One thing really interesting is how brands that are truly interesting and meaningful are increasingly able to compliment buying into content by creating their own media. Obviously this has been happening for a while but it feels like this stuff is finally actually getting somewhat good and scaling to meaningfully large audiences.
As an example the fact Gwyneth Paltrow has started a weekly digital email magazine called GOOP garnering international media attention is fascinating. Not just for all her blatant name dropping but how well crafted Gwyneth as a brand comes through. This week's edition of Goop features top 5 DVD rental recommendations from her buddies like Steven Spielberg and Wes Anderson - because we all know they hit Blockbuster every Friday night.
Coupled with this are things like Wieden & Kennedy's 6 week old global radio station, the amazing Monocle Magazine (founded by a fellow Canadian) recently opening retail stores both online and in London, NY and LA featuring products highlighted in their multi-platform content model or that they themselves commissioned. Or Frito Lay with their episodic animated sitcom, not on TV, that launched last week.
There are lots of other example out there, but these are my favs this week.
If you stand for something, make something. Making media is cheaper than buying media (sometimes.)