5 More for the 4th!

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Happy Independence Day! Grab yourself a cold one and read five more of the hottest, oddest and most-talked-about stories you might have missed while watching stuff explode.

1.) Hot Diggity Dog: Nathan’s Hot Dogs is hosting its annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, which is either a great branding tradition or a gross-out celebration of overindulgence, depending on how you look at it. But the brand and the contest made waves this year by having a separate contest for female competitive eaters. Some cried sexism; others applauded the equality (male and female winners each get $20,000). Either way, Nathan’s wins for reinventing this annual contest and seizing a big-time PR opportunity.

2.) Pass the Chips: Pringles continues to impress with its digital branding and the Crunch Band series of apps doesn’t disappoint. Pringle helps snackers and music lovers alike turn their phones into rock bands — all in celebration of the music festival it sponsors.

3.) Old Navy Crosses a Line: Sure, make fun of the president or have talking mannequins or do whatever you like, Old Navy. But change the lyrics to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and be prepared to suffer the wrath of angry patriotic shoppers. The retailers’ spot for Fourth of July sales has ticked off the public and makes our list as a reminder that Americans get mighty touchy when it comes to our beloved yet much-mangled anthems.

4.) Village Voice vs. Ashton: This is a story we will continue to follow — and you should, too. Why? It’s heating up to be a showdown which questions journalism, social media campaigns and celebrity. And it’s far more interesting than anything from Kutcher’s film career.

5.) Appy 4th: Finally, no holiday would complete without some silly smartphone apps, and this blog covers all the best of app branding specifically for the Fourth of July. Plus if you can’t make it to a big fireworks show, this story shows you how to make that happen on your phone.

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