Reality telling-vision ‘talent’ shows, aside from being another hastily buffed facet of the bread and circus, alpha-wave inducing media trivio-sphere, also, I believe, serve to substantiate and maintain an ugly and inevitably…

9/11 and the Patriot Act test run Clinton StyleStephen C. Webster writes on RAW Story:

Talk about a bad analogy: Appearing on television recently, former Hillary Clinton campaign adviser and current public relations executive Mark Penn suggested that President Obama needs a moment “similar” to the tragic terrorist attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, in order to “reconnect” with voters.

He didn’t even seem to flinch in making the comment.

Penn is currently president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a multi-national public relations firm. He also served in 2008 as chief strategist for then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. Before that, Penn advised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his third run for the UK leadership post, and served clients such as AT&T, Texaco, Ford, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald’s and Microsoft.

While the Republican Party uses grade school techniques for bullying conservatives and libertarians into voting for them, the Democratic Party has more sophisticated, scientific ways of trying to manipulate liberals and progressives. From…

Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus, has written previously about techniques for corporations to appeal to the consumer’s subconscious. Now he writes of a practical application of his neuromarketing techniques by New Scientist magazine, at the Nielsen Blog:

Every new product launch, ad campaign or package design takes significant research, time and resources to ensure success, but not every launch is successful. Suffice it to say that guess work plays a part to determine: Will it grab attention? Will it be memorable? Will it engage emotionally? And most importantly, will it drive purchase intent?

Taking the guess work out of the equation prior to launch is a marketer’s dream, which is now a definable reality with quantifiable results. Just recently the notion was put to the test to see if neuroscience could be used to help a magazine sell more copies. And the results were enlightening.


Clever Covers
In a publishing industry’s first, New Scientist Magazine approached NeuroFocus to test three different cover designs…

Maher on the New DI think Bill Maher’s on the money again. Kudos also to Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm for his off-camera observation on the recent Real Time. Frances Martel writes on Mediate:

Whenever a major political party tries to “rebrand” itself, aesthetically, it inevitably ends in disaster. Last time it was, but to prove the graphic failure is bipartisan, the Democrats have come up with a new logo, and a new slogan (“change that matters”). An exasperated Bill Maher tried to help out the party by offering some new slogans, like “fighting for you (to a point)” and “we got Lisa Ling’s sister out of Korea.”

The logo (which, it should be noted, The Atlantic has already called out for plagiarism from a Midwestern pizza place), is a small “D” in a blue circle. The hours spent thinking up this complex design must be incalculable. Maher presents it without comment, though his face says it all, and to add insult to injury, Jon Hamm of all people deadpans from off-camera, “Radiates power, doesn’t it?

I don’t believe Disinformation’s first book, the Russ Kick anthology You Are Being Lied To, (now updated as You Are STILL Being Lied To), covered fashion, but this story made me think of it. Wow, as Americans, it seems that we don’t want to accept even the truth about ourselves right beneath our noses. Abram Sauer writes on Esquire:

I’ve never been slim — I played offensive line in high school — but I’m no cow either. (I’m happily a “Russell Crowe” body type.) So I immediately went across the street, bought a tailor’s measuring tape, and trudged from shop to shop, trying on various brands’ casual dress pants. It took just two hours to tear my self-esteem to smithereens and raise some serious questions about what I later learned is called “vanity sizing.”

Your pants have been deceiving you for years. And the lies are compounding:

Waistline Measurement Chart

Read More on Esquire

Here’s a fairly insane marketing effort by Universal Pictures for their upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Created in a 8-bit video game style, this “I-trailer” has commentaries, videos, making of footage and other stuff that usually is included in the DVD extras or commentary. (Click the image below for the trailer.)

Scott Pilgrim

Perhaps interactive trailers will become as commonplace as 3D has become for big budget films … coming off the buzz this film had a Comic Con, they certainly have kicked it up a notch.

From Nielsen, the TV audience ratings company, an article on its blog by Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of NeuroFocus, Inc. and author of the forthcoming book, The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind, which provides the knowledge and the tools necessary to help marketers understand how to appeal to the subconscious on a very practical level by covering the five major areas of neuromarketing practice: brand, products, packaging, in-store marketing, and advertising:

Each year a trillion dollars is spent on communicating to and persuading the human brain, yet few understand how the brain really works—what’s attractive to it, how it decides what it likes and doesn’t like, and how it chooses to buy or not buy the infinite variety of products and services presented to it every day. Neuromarketing research is revealing a myriad of fascinating insights that help improve the effectiveness of every aspect of clients’ brands, products, packaging, in-store marketing, advertising, and entertainment content…

How to destroy your brand fast! As reported in the Guardian: McDonald’s is hardly an ideal dining location for anyone struggling to stay slim. But the fast food chain scored a PR…

Who knew neuromarketing even existed? I won’t be buying any Campbell’s soup for a while, that’s for sure. From the Wall Street Journal:

The bowls are getting bigger and steamier, but the soup spoons are going away.

Those are among the biggest changes Campbell Soup Co. is making in decades to the iconic labels and shelf displays of its condensed soups—the company’s biggest single business, with more than $1 billion in sales.

The changes—expected to be announced Wednesday—will culminate a two-year effort by Campbell to figure out how to get consumers to buy more soup. Condensed soup has been a slow-growing category in which budget-conscious consumers have little tolerance for price increases.

In the hunt for a better connection with consumers, Campbell Soup Co. is relying on new neuromarketing studies to guide the redesign of its condensed-soup packaging. The research looks at psysiological responses — such as perspiration and increased heart rate — to marketing…

We Know What You Want: How They Change Your MindChristine Loman writing for Buzzsaw:

In the summer of 2001, 40 beautiful women whispered “save me” into the ears of men in San Francisco, dropped business cards into their pockets and promptly disappeared. The question, “Is it just a game?” was found scrawled in red lipstick on bathroom mirrors. Men dressed in black suits and dark sunglasses stood on the corners of busy streets during rush hour with cardboard signs that read, “The truth is majestic” and “They are watching you.” The bottoms of donut boxes sent to office buildings read, “Who feeds you your information?”

All were part of an advertising campaign mirroring the content of a new video game called Majestic. The brainchild of San Francisco-based Ammo Marketing, the campaign succeeded in generating press and users to Majestic. Part of this success, according to Martin Howard, author of We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind, may have been due to the use of buzz agents in the campaign.

I’m not saying it’s rank won’t increase, but here’s an interesting point from The Live Feed:

Boxoffice is arguably more straightforward to report than TV ratings. You have this weekly Top 10 list of returns, you compare each movie to the other movies. TV ratings are a murky swamp where one network’s hit is another network’s flop and context is not just a factor, but often the entire story.

Han fucking soloYet one respect in which boxoffice reporting is pretty odd — emphasizing ticket grosses yet rarely mentioning ticket sales. That would be like always reporting how many ad dollars sold off Lost and not mentioning the number of viewers that actually watched the show. With everybody reporting how Avatar is The Biggest Movie of All Time based on grosses ($1.859 billion and counting), it’s important to remember how rising ticket prices skew the returns.

Here’s the Top 10 movies of all time … by number of tickets sold:

1. “Gone With the Wind” (1939) 202,044,600
2. “Star Wars” (1977) 178,119,600
3. “The Sound of Music” (1965) 142,415,400
4. “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) 141,854,300
5. “The Ten Commandments” (1956) 131,000,000
6. “Titanic” (1997) 128,345,900
7. “Jaws” (1975) 128,078,800
8. “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) 124,135,500
9. “The Exorcist” (1973) 110,568,700
10. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) 109,000,000

That man’s robot doppelganger looks very confused … Good god, man! What have you done to him?! Posted on Pink Tenacle, (creepy…): Department store operator Sogo & Seibu has announced plans to…

ChocolateSoulP.J. Huffstutter and Jerry Hirsch writes in the LA Times:

On most days, Andrea Deckard can be found in her home office, digging through stacks of coupons and grocery receipts for money saving tips and recipes that she can share with readers of her Mommy Snacks blog.

That is, when the stay-at-home mom isn’t being wined and dined by giant food companies. Earlier this year, Frito-Lay flew her to Los Angeles to meet celebrities such as model Brooke Burke and the Spice Girls’ Mel B, while pitching her on its latest snack ad campaign.

More recently, Nestle paid to put her and 16 other so-called “mommy bloggers” — and one daddy blogger — up at the posh Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, treated them to a private show at the Magic Castle in Hollywood and sent packages of frozen Omaha Steaks to their families to tide them over while the women were away learning all about the company’s latest product lines.

In return, Deckard and her virtual sisterhood filed Twitter posts raving about Nestle’s canned pumpkin, Wonka candy and Juicy Juice drinks.

“People have accused us of being corporate shills,” said Deckard, a Monroe, Ohio, mother of three whose junkets have also included a free trip to Frito-Lay’s Texas headquarters. Deckard, noting that she is up front with her readers about such trips, said they are educational for her and her fans, and “just fun.”

Besides, she added, “it’s not like I sold my soul for a chocolate bar.”

It surely hasn’t escaped the attention of any regular reader of this site that The Disinformation Company has produced a documentary film about the 2012 phenomenon. Among others starring in our film are Daniel Pinchbeck, Lawrence E. Joseph and John Major Jenkins. About 10 months ago Sony Pictures asked us to urgently overnight a copy of our film to their marketing team in Culver City, CA in connection with the Roland Emmerich 2012 disaster film that they were already working on. We never heard another peep out of them, but I suspect they agreed with our choice of experts. As this New York Magazine article reports, Pinchbeck, Joseph and Jenkins were the 2012-ologists at a fancy 2012 movie launch event, and it seems that they did us proud:

In the Cottonwood Ballroom at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the New York neo-shaman Daniel Pinchbeck sipped Fiji water and prepared to discuss the end of the world. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and Pinchbeck has built a multiplatform enterprise on the notion that something drastic will happen on that date—maybe…