In brief: Chinese New Year branding recap; no pot ice cream from Ben & Jerry's

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In other news: Nielsen makes programmatic play ... Google+ revisited ... Oreo dips into OOH.

From the Campaign family:

Chinese New Year: a brand recap. (Campaign Asia-Pacific) The 15 days celebrating the Year of the Goat featured huge sums of holiday "hongbao" cash gifted through social media as well as campaigns from the likes of Lancome; Coca-Cola; and PepsiCo, which turned to crowdsourcing to gather its new year's creative.

Nielsen buys Exalate in programmatic ramp-up. (Direct Marketing News) The ratings giant on Wednesday agreed to acquire Exelate, a data exchange used by agencies to inform programmatic ad buys. Exelate claims to own the largest independent third-party data set in the world, with the most sources of data across all devices.

On Google+'s winding road. (PRWeek) The much maligned social network Google+ has a new leader, and early signs point to a separation of its core products – photos, streams, and hangouts – into separate products. Google+ might have been doomed from the start — another example for critics who claimed Google's rigorous adherence to data-in-a-vacuum and insular thinking insulated itself and its products from what consumers really wanted.

Salesforce to add predictive edge to marketing cloud. (The Hub) Salesforce announced that it will add Predictive Decisions to its market cloud offering in May. More than just analytics to predict future customer behavior based on past data, Predictive Decisions will generate content, product or offer recommendations, across channels, for both web and mobile platforms — based on intelligence from known and anonymous customer profiles, updated in real time.

Around the Web:

Why Ben & Jerry's won't make marijuana ripple. (Adweek) Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield recently endorsed the idea of cannabis-infused ice cream. In response, Ben & Jerry's spokesperson Kelly Mohr told Adweek that "Ben & Jerry's hasn't given serious consideration to the possibility of cannabis-infused ice cream," but added, "Perhaps it's high time." What's the buzzkill? The brand is now owned by Unilever, which would have to accept the kind of restrictions that few international CPG brands want to deal with. Unless Ben & Jerry's introduced a medicinal ice-cream product its US market would be restricted to states where recreational pot use is legal. And even there, it would be sold in licensed dispensaries, not convenience stores. Bummer!

Oreo OOH project lets artists give the cookie a new twist. (Adweek) The 10 artists were given words to play off — functional ones like "dunk" and "twist," as well as more emotional ones like "dream" and "wonder" — and asked to come up with a scene that brought those words to life. The only requirement: The scene had to include a character with an Oreo for a head. Check out the results.

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