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Morning Update: Nike tells China to hate Kobe; Heimat Berlin gets naked; Ogilvy republishes Mein Kampf; Slack ups agency productivity

Creativity Online: Kobe Bryant Gives a Dark, Parting Message to His Masses of Chinese Fans

Kobe Bryant is huge in China. Whenever he visits, massive crowds materialise. Artistic tributes to him ranged from a sculpture outside the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts to a massive portrait made of snow. Grown men have been known to burst into tears, moved by the sight of him.

On retiring, the Lakers star wanted to leave a parting message for fans in China, where he has partnered with Nike for years to coach and inspire young players and fans. (Nike and AKQA’s ‘House of Mamba” interactive LED basketball court, for training players in China, bears his nickname.)

Creativity Online: Home Improvement Really Makes This Guy Feel Alive in Hornbach’s Outrageous Ad

German home improvement chain Hornbach is back again with another quirky, memorable ad by Heimat Berlin. This one features a burly naked guy who dives off a cliff into all sorts of adventures — a metaphor for rediscovering his passion for life through some invigorating outdoor projects. The tagline is “You’re Alive. Do You Remember?” The ad, directed by Partizan’s Tom Noakes, was shot almost 100 per cent in camera after a week-long set build.

AdWeek: How Ogilvy Berlin Fought Back After the Republishing of Hitler’s Mein Kampf

lf Hitler’s notorious autobiography/fascist screed Mein Kampf (translation, My Struggle) was published in Germany this year for this first time since 1945—after the Bavarian government’s copyright expired.

Predictably, its appearance caused much Sturm und Drang. It also generated a powerful response from the Berlin office of Ogilvy & Mather, which produced a competing book, Mein Kampf gegen Rechts (My Struggle Against Racism), in an effort to combat right-wing extremism and intolerance.

slack- logoAd Week: This Agency Is 30% More Productive Since It Started Using Chat Software to Connect With Clients

Chatbots are coming to digital marketing, and they’re also shaking up the agency-brand relationship.

Since it starting using Slack in April 2014, digital shop R/GA has gotten 1,500 of its 1,800 staffers across 15 offices on the project-management platform. Meetings at the agency have decreased by 30 percent thanks to the collaboration software, and R/GA says teams are able to make decisions 30 percent to 40 percent faster when clients, including brands, communicate regularly via Slack.

Kevin Hand: 1951-2016

Flashes & Flames: Kevin Hand: a UK leader in the heyday of magazines

Kevin Hand, a controversial and influential leader in the UK magazine market for almost 30 years, has died in London after a short illness. He was aged 64.

He began his media career as a graduate trainee at the former Link House which published enthusiast magazines on cars, boats, wine and caravans. In 1983, he joined EMAP, the larger and livelier east of England publisher built from regional newspapers and magazines on motorbikes, photography, cars, fishing and gardening. It started to accelerate with the ground- breaking 1978 launch of the million-selling fortnightly Smash Hits. EMAP had crashed the big league of UK magazine publishers.

The Guardian and The Observer

The Guardian: The Guardian wants to engage with readers, but how we do it needs to evolve

The internet has a problem, and that problem is people. Dramatic incidents of public harassment, abuse and threatening behaviour are never far from the news, and during recent years, public awareness of this unpleasantness has grown dramatically.

With it has come an understanding of the harms done, not just by high-level threats and abusive behaviour but by a more insidious culture of dismissal, denigration and disrespect that surrounds them. There is a widespread perception that these are problems that need to be solved, and many digital media sites – including Twitter, Facebook and many others – are actively looking for solutions.

Prashant Kumar

Mumbrella Asia: Q&A with outgoing IPG Mediabrands boss Prashant Kumar: There has never been a golden age of advertising, we were never that relevant – that age is ahead of us

Prashant Kumar recently stepped down after 13 years at IPG Mediabrands, where he was president, Asia World Markets and Malaysia CEO.

Over the past 13 years, the industry has certainly changed – but has it changed for the better or worse?

I am a stubborn optimist, and I choose to see opportunity. If you see opportunity, you can bring the force of conviction that the execution requires. And the market has been generous to me so far. There is no doubt that there have been some powerful disruptive forces building up. The lines between Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue are blurring fast. Fuelled by speculative gazillions, the tech industry is prowling at the gates. And easy money is not so easy to come by.

buzzfeed watermelon

The Verge: BuzzFeed’s live watermelon video us the best show on the internet

I think, years from now, we will all remember when we first heard about the live watermelon video. For me, it was from a tweet. “Why would I watch a watermelon be wrapped in rubber bands?” I thought. “That sounds like a dull waste of time.” But I could not have been more wrong.

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