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Morning Update: Nutella launches branded content series; 2016’s best places to work; the rise of social realism in ads

Ad Week: How Nutella’s First Branded Content Series Will Spread Happiness

Feeling down? Nutella has something that might help. The hazelnut spread has released its first branded content effort, a documentary series from creative shop Brand Programming Studios, that’s meant to make consumers happy.

With the series, ‘Spread the Happy’, Nutella is looking to “celebrate real people and real stories,” explained Eric Berger, marketing director for Nutella USA. The release of the series is timed to the holiday season. There are four episodes total with a new one released each week on the brand’s YouTube channel.

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Ad Age: Best places to work 2016

The 2016 Best Places to Work list is a joint effort of Advertising Age and Best Companies Group. The latter is dedicated to establishing programs to identify and recognize workplaces that nurture a superior level of employee satisfaction and engagement.

Any agency, ad tech, media company or marketing division of a brand that’s been in business for more than one year with more than 15 full-time employees was eligible. Public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit businesses could all participate.

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Marketing Week: The rise of ‘social realism’ in advertising

Brands are increasingly using real people in their ads, as consumers reject flashy big-budget campaigns in times of austerity, but does this approach resonate with audiences?

Gogglebox culture has come to advertising. Where brands once spent money on celebrities, special effects and fantasy scenarios, their ads are increasingly populated by real people filmed in real situations.

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Mumbrella Asia: Microsoft installs new Singapore MD

Microsoft has appointed a new MD for Singapore. Coming in to replace managing director Jessica Tan, who moves on after 13 years with the company, is Kevin Wo, who joins from IT firm Avanade.

Wo joins the company with a brief to oversee brands that include Windows, Office, Skype and Xbox.

Poynter: ProPublica is seeing a surge in donations after John Oliver’s Trump segment

Call it the John Oliver bump. On Sunday, the Last Week Tonight host wrapped up a segment on President-elect Donald Trump with an appeal to his audience: If you want good journalism, pay for it.

“You need to support actual journalism by buying a subscription to outlets like The Times, The (Washington) Post, your local newspaper, or donate to groups like ProPublica, a nonprofit group which does great investigative journalism,” Oliver said, viewers away from fictional websites like “Republigoofs.redneck” and “Democrappy.cuck.”

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