June 18, 2014: Brands Continue World Cup Activations Amid Protests, Snapchat Adds Features for Live Events, DreamWorks Reimagines the Visit to Santa

By Beth Kormanik June 18, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT

1. BRANDS CONTINUE WORLD CUP ACTIVATIONS AMID PROTESTS: The protests against the public expense of hosting the World Cup have not affected brands such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and Nike that have created large-scale activations for the tournament. Ad Age: “A short distance from the protests and just behind Maracana stadium, Coca-Cola has unveiled a four-story house where visitors check out the view from the roof, peek in on the studio, strap into a virtual experience scoring the winning goal on the field, and of course, browse the gift shop and pick up a free Coke on their way out.”

2. SNAPCHAT ADDS FEATURES FOR LIVE EVENTS: Snapchat, the service that allows users to send private video messages that quickly self-destruct, has added a feature to connect users at live events and make some posts public. Mashable: “When multiple users are in the same location for an event or concert, for example, Snapchat uses geo-location to identify that and allow those users to share snaps collectively, and publicly, like a shared photo or video album. The company is testing the new feature, which is called Our Story, at the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in Las Vegas next weekend. Concert goers can share images or videos with ‘Our EDC Story,’ which will appear automatically under the ‘Send to …’ label alongside the user's normal contacts. Snapchat will then pool all of the snaps it receives into one large story, available to anyone who's added the EDCLive account.”

3. DREAMWORKS REIMAGINES THE VISIT TO SANTA: The Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation is diversifying its business and moving in some unexpected directions, like reinventing the classic Christmas tradition of visiting Santa. The New York Times: “At shopping malls that buy in—and two national operators already have, Forest City and General Growth Properties—Santa Claus will sit inside a 2,000-square-foot 'cottage' with walls that are essentially giant video screens. Children will go on a virtual sleigh ride with Shrek before meeting Santa. No more waiting in line; appointments will be made by app.”


BOSTON:  Earls Kitchen & Bar will open in Somerville in September. The restaurant has 65 locations in Canada and the United States, and this is its first outpost in Boston.

CHICAGO:  The Wicker Park/Bucktown Tap Beer Fest will take place at Chop Shop on Saturday. The event showcases the art of beer brewing and includes music and snacks.

The Manufactured Superstars will perform at Park West on June 25 as a life-size 3-D hologram created by Vntana and powered by Microsoft.

LAS VEGAS:  SBE’s SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is slated to open its doors to the public on August 23, earlier than the originally projected Labor Day opening date.

Celine Dion has announced 31 new performance dates at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, including New Year’s Eve and shows through spring.

The Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus will honor activist, writer, and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the 10th annual In Pursuit of Excellence Gala slated for November 22 at the Venetian.

LOS ANGELES:  The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced that John McClure, associate vice president of convention sales, is retiring on June 30, after a 34-year career in the convention and visitor industry.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Life coach Debbie Martinez is hosting a “Divorce Party” on the rooftop of the Riviera Hotel Friday. The evening will include a cake with the phrase “I did, and I’m done” a “Rum Baby Rum” cocktail, and a candle vigil for a “ring funeral.”

Strip House at the Reach in Key West announced Brendan H. Orr as its new executive chef.

NEW YORK:  Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer of General Electric, is among the speakers at the technology conference Transition on July 16 at the TimesCenter.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Bistro CloClo is a new French restaurant on Restaurant Row. Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide:

TORONTO:  Harbourfront Centre is hosting its inaugural Habari Africa festival lineup through Friday. The music and arts festival showcases the diverse cultures of Africa.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  America Eats Tavern by José Andrés is now open at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. The 138-seat restaurant has a 55-seat bar and an 18-seat private dining room.

The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, has appointed Oscar Bonelli as executive pastry chef.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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