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Oscar-winning 'Searching for Sugarman' writer lived in Baltimore

If you were watching the Oscars Feb. 24, you know that "Searching for Sugarman" won Craig Strydom the Oscar for best documentary.

If you were searching for the movie's writer Craig Strydom, look no further than Charm City, the Baltimore Sun writes. Strydom lived in Baltimore for 13 years and worked for marketing firm IMRE.  

The movie tells the story of a music fan searching for the enigmatic 1970s singer Sixto Rodriguez whose music was used in South Africa's struggle against apartheid.

Baltimore Ravens Score Big in TV Ratings

The Baltimore Ravens not only scored big on the field in their winning game against the Denver Broncos, they scored big ratings for CBS, according to USA Today. 

Even though Denver and Baltimore aren't particularly big markets, the Jan. 12 game drew the highest ratings for an AFC divisional playoff. The nail-biting game went into double overtime and ended in the Ravens' favor after Justin Tucker's 47-yard field goal. 

It could have also gotten quite a few viewers since it's the last season for No. 52 Ray Lewis, who is retiring at the end of the season after a 17-year career. 

Maryland's Medifast Gains Points for New Weight Loss Ads

Owings Mills weight loss company Medifast Inc. has rolled out a new ad campaign that has received attention from the New York Times, Mashable and Business Insider. 

"Medifast has a clever TV campaign running right now that includes a heartbreaking ad featuring customer Tina Shelley, who appears as both her former (fat) self and her new (svelte) self," writes Business Insider. "You have to have a heart of stone not to get a little choked up," the online magazine writes. 

Business Insider also talks to the creative director of Minneapolis ad agency Solve, who explains that the videos are before and after shots of actual Medifast customers who lost weight over a period of nine months. 

You can read the entire story here. And here's a link to the New York Times story

Ad Age Spends a Day with MICA and Johns Hopkins

National trade magazine Advertising Age spent a day with students who have enrolled in a joint degree offered by the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University.

"Over five weeks, a course at the Maryland Institute College of Art asks students to figure out ways to improve business and user experiences at two storied institutions: the post office and the gas station," Ad Age writes about the students participating in the Design Leadership MBA

"As a June article in The Wall Street Journal noted, schools are increasingly combining design thinking (which focuses on user experience through anthropological research) with more traditional business programs," Ad Age says. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Michael Phelps Poses for Louis Vuitton

We knew Michael Phelps would land a few more high-profile sponsorships after the London Olympics. First, the Rodgers Forge swimmer landed on the Wheaties box.

Now, the most decorated Olympian has wound up in the water again. No, not a swimming pool but a bathtub. Phelps joins Muhammad Ali and Angelina Jolie by becoming the latest face to grace ads for the French luxury line Louis Vuitton. 

"In a new ad for Louis Vuitton, Phelps can be seen partially submersed in a tub while wearing a suit and a pair of goggles with a duffle bag from the French fashion house sits conveniently beside him on a towel," E online writes. "The campaign was reportedly shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz."

The ad could get Phelps in hot water with the International Olympic Committee, which has a new rule that prohibits Olympic athletes from appearing in ads that aren't promoted by official sponsors, NBCNews.com writes

Ad Week Features Baltimore Foursquare Promo

A Baltimore social media and advertising campaign has caught the attention of Ad Week

WTMD and Urbanite magazine have partnered on a Foursquare promotion that involves giving away prizes to folks who have the most check-ins at participating shops and restaurants. 

"This is really the pivot point of where traditional and new media can exist together to enhance a station and magazine's stature in the community, sell more ads and sponsorships," WTMD General Manager Steve Yasko tells Ad Week. The station is preparing to move to a larger space in the winter. 

You can read the entire Ad Week story here

Baltimore Firetruck Ads Make National News

Next time you pull off to the side of the road for a fire truck, you may just see an advertisement rolling by your window as well.
The idea to paint corporate logos on Baltimore City fire engines was proposed to help increase income at a time of dwindling tax revenue. And the move has caught the eye of several national news outlets, including the New York Times.

"Baltimore is joining dozens of other financially struggling cities, transit systems and school districts around the country that are trying to weather the economic downturn by selling advertisements, naming rights and sponsorships to raise money," the New York Times writes.

Three Baltimore fire companies are set to close later this summer and selling ads on fire trucks could help more companies avoid the same fate.
It is unclear whether the legislation will pass any time soon as Baltimore City officials “have expressed doubts about whether the proposal would generate enough money to keep even one fire company open," the Times writes. 
Read more about the proposed advertising scheme here

Millennial Media Starts Trading on the New York Stock Exchange

Millennial Media's stock market debut is the biggest tech IPO since last year's LinkedIn offering, writes the New York Times.

The Baltimore mobile advertising firm went public March 29 and its ad network reached more than 300 million unique users in February, the Times writes.

"The exuberance for Millennial Media underscores the rising profile of mobile technology companies, particularly those that help serve advertising to consumers," the article says. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Carnival Cruise Lines "Putting More Emphasis" on Baltimore

Carnival Cruise Lines has launched a new ad campaign that touts the benefits of taking a vacation on sea versus one on land, writes the New York Times.

And its is concentrating these ads on 19 markets that have ports in or within driving distance of one of its ports, including Baltimore. That is according to Carnival Chief Marketing Officer James Berra, quoted in the Times article.

" 'Half of the United States is within a five-hour drive from one of our ports,' " Berra says in the story. " 'We’re de-emphasizing the Nebraskas and Wyomings of the world and putting more emphasis on places like D.C. and Baltimore.' "

You can read more about the ad campaign here.

Carroll County Times Jumps On the Paywall Bandwagon

Following the recently-announced lead of the Baltimore Sun, the Carroll County Times will soon join the ranks of paywall-protected newspapers.

From the site:

Starting this week, the Carroll County Times will begin charging frequent users of our website a subscription. The Times is following in the footsteps of several other media organizations around the region and nation.

Readers will be allowed 15 free article views in a 30-day period. After that they will be asked to subscribe. A 30-day subscription and a year-long subscription will be offered. Print subscribers will receive a discounted rate, but will need their subscription account number when they sign up. Customers who don't know their account number should call circulation customer service at 410-857-9413 or 410-875-0731.

Read the full story here.
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