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Companies wonder why their marketing initiatives fail to appeal to younger demographics, when they refuse to align themselves with knowledgable, youthful individuals who know what’s happening in the streets. Top marketers know when to outsource, leaving stragglers struggling to figure out where they went wrong. In this case, these laggards should take advice from the late, great Michael Jackson: look at the proverbial man in the mirror, get with the program and do what it takes to adapt.

Nike has an exemplary record of effectively marketing to a range of demographics, due in large part to their willingness to work with a strong list of who’s who among niche agencies, tastemakers and creatives. Considering this, it’s no surprise that the brand would approach Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette to conceptualize the “Be Bold. Be True.” campaign to commemorate Black History Month. Though their styles are built on an array of influences, the duo’s lifestyles reflect a strong sense of self and promote a new black aesthetic, which the visual conveys.

According to Kissi, the story follows three people representing the overarching theme of showing perseverance to accomplish their goals. Kilo Kish, Phillip Annand of Madbury Club and Brandon lend their hands playing the respective characters, while poet Joekenneth Museau uses his wizardry with words to orate a tale of overcoming adversity. All of this would not be possible without the expert direction/production by Sam and Chad of We Are Not Pilgrims. The final result of the collaboration is a campaign that represents more than a varsity jacket and quickstrike Air Force 1. This a testament to an era comprised of movers and shakers defying the odds stacked against them. I believe the proper name for these individuals is the millennial generation.

nike-golf-no-cup-is-safeThe Super Bowl is a mere two weeks away, and ad agencies are panting and sweating as they anxiously await the public’s reception to their big game spots. Among those is Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year for 2012, Wieken+Kennedy, who while preparing the proper roll-out for Oreo’s big game ad, sets an early tone with an impressive 60-second commercial for Nike Golf. The “No Cup is Safe” piece premiered January 16 on ESPN and the Golf Channel, showcasing the spirit of competition, remarkable talents and playful attitudes of the two best golfers in the world, Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods.

With an “anything you can do I can do better” mantra, the duo take turns to one-up each other by making amazing shots into a variety of different cups, near and afar. Fortunately for you, completely spoiling an add isn’t in my nature. Just know that the aptly timed spot comes at the heel of Nike Golf’s major announcement that McIlroy joined its athlete roster.

W+K kicked off 2013 the proper way, only a year removed from the emotionally rousing Superbowl ad, “It’s Halftime in America,” that set the pace for an award winning year for the Portland-based agency. All things considered, it looks like the advertising powerhouse won’t be slowing down any time soon.

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Creativity is inclusive, not exclusive. It isn’t bestowed to a hierarchy of special, privileged individuals. Believe it or not, you’re more similar to John Jay than you give yourself credit for. It’s important to understand that some display their creativity in a conventional fashion, whether it be artistically, literary, or musically, while others thrive with developing concepts, strategies, and other matters of the mind. Our common ground as right brained thinkers lies in our ability to widen the scope of what society sees as plausible. Sadly, the creative blocks on the road to proverbially taking over the world are a deterrent for most. Fret not, though. Creative Something has 5 tips for those searching for their creative space:

Relax.
Being too focused or weighed down by pursuing results makes it easy to miss everything just outside your scope. When you’re stressed or tightly wound up about pursuing creativity, you’re going to miss things you otherwise could have easily spotted in your discovery process.

Be unafraid.
You’re going to fail once in a while, but failure isn’t the end. In-fact, failing is one of the quickest ways to discover ideas that succeed. To quote one of my favorite authors and brilliant probability experts, Nassim Nicholas Taleb: “A thousand days cannot prove you right, but one day can prove you to be wrong.”

Have a direction.
It’s one thing to explore for fun (which is valuable on its own), but it’s a whole other thing to have a goal or objective when pursuing ideas specifically. How are you going to know whether you’re ideas are any good if you don’t have a destination in mind? Set a course and see what happens as a result.

Utilize your environment.
The environment you try to think it greatly influences the ideas you are able to come up with. Sitting in a quiet park is going to spur different types of thinking then sitting in the middle of a crowded, loud movie theater. If you find yourself unable to think creatively in your current environment, look around and see if it’s worth changing where you think.

Act.
Do something. Write, draw, paint, sing, get up and dance, talk to a stranger, anything. What separates someone who’s creative and the average thinker is their ability to innovate, to follow through on their ideas, as least in part.

[via Behind The Hustle]

30 days doesn’t seem like very long, considering how quickly the years pass. But in actuality, 30 days is just enough time to make an effective life change, or to at least lay the foreground to do so. Google software engineer and TED Talks speaker Matt Cutts added context to what can be accomplished in a month’s time by attempting a 30 day challenge. He began doing so 2009, and has since dedicated each month to accomplishing a new goal. Two years later, Cutts shared the results in one of my favorite TED Talks videos. You’ll notice him speak with an exuding confidence that shines through his middle aged exterior; one that he admittedly acquired from successfully completing various 30 day challenges.

To date, Matt Cutts’ 30 day challenges have ranged from small goals like learning to play the ukelele, to magnanimous feats like doing an act of kindness or a good deed a day. Considering that it takes at least 21 days of repetition to build or break a habit, Cutts’ success is warranted, and most importantly inspirational. Coming off of New Years, where millions of people make resolutions they won’t stick to for a month, I have to tip my hat to a man who completes a new resolution each month. Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just haven’t? It isn’t too late to try. Matt Cutts is living proof.

“The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?” – Matt Cutts

A good friend once said, “Music is more than merely a mental/sensory experience. It affects your physical and spirit as well.” And evidence suggests that is indeed true. Writer Amisha Padnani penned an article for The New York Times titled “The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle,” which discusses why music improves productivity at the work place. The article is linked, so I feel no need to reiterate Padnani’s findings; but based on what’s said, music steadies the wavering mind incarcerated by a cubicle.

Music can be an equally effective muse during a creative block. While finding a form of inspiration tends to occur naturally, it’s quite possible to know what foments it. Take me, for instance. Hip-Hop, jazz and soul music are consistently the catalyst that get my creative juices flowing. Pair a great tune with a stunning set of visuals, and historically things have gotten very Limitless-esque around here. Knowing this, it’s only logical that I keep notable sources of inspiration on tab for future reference.

Kanye West’s Runaway film has been my go to move, a step-back jumper of sorts, for the worst cases of creative funks. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s phenomenal soundscape blends well with Selita Ebanks’ portrayal of the phoenix; so well that Kanye’s horrible acting is dismissible, most times. Maybe not, but He Got Game was phenomenal too, despite Ray Allen’s dismal performance. There’s honestly a host of reasons why Runaway affects my creativity for the better, the greatest being because the visual gives an already classic album a new life and context.

My longwinded rant brings me to this point: Music can be internalized a new way each time it graces your ears, and in my case, eyes. It incites moods that statistically improves productivity. Next you find yourself backed into a corner creatively, spin one of your favorite tracks and see what comes of it. That change in the bass line that once went unnoticed or a new found understanding of a lyric could spark that million dollar idea. It’s done wonders for me.

10 years ago, Fernando Meirelles debuted a vivid tale of two friends growing up in the suburbian favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the opposite roads they took during maturation. Cidade de Deus, translated City of God, wowed critics and movie lovers alike, garnering cult classic status in the process. The fact that a majority of the cast in City of God were not actors simply added to fan’s astonishment.

With the passing of a decade, Cavi Borges and Luciano Vidigal present the aptly titled documentary, City of God – 10 Years Later. The doc is reminiscent to an episode of VH1: Where Are They Now?, providing an in depth look at the current lives of the tale’s protagonists. Dadinho, Bené, and Li’l Zé, as well as the actress Alice Braga and musician/actor Seu Jorge appear and describe how City of God changed their lives. The extended trailer below gives a lengthy preview of what fans can expect from Borges and Vidigal’s project. City of God – 10 Years Later in its entirety releases some time next month.