Tag Archives | Advertising

Scientology’s ‘Age of Answers’ Superbowl Ad

Since when did religions advertise during the American Football entertainment extravaganza known as the Superbowl? The “Church” of Scientology again placed a commercial spot in this year’s telecast, but I’m not sure it actually counts as a religion, so perhaps the answer is still “never.” Here’s the ad:

“We live in an age of searching.
To find solutions.
To find ourselves.
To find the Truth.
Now imagine an age in which the predictability of science
and the wisdom of religion combine.
Welcome to the Age of Answers!”

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Does Subliminal Advertising Actually Work?

Subliminal advertising messages wouldn’t be banned if they didn’t work – would they? BBC News Magazine investigated with a test of its own.

LiptonIceTealogo.jpg

These were the key findings:

  • The test group watched a clip which included subliminal flashes of the word Lipton
  • The control group watched a clip without any flashes
  • The participants were then asked whether they wanted to drink Lipton iced tea or mineral water
  • Test group (all participants): 46% chose Lipton, 54% water
  • Control group (all participants) 37% Lipton, 63% water
  • Results refined to exclude those who would definitely have chosen Lipton, or who would definitely not have chosen it
  • Test group (refined) 53% Lipton, 47% water
  • Control group (refined) 61% Lipton, 39% water
  • Experts agreed the differences were not statistically significant

[read the full story at BBC News Magazine]

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The Wool Over Our Eyes

P2PStills51

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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