Under Winston Churchill’s government, the highly-secretive Ministry of Defence’s UFO desk was established and, for 60 years, operated in the shadows collecting witness accounts of unidentified flying objects from members of the public.

Now, those files have been declassified and Sheffield University lecturer, folklore expert and alien enthusiast Dr David Clarke has compiled years of painstaking research from the MOD’s archives into a book.

From letters, reports, drawings, photographs and even paintings all stored by the MOD, Clarke tells the fascinating - and occasionally unsettling - tales of encounters with the unexplained. The stories come from far and wide: a pie-shaped object spotted in the sky by a 13-year-old schoolboy on his paper round in 1976; an engineer who spotted a mysterious flying machine at 6am and an estate agent who, in 1981, spotted two black and silver discs near Worthing which he promptly photographed.

Published by Four Corners as part of a modern history-focussed ‘Irregulars’ series, the publication is a fascinating insight into the government’s most shadowy department, the phenomenon of UFOs and the public imagination. You can find out more here.

 


Sainsbury’s has teamed up with a leading creative agency to create the UK’s first ever advert filmed entirely on Snapchat Spectacles.

The 10-second ad, pushed out to a captive audience of 10 million UK Snapchatters earlier this week, was shot in a 115-degree circular format, from a first-person point of view which Snapchatters can rotate their phones to explore, replicates the feeling of huddling around a hot pot of food, sneaking a taste and enjoying the aromas.

‘There’s something visceral about Spectacles video, which works perfectly with the experience of food; a first person experience of “Living Well”,’ explained campaign director Mark Eaves.

The video is paired with autumnal recipes from the food giant and complements the ongoing ‘Live Well’ campaign and you can watch it below:


If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a ‘real’ LEGO home, your prayers have been answered. After seven years, the new LEGO House is opening its doors.

On 28th September 2017, the building in Billund, Denmark, will welcome adults and children alike to ‘learn through play’ with a range of creative experiences, educational activities and stunning landscapes to explore, all entirely made of LEGO.

Designed by architect and founder of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bjarke Ingels, the building consists of 21 large white blocks styled to match the iconic LEGO brick, all stacked atop one another. The design choice represents the core building blocks of creativity and play at the centre of LEGOs ethos, says Ingels.

‘If BIG had been founded with one single purpose, it would be the purpose of building the LEGO House,’ he added.

Inside, the building houses five colour-coded spaces, each one representing one of the five strands that make up LEGO’s “Learning Through Play” mantra; having fun, experimenting, tinkering, messing around and making mistakes. With each zone there’s something new to learn or discover, tailored to that area, and adults and children are encouraged to exercise their creativity, cognitive abilities and emotional and social intelligence.

You can find out more about the LEGO House (and plan a visit) here.


The days of the catalogue were thought to be over, but with advertisers still falling over themselves to harness its power, the format is set to make its digital comeback - on Facebook.

From 19.6 million catalogues sent out in the US in 2007 to just 9.8 million dropping through letterboxes in 2016, the catalogue has seen a dramatic decline with the rise of online shopping. Facebook, however, is planning to counter that.

The social media giant is currently rolling out a brand new ad format called ‘lifestyle templates’, which look and feel like a digital catalogue but offer the added bonus of allowing customers to buy whatever takes their fancy directly from the Facebook advert.

Graham Mudd, director of monetization marketing at Facebook, said: ‘There are elements of the catalogue which are really unique and certainly worth replicating, such as their storytelling potential, but I think there are some elements that we’re bringing to the experience that are really specific to mobile and to Facebook.’

While the catalogue has traditionally existed as a source of inspiration to encourage potential customers to place an order at a later date, the latest tech means it’s possible to provide that inspiration whilst making it more convenient than ever before to purchase instantly. Plus, with Facebook’s mind-boggling amount of user data, the ads can be hyper-targeted to each customer.

You can find out more about the catalogues - sorry, lifestyle templates - here.


There are some things that are just made to be together: fish and chips, socks and sandals (!) and peanut butter and jelly. Tragically, in a new series of ads, peanut butter has lost its trusty sidekick and been forced to face the world alone.

Nut butter makers MaraNatha’s latest, and first-ever fully-integrated, campaign features a heartbroken piece of jam-slathered-bread wandering rain-lashed streets, drinking alone in dingy bars and sending ill-advised late-night texts, wondering why he’s been dumped by his partner of countless years.

The reason behind the jammy bread’s heartbreak is the campaign’s punchline: the subversive series aims to position MaraNatha’s range of speciality nut butters as ‘too good’ for jam.

‘When we were in creative development, we found ourselves eating MaraNatha directly out of a bowl, spoon in hand,’ explained Sandy Greenberg, chief creative behind the ad, ‘Suddenly, one of our creative teams envisioned an animated character called “sad jelly”, who was depressed because he was no longer needed.’

‘We knew right then we had the beginnings of a great campaign and a big idea for a little fighter brand.’

You can watch the ad below:


According to a recent survey by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), 70% of major global brands feel they’re not prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes.

The survey found that of the global brands (spending over $20bn annually on marketing) asked, 70% did not feel their marketers were fully aware of the implications of GDPR, while just 65% expected to be fully compliant for when the changes come into effect in May 2018.

A quarter of the companies surveyed admitted to being still in ‘initial planning stages’, with just 41% saying they have a strategy in place to ensure they don’t get stung by the new laws and hefty fines.

‘It is a concern that only nine months away from implementation, many marketers are not prepared,’ said Jacqui Stephenson, chair of the WFA’s Digital Governance Exchange. ‘The risks of not being ready for GDPR are huge, both financially and in terms of consumer reputation.’

The ‘huge’ financial risks are fines of up to 4% global turnover or  €20m, whichever is higher, for any company found to be in breach of the legislation.

GDPR is an EU law affecting how companies maintain records of personal data; if you are currently subject to the DPA, you’re likely to be affected by the GDPR. Despite being an EU law, the changes will affect organisations outside of the EU offering goods or services to individuals within the EU.

A third of the surveyed companies plan to hire a data protection officer to help them navigate the GDPR, as 73% admitted reviewing and understanding compliance levels, especially across third parties, is ‘a challenge’.

So how prepared are you for the new rules? For more information, visit the ICO website.

 


A new ad from General Electric hopes to inspire the engineers, inventors and scientists in girls around the world by showing a young girl creatively solving household chores.

At the start of the ad, Molly’s dad asks her to take the bins out during a rainstorm. The reluctant Molly instead comes up a genius invention, built from a bicycle, some rope and a drill, that takes the rubbish to the bins automatically, while she sits warm and dry in her room.

Molly dreams up and builds more and more time-saving inventions as the years go by, from an automated Girl Scout cookie dispenser to a toy car that doubles up as a lawn mower.

Molly finally lands herself a job at GE after her innovative designs impress in an interview. The ad is part of the 125-year-old company’s continuing efforts to throw off its ‘old-timer’ image and attract talent that, for many years, they’ve been losing to trendy tech startups.

GE is also joining the drive to get women into STEM jobs, having stated their goal to have 20,000 women in STEM roles by 2020 earlier this year. Who better to start with than Molly?


The World Beard and Moustache Championships just took place in Austin, Texas, with entries ranging from creative to bizarre to downright astonishing.

The Championships origins are shrouded in controversy, with one Italian beard appreciation group claiming to have started the famous follicle-off in the 1970s, but the official contest has been running since 1990.

The biannual competition challenges proud wearers of face-fuzz to throw traditional grooming out of the window and come up with something truly spectacular, made entirely out of their beard and moustache.

Photographer Greg Anderson was on hand to capture the most weird and wonderful entries, and we just couldn’t help but share them with you. You can see more of Anderson’s snaps here.


Move over white, dark and milk chocolate - for the first time in 80 years, Swiss scientists have invented a brand new type of chocolate.

There hasn’t been a new variety of the sweet treat since the creation of white chocolate in the 1930s but now, after years of development, foody scientists at Barry Callebaut have revealed a new pink confectionary named ‘ruby chocolate’.

The flavour and colour of the chocolate are entirely natural, extracted from the ruby cocoa bean, which gives the chocolate it’s unique pink colour and a fruity, berry-like flavour.

‘Consumer research in different markets confirms that ruby chocolate not only satisfies a new consumer need found among millennials, but also high purchase intent,’ explained Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut’s chief innovation and quality officer.

The confectioner will soon be rolling out the unusual chocolate worldwide to manufacturers and consumers, adding a fourth flavour to the traditional trio of chocolate. You can find out more here.


Oktoberfest, Munich’s famous beer festival, is just around the corner and Adidas have come up with an innovative new way to let their fans wear their best sneakers without the risk of spilled beer (and worse) ruining them at the rowdy day of drinking.

Adidas have launched the brand new ‘Munchen’ trainer, designed to be durable, puke and beer repellant (that’s DBPR for you acronym fans). Inspired by the traditional Bavarian lederhosen donned by inebriated Germans and tourists alike at the world-renowned beer festival, the shoes are made from premium-quality leather in rich brown and gold tones.

Adidas certainly haven’t skimped on the detail, either; the Adidas Munchen features ‘Prost’, German for ‘cheers’, in minute writing. Plus, the limited edition sneakers come with a complimentary beer mug, so you can drink at Oktoberfest in style from your mug to your sole.

To find out more about these self-protecting trainers, head here.

 


1 2 3 4 5 6 >