Tag Archives | Marketing

Verizon Files Patent For Cable Box That Watches You As You Watch Television

Another reason not to own a TV, via Yahoo! News:

A Verizon patent idea envisions spying on TV viewers for the sake of serving up related ads. For instance, a couple snuggling in front of the TV could end up getting bombarded by commercials for romantic vacations, flowers or even birth control. The system could also detect a person’s mood or identify objects such as pets, soft drink cans or a bag of chips in a person’s hand, and room decorations or furniture.

Such a patent idea would turn TV set-top boxes into spy boxes with sensors for both seeing and hearing the activity in front of the TV. Many TV viewers already own such set-top boxes to access pay-per-view services, digital video recordings and Internet streaming.

The patent filing even suggests the tracking system communicating with whatever smartphone or tablet a TV viewer might happen to have in his or her hands.

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Corporate Hip Hop, White Supremacy and Capitalism

Steven Lopez www.ikeepmoving.com

Solomon Comissiong, writing at Black Agenda Report:

It is undeniable that hip hop culture is one of the most powerful marketing tools America has seen in quite sometime. Had hip hop been around during the earlier part of the 20th century the unscrupulous public relations pioneer, Edward Bernays, would have probably also used it to promote the smoking of Viceroy Cigarettes to women. Various aspects of hip hop culture, mainly rap music, generate billions of dollars. However, who is generating this wealth, where is it going and at what cost?

“Their unfettered corporate feeding frenzy was similar to that of the European conquest of lands inhabited by people of color.”

Hip hop culture (rapping, djing, graffiti art, and breaking, etc.) was unequivocally created by youth of color in the Bronx during the early 1970s. Even though the origins of hip hop are entrenched in black and Latino communities throughout New York City it is currently pimped/used by large white owned corporations (media, record labels, etc.) to create astronomical bottom lines, reinforce capitalistic ideals, and adversely mass program black and brown youth.

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‘Branding Police’ Will Patrol 2012 Olympics

Olympics---Team-GB-Kit-Un-007Are we headed for a future in which people are jailed for “branding crimes”? A special set of laws passed by British Parliament, at the behest of the International Olympic Committee, criminalizes “brand violations” related to sponsors of the London Olympics. It will be illegal for local businesses to publicly display words such as ‘twenty-twelve’, ‘medals’, and ‘London Games’. Athletes are banned from publicly mentioning companies or products that are not sponsors. Crack teams will patrol Olympic Village bathrooms, taping over manufacturers’ logos on soap dispensers and toilets. The Guardian writes:

With just a little more than three months to go until the opening of the London 2012 Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many legal experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect sponsors’ brands and broadcasting rights, affecting every athlete, Olympics ticket holder and business in the UK.

It is certainly very tough legislation,” says Paul Jordan, a marketing specialist at law firm Bristows, which is advising both official sponsors and non-sponsoring businesses on the new laws.

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Heineken Beer Wants Your Fingerprint

heinekenMore strangeness from this past weekend’s Coachella Festival — within its big green tent, beer-maker Heineken was busy collecting a database of the fingerprints of cold-beer-loving attendees. Marketing reflecting the realities of our era? Via Complex:

Grab up to two cases of green cans and take them to the Heineken Cold Storage Room, where you’ll give your name and have your fingerprint scanned. The Heineken folks tag and store your brew, letting you go catch the next hot set while your beer is chilled to a perfect 34 degrees (this only takes 30 minutes). When you’re ready, pick up your beer—and a rebate for $25 off the purchase of your Coachella ticket.

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The Women Who Named The ‘Big Mac’ Received A Plaque

Big MacHere’s the inside story behind the woman who came up with the name “Big Mac” for McDonald’s. Despite coining what could be the greatest marketing name in history, she never received any money for it. As Alan P. Henry wrote in the Glenview Lantern:

The next time you prepare to chomp into a Big Mac, take a moment first to thank Esther Glickstein Rose of Glenview. She’s the one who named it, and without her dogged persistence, the iconic sandwich may never have become a McDonald’s product.

The story begins 45 years ago on a snowy winter day in downtown Chicago in 1967. With ten dollars to her name, the 17-year-old Von Steuben High School graduate saw an ad for a secretary at McDonald’s corporate headquarters. Poorly dressed and soaking wet from the commute into the LaSalle Street office, she was spotted in a hallway by a company official, who promptly hired her.

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The Right to Sell Kids Junk

Froot-Loops-Cereal-BowlFood critic and blogger extraordinaire Mark Bittman makes the point that a Constitution protecting corporations’ right to inundate children with junk food is wack (especially because the obesity and other health problems it leads to will require health care, which the Constitution may or may not allow the government to provide), in the New York Times:

The First Amendment to the Constitution, which tops our Bill of Rights, guarantees — theoretically, at least — things we all care about. So much is here: freedom of religion, of the press, of speech, the right to assemble and more. Yet it’s stealthily and incredibly being invoked to safeguard the nearly unimpeded “right” of a handful of powerful corporations to market junk food to children.

It’s been reported that kids see an average of 5,500 food ads on television every year (sounds low, when you think about it), nearly all peddling junk. (They may also see Apple commercials, but not of the fruit kind.) Worse are the online “advergames” that distract kids with entertainment while immersing them in a product-driven environment.

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The Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood

summerhill (8)I can’t even imagine what a childhood without advertising would be. Boston Magazine writes:

Susan Linn and her tiny but hugely influential nonprofit Boston nonprofit, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, have become a child marketer’s worst nightmare. Just ask Disney, Hasbro, Scholastic, and Kellogg.

The CCFC is concerned with two overlapping issues: the amount of time children spend in front of an ever-growing array of screens — TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets — and the marketing messages they are subjected to while glued to them. Under Linn’s direction, the group has taken on some of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the world. It forced Kellogg to remove SpongeBob SquarePants and other cartoon characters from the packaging of foods that were light on nutritional value. It got Hasbro to shelve plans for a new line of dolls based on the sexpot pop act the Pussycat Dolls (“Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”).

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Upstate New York’s NXIVM: Marketing Business Or Extreme Cult?

raniereIn the 21st century, combining a brainwashing sex cult with a Ponzi-scheme-esque multilevel marketing company makes perfect sense. The Times Union reports:

In a Saratoga County townhouse complex, a man who wears a Jesus beard and seeks to patent his philosophies keeps a cluster of adoring women at his side. He has drawn more than 10,000 people to his mission of ethical living. But some disciples say he has delivered a much darker reality.

Keith Raniere, a multilevel-marketing businessman turned self-improvement guru, has peddled himself as a spiritual being to followers, most of them women. A close-knit group of these women has tended to him, paid his bills and shuttled him around. Several have satisfied his sexual needs. And a few have left their families behind to wrap him in their affections.

Claiming one of the world’s highest IQs and holding three degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Raniere has evolved over the past two decades from the fresh-faced founder of Consumers’ Buyline Inc., a buying club business investigated for being a pyramid scheme, into the 51-year-old intellectual commander of NXIVM, a Colonie-based company promising followers from Canada to Mexico it can “help transform and, ultimately, be an expression of the noble civilization of humans.”

Raniere has convinced some followers he doesn’t drive because his intellectual energy sets off radar detectors.

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