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How To Write Your Own History

Presented by Cole Haan

Flavorpill has teamed up with Cole Haan to help a new generation write their own history. On September 6th and 7th in NYC, you can attend our Inspiration Workshop at Wallplay on the Lower East Side for programming designed to inform and empower both your creative side *and* your business side. General Assembly teachers lead (free) classes on site, and inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs share their stories in evening panel discussions. You can also peruse The Sketchbook Project‘s mobile pop-up library, featuring the doodles, lists, and dreams of international authors, artists, scientists, and more. We spoke to some of the panelists and instructors involved in the Inspiration Workshop for advice on writing our own history and forging our own path — so even if you can’t attend the Workshop, you can come away inspired. … Read More

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Settle Down, ‘Star Wars’ Fans: Your Entitlement Is Out of Control

Maybe the problem is I’m just not that much of a Star Wars fan. Oh, it’s not that I dislike the films (y’know, except for the prequels); when you’re eight years old in 1983, the experience of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater, and owning the subsequent action figures and Ewok lunch boxes, makes you a loyalist for life, if for no other reason than nostalgia. But mine is a casual affection, not a gaping maw requiring the constant ingestion of information, and that is apparently what Star Wars fandom has become these days — if the furious response to Disney’s D23 expo is any indication. You see, the new owners of the Star Wars franchise had the nerve to share nothing new about Episode VII last weekend, and fans are livid. Because that’s the point we’ve arrived at with movie hype: the choice to maintain some semblance of secrecy about a project two years from delivery is not only a vile insult, but an indication of big trouble. Come again? … Read More

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Ingenious Green Billboards That Make Advertising Eco-Friendly

As big brands become more environmentally conscious, green advertising is steadily increasing in an attempt to court new generations of eco-savvy consumers. Billboards afford ad companies the biggest space and greatest visibility, and corporations are taking advantage of these intrusive structures in more thoughtful ways. Lush gardens, solar and wind-powered displays, and other “living” signs have been transformed from otherwise obnoxious ad clutter into attention-grabbing and ingenious eco statements. … Read More

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Fascinating Photos of Overcrowded Newsstands Around the World

Photographer Trevor Traynor‘s Newsstand Project confirms that the overcrowded street stalls are a universal language. Also, finding the cashier to pay for your newspapers, magazines, and gum is like playing Where’s Waldo no matter what country you live in. The artist, who we learned about on Photojojo, took Instagram snaps of newsstands in Lima, Barcelona, New York, and Paris. The square format frames the stands perfectly, zeroing in on the ad-heavy facades littered with glossy covers and inky newsprint. Grab a coffee, and wake up with more of Traynor’s newsstand photos in our gallery. … Read More

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Cheeky Paintings of Pop Culture Icons on Junk Food Packaging

Who knew the Les Misérables Broadway banner image of Cosette could look so satanic with a McDonald’s logo in the middle of her forehead? Ben Frost, apparently. Website Who Killed Bambi? introduced us to the artist who paints pop culture characters on different kinds of packaging. Junk food, cereal boxes, tiny pharmaceutical containers, and more are covered in Frost’s cheeky redesigns. The artist imagined Linda Blair from The Exorcist as the “hostess with the mostess” on a cheery Twinkies package and painted a depressed Mickey Mouse pondering his failures on a box of Xanax. See more icons Frost painted for pop culture posterity in our gallery. … Read More

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The Most Controversial Super Bowl Ads of All Time

In an advertising landscape that’s run by (and caters to) the Don Drapers of the world, it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing commercials like this one from Volkswagen, set to air next Sunday at the Super Bowl. Various critics have been attacking and defending the ad, which likens driving a Volkswagen with being more chilled out – a trait that’s illustrated by characters emulating Jamaican accents. The commercial signs off with the closer, “Get in. Get happy.” The emergence of this spot, along with CBS’ rejection of a SodaStream commercial earlier in the week, got us thinking about other controversial Super Bowl ads over the years — including some that didn’t even make it to game day. … Read More

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Watch PETA’s Brilliantly Lewd, Bouncingly Phallic New Ad

We’re not usually ones for base humor, but a little surrealist veggie-based lewdness never hurt anybody. To celebrate World Vegan Day and promote the er, apparently very positive ramifications of a vegan diet, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) commissioned Fallon to create this ad full of dudes showing off their extremely phallic vegetables with all maner of gyrating and bouncing. Yes, it’s totally puerile and absurd, but for our money, pretty darn effective. At least, um, we couldn’t look away. Click through to watch the video, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More

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Did Those ‘Support Israel/Defeat Jihad’ Ads Have to Be Such a Big Deal?

One difference New Yorkers might notice when subway service is finally fully restored? According to an MTA spokesperson, the controversial advertisements that urged readers to support the civilized man in his war against the savage should now be gone. The posters, which were placed in several New York City subway stations such as Grand Central and Times Square, concluded their four-week run on October 21st. “But there’s always some lag time getting them down,” the spokesperson added over the phone. One can only hope that any remaining ads were washed away in the storm.

For Pamela Geller, writer, activist and force behind the 46- by 30-inch ads, the marketing campaign accomplished what she had hoped it would: it got people to notice. “I intended to raise awareness of the nature and magnitude of jihad activity, and have done so,” she wrote in an email.

Since the campaign’s arrival in late September, the shock value and racist undertones of the posters have been reported in daily newspapers, nightly news broadcasts and websites like this one — right here, right now — effectively magnifying the poster’s image and spreading Geller’s message well beyond its initial trajectory. Although the ads were only placed in 10 subway stations across Manhattan, the end result was more like a billboard on each street corner in every borough.

How many new devotees, financial donations, or sympathetic nods of the head the coverage garnered for Geller’s cause is uncertain, but considering that the attack on the US Consulate in Libya had just occurred a couple weeks prior to the campaign’s launch — not to mention the anniversary of 9/11 — for those already thinking about reaching out to a figure such as Geller, the thought must have been all the more tempting. What is certain, however, is that many who were once unfamiliar with Geller and her ilk are now slightly less so. But did it have to be this way? … Read More

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Watch a ’90s ‘Punk’ Compilation Ad Featuring Incredibly Un-Punk Bands

Did you know that Huey Lewis and the News were a punk band? Well, according to the ad below for a ’90s compilation called Punk, those clean-cut fellows who wrote “Hip to Be Square” were basically the Sex Pistols. Other “punk” bands on the CD include Crowded House, The Knack, Toni Basil, A Flock of Seagulls, and Culture Club. But it isn’t just the tracklist that elevates this commercial to potential camp classic status — it’s the pair of hosts in Party City wigs, one of which appears to have been plucked from a Slash costume, addressing the kids at home in a slacker sub-dialect of Valspeak. Among other things, we can be thankful to this commercial for revealing what punks are truly angry about: “wasting money on CDs with only one or two good songs.” Mystery solved! … Read More

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Watch Wes Anderson's Adorable Animated Sony Commercial

Did Moonrise Kingdom go way over budget or something? We ask because Wes Anderson has been doing a lot of high-profile commercial work lately, which suggests he’s in need of some fast cash. You may recall that his duo of Hyundai ads premiered during the Oscars; today, he’s launching a series of short films for the Sony Xperia smartphone. In these minute-long collaborations with the animator Laika, kids explain their adorable theories on how the phone work, and the pair brings them to life. The first one — ostensibly from the mind of eight-year-old Jake Ryan — involves robots. Lots of them. Excellent. … Read More

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