Pop Culture

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How Lady Gaga Got Her Brand Back

The Lady Gaga we fell in love with 10 years ago is back and better than ever. The icon who carved out an indelible brand persona has finally returned to her fans, her roots, her senses, and to her betrothed little monsters. She has reclaimed her trademark pedigree that made her the irrepressible image we all fell in love with. And she did it without any outside help or needless controversy.

Fantasy Leagues Are No Longer Just for Sports

I believe that if anyone could ever duplicate "the experience" of fantasy sports, and find a way to apply it to other genres outside of sports, it could be a huge success. Recently, I've found a couple of great examples that have successfully transitioned the fantasy sports experience, and brought it to new pop culture audiences.
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The Real Reason Super Bowl Ads Switched From Sexual To Deeply Emotional

Let's take a moment to think about why the industry decided to go in this positive and thoughtful direction. And there, I'm done. Marketing grads, I'm sorry to say this aloud but it was not because the powers that be suddenly realized that they should use their influence for good. It's because the industry realized -- and by realize I mean spent millions of dollars studying how the public is reacting to their constant stream of marketing tactics -- that as a culture we are tired of the same old fluffy tricks. We pay for HBO. We recycle. We need more.
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How to Get Your Business Noticed at the Superbowl

With a reported record cost of $4.5 million rate for a 30-second spot in the U.S. and up to $200,000 in Canada, many companies don't have the budget to get their brand into the big game. That doesn't mean businesses won't get creative and try to intercept the spotlight during the mecca of the advertising calendar. Companies can attempt a field goal with the following three points to get noticed.
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What Does A Fan Look Like?

It's hard to find a display of passion and fandom that's more misunderstood (deliberately or unintentionally) than Fan Expo Canada, and that's why I went there on behalf of the Huffington Post Canada. I went ahead and asked some cosplayers about those aspects of their lives myself, amongst other things.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

I'm Tired Of Gaming As A Murderous White Guy

I say this to clarify that I'm not trying to position myself as better than the average gamer. But I am getting older, and for one reason or another, every time a blockbuster game could take a turn for the interesting, it instead settles to what the industry views as the default gameplay experience: telling the story of a white man with a gun.
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These Are the 20 Most Viral Post This Week. Surprised?

What if you put the the most viral Facebook and Twitter accounts into one feed and ranked the posts by popularity. What would the 20 most liked and viral posts in the last week be? I bet it will surprise most of you -- because we human beings like some weird stuff, but we're used to dividing ourselves socially into interest groups, and then only seeing what's popular with our friends and peers.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nirvana's Musical Legacy 20 Years After Kurt Cobain

Nirvana did what all great bands do: they made everyone else catch up. Mainstream radio accommodated alternative music's idiosyncracies, in the case of Nirvana the confrontation of Cobain's distorted guitar, vocal roughness, sonic dissonance, and deliberately nonsensical lyrics. Whatever one's view of Cobain, it is undeniable that he set pop music on a new course.
Threadless

SPOILER ALERT: Why Your Pop Culture Has A Time Limit

Outside of the fact that every celebrated psycho-thriller of the past couple of decades had the same plot twist, there's a bigger problem at play here. There are so many ways to describe something you like, and the central plot twist should never be your opening statement. You're trying to express yourself (that's good!), but you're spoiling the hell out of whatever you describe (that's bad).
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5 Types of People Who Suck

You're a good person. I can tell this about you already. You're kind to your neighbours and the people you work with say nice things about you when you're not around. This isn't about you. It's about the type of person that ruins your day by sucking the life out of a conversation, sucking the enthusiasm out of a room, and just plain sucking.
Vevo

How I Became a Katy Perry Sympathizer

Currently making the rounds on Facebook is this parenting blog post about our responsibility to teach kids about "good music." What a load of hipster-douchebag crap. My retort: How on earth did your kids get exposed to this "shitty" music in the first place? So when my eight-year-old daughter decides her favourite singer is Katy Perry, what do I do? In my mind, my daughter must make her own decisions.

Is the Harlem Shake Meme Cultural Appropriation?

The most recent online sensation created by dimwits with access to cameras is the Harlem Shake meme. However, the name of the meme has recently become a topic of discussion and controversy for some, particularly after a group of Harlemites responded to the new Harlem Shake meme in a video released last week. Arguably, the Harlem Shake meme is a form of cultural appropriation in that it is the popular use (and misuse) of a cultural artifact to black culture by a predominantly white crowd. Most importantly, this new Harlem Shake has already began to eradicate the original Harlem Shake from popular culture online.

Joy Sticks, Controllers And Zombies: Life As Gamer In 2013

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 10 years or so, video games have become BIG business around the world. Consider this. Call Of Duty MW3, last year's best selling game, earned $3 billion dollars in sales in it's first week. Three Billion, and in seven days no less. The biggest movie of the year (The Avengers, fyi) took almost a month to collect that amount, and at cheaper prices then $59.99 for a new game.
PA

Happy One Year Twitterversary to Me

Today is my one year anniversary on Twitter -- aptly coined a Tweetaversary, and so, I thought I would toast the momentous occasion with a celebratory blog post. Finally on November 28, 2011 -- I began my slow ascent towards branding myself globally.