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Two creatives on a mission to help people read between the headlines

The past election year has seen extreme polarization of voters, pundits, and the media. Outraged by the division and rising bias of the media, Alyssa Georg and Elena Knox – two members of our creative team, created readbetweentheheadlines.com, a site that cuts through the extreme left and right headlines to deliver an unbiased account of the news.

Two ad agency creatives’ quest to take down biased news” – DigiDay


On February 2nd, the leader of the free world held a news conference where among other things, he asked a black journalist if she was friends with the CBC.  Outraged, Alyssa Georg and Elena Knox couldn’t help asking themselves: How can the nation be so divided on issues that seemed so black and white? The answer was on Fox News.

CNN’s page was taken up by huge type that read, “Trump Lashes Out.” – a sentiment the creatives vehemently agreed with. Fox News, however, donned a headline in smaller type that read, “Press Beat Down: Trump blasts out of control media, defends agenda, administration.”

And that’s when it clicked. Within a matter of minutes, the duo bought the url readbetweentheheadlines.com and got to work. “We felt like we needed to a shine a light on the reality that part of the reason people are divided is because they are getting news that is completely biased,” says Georg.

On Read Between the Headlines, users are served up the same piece of news but delivered by Fox News and CNN. Sometimes the contrasts are huge, sometimes it’s just a few words that differentiate them, but they’re always written in favor of their audience’s party. In the middle is the actual news – the simple facts of what both articles are communicating with out the bias language.

The creatives did the piece in the hopes that it would make people realize that we are being fed our bias and therefor maybe create some understanding with the members of the opposing party. “Every day we are continually shocked by how different the headlines are even though they’re reporting the same thing,” says Knox. And while they may be liberals, they affirm both parties are at fault.

Would there be less division, anger and misunderstandings if we we’re all just getting the facts? Perhaps. And a simple generator isn’t going to change the world, but the women hope it will at least open a few eyes.

 

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A Nation of Immigrants

We are proud to be a part of this nation of immigrants, to employ people from all backgrounds, and to work with organizations that support freedom and justice for all.

Anthem created by SS+K for FWD.us in June, 2013

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Gen Z Gender Fluidity and the Opportunity for Brands

Until I was about 17, I asked for the girls’ toy with my McDonalds Happy Meal. How could I turn down a free MY LITTLE PONY!? The looks I received when I pulled around to the window still haunt me in my sleep.

In 1998 that made me “a queer,” but if I were a teenager today, it might be just the ticket I would need to earn a seat at the cool table. Today’s teenager passionately believes that he, she or “ze” has the right to create their own identity and to share that identity with the world. At the 2016 Youth Marketing Strategy conference last week, I was fascinated by the way Gen Z-inspired gender fluidity is being reflected in consumer and culture trends. The future is full of brand challenges as Gen Z’s desire to express identities free of traditional gender barriers clashes with a world where prejudice still lingers. Read More

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How the NCAA threw a wrench in the female empowerment trend.

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SS+K, Bully Pulpit Interactive, and Frontier Solutions have been working with the NCAA since July 2015. And in that time, we have helped their organization both understand and engage new audiences about their passion for creating opportunity for college athletes: through their commitment to academics, well-being and fairness. So when the ask came to empower female athletes in ad, we, two female creatives, were pissed. Read More

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When Snapchat Dethroned the Media King

Every year, in the window between Apple’s iPhone event and the day customers can actually buy one, tech press are given access to new devices early– as long as they agree to hold their reviews until a specific time of Apple’s choosing.  Apple’s embargo strategy has a history of being choreographed to ensure exposure in the publication it feels is most important on launch day. A discussion on last week’s CTRL-WALT-DELETE podcast between tech journalists Nilay Patel and Walt Mossberg of The Verge and Recode revealed how those priorities have shifted over the years. Read More

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We Go #0to60 For The President’s Council

Today, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition (PCFSN), we launched the “History of Exercise” with Funny or Die.

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BFF Trump in Your Face!

At SS+K we work across many types of brands, but once every four years we get to tap into our political roots and take part in the election, and what an election year this is! When our right to choose what we do with our bodies, who we marry, how we’re seen in the world and so much more is at stake, we had to do something.
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Our PokemonGo Powered Tour of Downtown NY

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Inspired by three of our favorite things — history, the downtown area we call home, and our new obsession with Pokemon gaming, we decided to build a PokemonGo powered walking tour of our ‘hood. So Grab a bite to eat at some of our local haunts, catch some Pokemon and discover some history!
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Round Table on Instagram Stories

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There’s been a lot of buzz in the last week about the new Instagram Stories feature. So, what’s the verdict? Is Instagram stealing SnapChat’s story culture thunder? And will they be successful?

We asked three of our senior digital strategists/ social media junkies to weigh in. Here’s what they had to say:

Matt Chisholm (Senior Digital Strategist and Pokemon Karate Kid):
Facebook tried copying this before, now they’re doing it again with Instagram. Some of the older millennials who use Instagram but not SnapChat may use it, but I think anyone who is already using SnapChat will stick with it as the behavior has already been set along with all the effort of building followers and great accounts to follow. Implications for brands? Negligible.

Claudia Cukrov (Senior Digital Strategist and Resident Snap Story Queen):
Platforms need to know what they do well and own it. Instagram has gone through many evolutions since the acquisition – video, sponsored content and the “videos you may like” curated feed, but essentially it remains a space we build our personal [filter fantasy] culture online. SnapChat has made us question if content needs to live forever and has undoubtedly had a major impact on Instagram’s usage numbers. Time will obviously tell how effective Instagram Stories is at meeting their audience’s evolving digital attitudes, but Instagram should really be asking themselves why they need a seat at the table of temporary, raw and [largely] unfiltered messaging, when they’ve built an empire on the filter fantasy reality. On the plus side, IG Stories allows you to see anyone who’s looked at your story–followers or non-followers. Bad news for crazy ex-cyber stalkers!

Kevin Skobac (SVP, Digital Strategy + Innovation and Avid Facebook Poker):
Instagram has been losing ground in the attention game to Snapchat, so they had to try something sooner than later. On one hand, their implementation of “stories” is more refined and usable than Snapchat (but so was Facebook’s “Poke” app a few years ago). Furthermore, their ability to draft off people’s existing extensive Instagram friends lists means their usage will, at least at first, go from 0 to 60 in no time. On the other hand, it feels uncomfortably forced in the Instagram app– with a whole separate create and browse experience, each of which feels like it’s supporting separate habits and mindsets. Comparatively, the way Snapchat has slowly added features and integrated new capabilities into one cohesive experience has been a work of art, each new element improving what came before it. And, in general, the role of ephemeral feels a lot more closely tied to the mentality and use cases of messaging, than of a curated gallery product like Instagram. So I’d expect the use of Instagram Stories to die down significantly after the initial hype, like every shiny object before it, and for Snapchat to continue its phenomenal growth. Ultimately each platform will have their audiences, and brands will have to decide which communities they want to invest in engaging, and where they can provide value.

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This is what we love about college sports

We’re happy to announce the launch of four TV PSAs for the NCAA. They go live tonight during March Madness:

The PSAs remind us of what’s most important about being a student-athlete: defining your own version of success through a college education.

Shaquille O’Neal” and “Billie Jean King” feature these two iconic athletes, who found their own path to success and are now watching the next generation work toward theirs. In both cases, sports have allowed these two legends to accomplish so much outside of the game. “Courts” and “Fields,” the other two spots, feature quotes and speeches from legendary basketball coach John Wooden and Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks.

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