an immediate, tangible payoff. By crafting a comical, memorable experience for customers, Walker is able to encourage dialogue around finalist flavors while gaining a wealth of promotional content that can be used in future promotions—like this one here.

Hopefully, the US Frito Lay brand will attempt to snowball off of the success of its UK counterpart. For now, vending machines will continue to charge for chips—no matter how much you tweet at them.

Once known solely as a check-in app, Foursquare is expanding beyond gloating about all the exclusive places you visit.

While we all love to show our friends just how great our life is, the new Foursquare wants to help you find places that you will love, based on the tastes and preferences that make you, you. 

Shifting its image with an upcoming brand campaign, Foursquare is competing with services like Yelp to help you find great places around you, but with increased personalization.

Foursquare is pushing to grow their user-base, ideally to introduce you to that hidden gem coffee shop that caters specifically to your interests. 

Blake Griffin penned the first piece for Derek Jeter’s new venture, The Players’ Tribune, and the media platform is already opening eyes. Blazing through social media, the article is an intimate piece of what it was like playing for former owner, Donald Sterling.

Athletes, who are constantly in the media, interact primarily with reporters before or after games—times when they may be put on the spot to answer difficult questions.

LeBron announcing his decision to move back to Cleveland by writing a heartfelt essay in Sports Illustrated displayed how athletes seek the opportunity to articulate and share their thoughts and sentiments directly with their fans.

With countless outlets frequently jabbering about outlandish micro-details, The Players’ Tribune seems to offer content rich, intimate pieces from athletes. With the next post slated for October 26th, the media outlet is shooting for quality over quantity, a fresh change in sports media. 

Sign me up, literally.


What music gets your creative juices flowing? Here at HA, music is our constant companion—filling the workspace with an eclectic variety of harmonics catered daily to the office mood. Our very own Steve Mitchell has curated a playlist of the tunes that inspire and fuel his imagination. See what other creative minds in the industry are rocking out to after the jump.

Michelle Obama did it for the Vine.

The First Lady’s latest Vine parodies the popular dance song “Turn Down for What”—all in the name of healthy eating and exercise. In response to her social media Q&A, she released the catchy Vine promoting her “Let’s Move” program.

With over 21 million Vine loops and counting, let’s hope the message about healthy lifestyles spreads as swiftly as this video.

It’s official—in 2015, HBO will open its proverbial golden gates, by offering an over-the-top, online streaming service that promises to supply quality programming to the masses. With Game of Thrones clocking in at the most pirated show in TV history, it’s no wonder that HBO has chosen to capitalize on the wealth of viewers without premium cable subscriptions. Finally, you’ll be able to indulge in your favorite shows without hacking into your friend’s HBOGO account! Not wanting to tip off any competitors, details surrounding HBO’s plans for the service have been shrouded in mystery.

It’s a brave new world, where more and more television content has become available without need of traditional television distribution. With HBO throwing it’s hat in with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, it’s easy to imagine that premium cable providers will see increased instances of members cutting the cord.

One this is certain—You won’t have to be a Lannister to afford the perks of HBO.

Earlier this year, Bose became the “Official Sound of the NFL”, a move the luxury sound brand hoped would help reach new audiences and combat success of their rival—Beats by Dre.

With brand ambassadors throughout professional sports, it was only a matter of time until an athlete “slipped up”. Strategically or not, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick violated NFL rules by wearing his Beats headphones in a post-game press conference and was hit with a $10,000 fine.

Reminiscent of the fines Michael Jordan received for wearing his first Air Jordan shoes; the fines have garnered heavy media coverage for the Beats brand. Although, it has not been disclosed whether or not Beats paid the fine for Kaepernick; with all the media impressions we’re sure they would be willing to reimburse him 10 times over.

Ever since Apple created the iAd platform, it hasn’t been the most lucrative placement for marketers—until now. Ushered in with iOS 8, Apple is fixing limitations of its iAd platform, lack of Internet cookies, by adding the ability to retarget ads based on in-app browsing behaviors.  

iAd Advertising seems almost peripheral to Apple, as it only accounted for 1.3% of the company’s Q3 revenue. However, the ability to retarget ads appeals primarily to app developers, enticing them produce quality apps for Apple’s devices—which leads to greater revenue in other sectors. 

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has made it clear that the focus of the company is to make great products, not to gather and sell personal information to marketers, but it remains to be seen how users will react to retargeted personalized ads within their beloved devices. 

While Apple provides the option to reset the information gathered to retarget ads under privacy settings, user specific retargeted ads may rub users the wrong way and alter their experience with Apple products.

Big Silicon Valley tech companies have been known to offer some seriously over-the-top perks aimed at keeping top talent working diligently: unlimited vacation, five star cafeterias and now, complementary egg freezing.

That’s a right, both Apple and Facebook are offering to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs—allowing them to delay having kids and instead, focus on furthering their burgeoning careers during prime childbearing years. The hope is that this added benefit will help to recruit and retain female talent, thus working to bridge the considerable gender gap we see in the tech industry.

Some critics view this the egg-freezing perk with skepticism, questioning whether it sends the wrong message to our larger society.

However, perks that give women more control over the timing of fertility have the potential to help young female professional to align their career and family goals—subduing the tick of that annoying biological clock.

By definition, explorers are ready to embark on an adventure at a moment’s notice. In South Korea, The North Face put shoppers’ intrepid spirits to the test.

As customers browsed The North Face store, the floor spontaneously began to slide out from under shopper’s feet, forcing them to climb the store’s rock wall.

Testing the leaps individuals are willing to take, the interactive store moves experience design to the next level, literally bringing the customers thrill seeking nature to life. 

Amazon, the online commerce tycoon, plans to bring their products to retail “pop-up shops” in Manhattan, San Francisco and Sacramento. The stores will display and sell Amazon products such as the FireTV and Kindle—providing customers with the immediacy afforded by other 3rd party retailers. The new physical locations will allow customers to order online and go pick up their new Amazon product the same day. Customers will also be able to return products to these physical locations, accelerating the consumer experience.

If all goes to plan, the San Francisco location will open by October 22nd and the Manhattan location open its doors by the holidays, just in time to meet the rush of holiday shoppers. The new stores will brilliantly showcase Amazon products, while giving customers the satisfaction of a convenient retail experience. 

Generation Y: the seemingly unpredictable demographic that advertisers are looking to define and understand.

The blind spot arises from the divergent nature that characterizes the millennial generation—who consciously reject the conventions that defined their parent’s lifetime.

Even so, Exponential, a digital advertising network, took on the challenge of surveying 4 million young adults in the hopes of defining the diverse millennial generation into “sub-groups”. From an algorithm that gauges the influence of 3 major forces on each group: economy, globalization and social media, Exponential defines what it believes to be the 12 types of millennials.

Catch the defining quirks and motivations of each group here. Are they accurate? Or does this categorization threaten to propagate stereotypes and downplay the diversity of an entire generation? You be the judge.

Joining the ranks of Lennon and Dylan, iOS 8 has written its first song. With the help of artist Jonathan Mann’s fingers, the new Quick Type feature writes Mann’s “iOS Autocomplete Song.”

Alternating between the three predictive words in the Quick Type feature Mann produces a surprisingly pleasant song using only the inputs from the Apple software.   

While the song did not receive a nomination for the upcoming American Music Awards, this creatively quirky piece rivals some of the music we hear everyday on the radio.