Tag Archives | Advertising

The Wool Over Our Eyes

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No one likes having the wool pulled over their eyes. Now imagine wealthy CEOs hiring millions of knitters to blanket your entire city with a massive wool sweater, soaked in gasoline. That’s what dark money is. It’s rich interests that already have millions to burn, but would rather spend that money on polluting our election process and muffling the public’s voice. And they are going through ever-greater hoops to hide the source of the money in this election cycle, precisely because people seeing the truth is bad for their cause.

What our founding fathers and mothers set forth in America was an experiment in democracy, one that seemed daring at first independent of a monarch, but soon needed to enfranchise the rest of its citizens. To those that came before us, who sought to build a better life for their children, the right to participate in our democratic process was paramount to what it meant to be free.… Read the rest

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Actually, You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

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Ramez Naam writes at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

This meme, and its various permutations, are meant to to convey that if you’re not shelling out direct cash for a service, that you should expect to be used by that service. Perhaps. But there are many many things wrong with it. In fact, it’s wrong in almost every way.

You are the customer. You can do things no “product” can do.

Think about the things you can do that a “product” can’t do:

  1. You can stop using the service.  You can deny the company that provides it the revenue you represent. What product ever abandoned its parent company?
  2. You can look around for competitive offerings, and choose one of those. Again, no ‘product’ can do this.
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Pop-up Ad Creator Apologizes for the Internet’s Original Sin

Hendrik Goltzius' "The Fall of Man" (1616) (Wikimedia Commons)

Hendrik Goltzius’ “The Fall of Man” (1616) (Wikimedia Commons)

A piece about how advertising became the default business model on the web and how it doesn’t have to be that way.

via The Atlantic (please follow the link to read the entire piece):

The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, “free as in beer” constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference.  Cegłowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.

The talk is hilarious and insightful, and poignant precisely for the reasons Carlson’s story is.

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Can We Learn About Privacy From Porn Stars?

I understand taking on another name, yet I have to wonder if these porn stars are turning to the media to promote their goods. What say you disinfonauts?

Detail of a New York Times Advertisement – 1895 (wikimedia- Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs) (PD)

via New York Times

 I DIDN’T expect to become a porn star. People rarely do. I was 19 years old, and my photographer roommate had an offer from a website to buy some nude pictures. We did a shoot and then waited two weeks in case I woke up in a panic over the idea of releasing naked photos of myself into the world. But I didn’t, and so I turned to the required paperwork. One of the boxes to fill in read “Stage Name (if applicable).”

Stage names are common in the entertainment industry — whether in Hollywood, rap or pornography — and they’re used for all sorts of reasons.

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Obama Is The Face Of Viagra In Pakistan

viagraIn the future, America’s textbooks will debate his presidential performance, while around the world he is immortalized as a famed mascot for sexual stimulants. Raw Story reports:

Despite unpopularity there for his frequent drone attacks, President Barack Obama is the new face of contraband Viagra in Pakistan.

Pakistan, where Viagra is banned, has a thriving black market for erectile dysfunction drugs. The little blue pills are often smuggled in through Afghanistan, and take up shelf space alongside drugs of dubious quality and origin.

Agence France-Presse, whose reporter calls Obama an unwitting “symbol of power and virility,” shows covers of the contraband drug alongside interview with merchants. Shopkeepers claim various reasons that clients buy the drugs; one explains that “they improve the duration of those who have destroyed their youth through masturbation.”

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Facebook Strike as Self-Awareness Course

Pic: Rishibando (CC)

Pic: DKalo (CC)

More than once I’ve been struck with the desire to abandon Facebook, and at least one of those times I actually deactivated my account. The reasons for my frustration have varied over the last six years or so, from their sudden formatting changes to prioritize business interests, to the way they mine user data regardless of privacy settings. Other reasons have been more personal, like not having a sufficient method for determining who gets to see the more eccentric or extreme parts of my personality, or simply feeling like I waste too much time on the site.

At the end of 2013, a new kind of Facebook frustration began creeping over me. My attempts to explain it to people only seemed to make it worse, especially because – as I realized – I was creating a paradox by using Facebook to denounce Facebook. Then in late December, I simply stopped posting.… Read the rest

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Targeted Advertisements Will Be Appearing In Hospital Rooms

hospital roomHealthcare costs in the United States are spinning out of control, but never fear, there are new sources of revenue in the pipeline. Via Free Patents Online, plans for a System for Targeting Advertisements Based on Patient Electronic Medical Record Data hint at the future:

A patient specific informational material distribution system, comprises at least one repository of informational material items associated with corresponding particular medical conditions. An interface acquires patient specific medical data associating with a specific patient.

A data processor uses the at least one repository in identifying informational items associated with the particular medical condition of the specific patient. A distribution processor distributes the identified informational items to the specific patient.

Attributes comprising at least three of, (a) Information from current and past inpatient stays, (b) patient Age, Gender, height or weight, (c) Diagnosis codes, (d) Treatments, (e) Laboratory test results, (f) Medical Assessments, (g) Allergies, (h) diet and (h) medical complaint.

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Advergaming: Instilling Corporate Logos Through Video Games

brandsCluster Mag on corporate branding inside the virtual worlds of video games:

Video games offer particularly lush marketing opportunities because they allow us to exist as agents in the digital beyond, a fantasy realm we’ve merely glimpsed through other media.

Once upon a time, a couple of consumer food brands partnered up with video game moguls like Capcom, Sega, and Nintendo to develop new games starring their bizarre spokescreatures like the jazzy, anthropomorphic California Raisins and Chester Cheetah.

Since the prehistoric days of advergaming, the transparent strategy of monopolizing the game world through an embodied mascot has mostly been ditched for a more savvy attempt at realistic product placement.

Several recent games go so far as to make the searching out and identification of brand names its central task, including Fashion Finder: Secrets of Fashion, in which 150 fashion brands participated, and Brandmania: Hidden Objects, an app created for the iPad, which sends players to different cities around the world to identify major brand logos “hidden” in realistic scenery.

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Anti-advertising is the New Advertising

A great essay over at Aeon Magazine reveals how the establishment wants you to know they have gone total anti-establishment and hey, buy our product, we’re on your side!

In 1796, the English physician Edward Jenner injected an eight-year-old boy in Gloucestershire with cowpox. Reasoning that absorbing a small amount of the virus would protect the child from a full-strength attack of smallpox in the future, Jenner’s bold experiment founded the practice of vaccination. Two hundred years later, the marketing industry has cottoned on to Jenner’s insight: a little bit of a disease can be a very useful thing.

If you’re one of the more than 7 million people who have watched the global fast-food chain Chipotle’s latest advertisement, you’ll have experienced this sleight of hand for yourself. The animated short film — accompanied by a smartphone game — depicts a haunting parody of corporate agribusiness: cartoon chickens inflated by robotic antibiotic arms, scarecrow workers displaced by ruthless automata.

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Altered Smartphone Advertising In San Francisco

dronesSF Weekly notes the latest work of the California Department of Corrections, who suitably update street-level advertising to better inform the public:

Muni bus shelters are supplying a blank canvas for the California Department of Corrections, a media organization that distorts other people’s ad campaigns in order to reverse their message.

This month, the CDC decided to confront America’s drone policy by adulterating a series of smartphone ads on Muni bus shelters, including the one at Seventh and Market streets.

The new ads show a cellphone picture of predator drone strike, with the word “Pakistan” swapped in for the phone logo.

“As these operations are shrouded in secrecy, the California Department of Corrections released the rehabilitated smartphone ads to assist our colleagues in the federal government and explain the benefits of drones to war-weary Americans,” the organization explains, in a statement.

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