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October 29, 2009 12:16 PM   Subscribe

"A company at a German trade show has attached tiny banner advertisements to flies and set them loose on unsuspecting visitors, in a bizarre yet effective marketing stunt."
posted by william_boot (74 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Minority Report got it wrong - 20 years in the future we won't be spammed walking down the street by talking videoscreen billboards, we'll be spammed walking down the street by swarms of flies with ads attached to them that end up in your pockets and shopping bags so you find them when you get home.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:21 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've often confused advertisers with insects. This won't help.
posted by Zonker at 12:23 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Zonker: "I've often confused advertisers with insects. This won't help."

One spends their time eating and excreting pure shit, the other is an insect.
posted by The White Hat at 12:24 PM on October 29, 2009 [25 favorites]


The transition from mild annoyance to confusion to unadulterated joy/surprise on that man's face at about 0:25 is just wonderful.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:25 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am now ready for my fly propogandist army to do my bidding.
posted by not_on_display at 12:25 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye uses a horsefly.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:26 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Disease vectors AND advertising platforms. Such versatility.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:27 PM on October 29, 2009 [13 favorites]


I feel sorry for the flies, actually. I hope they remove the banners from them at the end of the day.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:29 PM on October 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


They blew it. The banners should have read, "HELP ME!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2009 [14 favorites]


In the future, marketing will be increasingly populated by those kids in your junior high class who would do absolutely anything for a scrap of attention, negative or positive. I fully expect My Butt on YouTube Advertising, Inc., to be a rising power in a few years.

Pepsi Ha-Ha, Made You Look! indeed.
posted by adipocere at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2009


I wasn't fast enough to read every word at the end of the video, but from what I could tell, they said that no flies died in the making of it, that the banners were attached with wax (I think?) and fell off after about an hour. (Have I got that right, or is my German broken today?)
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 12:32 PM on October 29, 2009


(Just like the title of this post.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:32 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for the flies, actually. I hope they remove the banners from them at the end of the day.

I'm pretty sure they would just kill the flies or let the custodial crew sweep up the refuse as they only live a few days.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2009


(oops, I didn't read my own link properly...flies can live for a month. Still...they're flies. Kill them.)
posted by Burhanistan at 12:34 PM on October 29, 2009


What if the fly stops off to eat some gunk lying on the kitchen floor? Then you have flying salmonella banner ads! Spread your message in a way that no one can forget!
posted by eye of newt at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2009


No flies on them!
posted by rhymer at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2009


Disease vectors AND advertising platforms.

Here we go with the hurf-durf marketer-bashing, again. Sometimes MeFi is *so* predictable.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:36 PM on October 29, 2009


Imagine the poor marketing intern who got stuck with the job of gluing banners to flies. Getting sandwiches wouldn't seem so bad after that.
posted by GuyZero at 12:37 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


'Disease vectors AND advertising platforms.'

Here we go with the hurf-durf marketer-bashing, again. Sometimes MeFi is *so* predictable.

Great, now I'm daydreaming about spraypainting "I love marketing" on rabid wolves and letting them loose in a ad department.

That was a great KFC-UN culture jamming thing in the other thread, wasn't it? It makes me want to sink my teeth in to some crispy fried chicken.

Just think about it, friiiiied chicken. KFC. You know you want some.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:42 PM on October 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm not a fly lover or anything, but this is just cruel. They have enough shit to spread without having to spread ours, too.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:43 PM on October 29, 2009


Our trained cockroaches will deliver tasty samples of fudge right to your mouth!
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:46 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


flies and marketers both love poop amirite
posted by brain_drain at 12:47 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Although, butterflies genetically engineered to have logos on their wings would be pretty damn cool.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:47 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ick, ick, ick. 2 nasty things together.
posted by theora55 at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2009


Still...they're flies. Kill them.)

Yeah, but this is cruel. It's one thing to whack them into immediate death, another to torture them.
posted by amro at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Die Flyderbanner.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now the question is how many blogs and news outlets have the courage to report this story without stooping to puns on the word "buzz".
posted by crapmatic at 12:49 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite ever use of insects for human ends. It makes me so, so, so happy.
posted by jefficator at 12:50 PM on October 29, 2009 [19 favorites]


People feel sorry for flies? What about gnats? Cuz I have to murder about a million of those a day in my apartment it seems and I don't really register any remorse. What's the pity parameter here?
posted by spicynuts at 12:51 PM on October 29, 2009


This is fun and amusing as long as I don't think about. Once I think about it, it's mean to the flies and if they ever do something similar outdoors, it's littering. I approve of neither cruelty to animals (even annoying ones) nor of littering and thus I don't approve of this.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:51 PM on October 29, 2009


Also my favorite German tongue-twister, updated: Wenn nach Fliegen Fliegen fliegen, Fliegen Fliegen fliegen nach. Jetzt Mit banner ads.
posted by jefficator at 12:51 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel; it's called the Carousel.

*bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:51 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marketing and Beezulbub- a perfect match!
posted by yeloson at 12:52 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


"When you think, 'Get this fucking thing off me NOW!', think Eichborn!"
posted by ardgedee at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


WHERE IS YOUR NINJA PRESIDENT NOW
posted by Pronoiac at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


As someone who works in advertising, let me say this:

Our ingenuity is only exceeded by our absolute lack of morals, humanity or basic common sense.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:56 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


BrotherCaine: Although, butterflies genetically engineered to have logos on their wings would be pretty damn cool.

Dude. Lasers.

By which I mean "laser etched butterfly wings," not "butterflies with frickin' lasers."
posted by Pronoiac at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


/Sits back, waits for inevitably hilarious reaction from PETA.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here we go with the hurf-durf marketer-bashing, again. Sometimes MeFi is *so* predictable.

Wait, you think that a dislike of marketing is a MetaFilter problem?

Find any group of people, anywhere, who like marketers and advertisers.

(*Groups of marketers or advertisers are not eligible, nor are their families or self-help groups, except in Vermont and Quebec.)
posted by rokusan at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


My favorite insect project.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now I can re-market the fly-strip as a new form of ad-block.
posted by drstein at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


/Sits back, waits for inevitably hilarious reaction from PETA.

PETA is a marketing process. It stages painted-girl-ins, issues press releases full of mediagenic outrage useful for a news-like journalistic product, accrues donations and acolytes, at which point it returns to stage one. Rinse, repeat, GOTO 10.

At no point does it generate useful change. It's sort of like protesting war using giant puppet heads without writing letters to the editor and to your local officials and politicians.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:13 PM on October 29, 2009


Our ingenuity is only exceeded by our absolute lack of morals, humanity or basic common sense.

When flies no longer grab enough public attention and you guys start toying with new, real-life punch-the-monkey banner ads... Please drop me a line so I have a little bit of a head start in fleeing civilization.
posted by Avelwood at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan: "Disease vectors AND advertising platforms. Such versatility."

Viral marketing!
posted by brundlefly at 1:18 PM on October 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


PETA is a marketing process. It stages painted-girl-ins...

It's a trap.
posted by rokusan at 1:26 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I do the same thing, but I tie bricks to cats and get the media to laugh and take photos of them.
posted by CarlRossi at 1:30 PM on October 29, 2009


When flies no longer grab enough public attention and you guys start toying with new, real-life punch-the-monkey banner ads... Please drop me a line so I have a little bit of a head start in fleeing civilization.

Actually, I can't wait for some brainless associate with a newly minted degree in communications to come up with exactly this. I have some experience in Primatology from my own college days, and the words "angry baboons" fill me with a pleasant sense of anticipation.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I feel sorry for the flies, actually.

PETA protested when Obama killed one, they'll protest this as well. I'm going to wait to see which side of the issue Natalie Portman comes down on before making up my mind.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:45 PM on October 29, 2009


It's only a matter of time before they combine this marketing idea with this technology. Which means the banner ads will be able to chase you.

I'm buying stock in bug-spray manufacturers now.
posted by nickmark at 2:03 PM on October 29, 2009


Agents of Beelzebub doing their part for Evil Capitalism.

Makes all the sense in the world.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:08 PM on October 29, 2009


Flies in the face(s) of (a) convention. Cute.

Just wait until someone leaves a half drunk glass of soda on a table. Where will your banners be then?
posted by lysdexic at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2009


Pretty fly. (For a bunch of white guys.)
posted by The Bellman at 2:25 PM on October 29, 2009


Following Obama's fly-catching incident, PETA sent him a humane bug catcher.
"We support compassion for even the smallest animals," said Bruce Friedrich, vice president for policy at PETA, according to ABC News. "We support giving insects the benefit of the doubt."
This recent stunt is a brilliant bit of unintentional co-marketing waiting to happen.

Also, I feel bad for the marketing interns who had to catch and tag those flies.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:41 PM on October 29, 2009


My favorite ever use of insects for human ends. It makes me so, so, so happy.

I first read about the idea of archiving information in our (or whoever's) "junk" DNA here, and interestingly, he did take it to the next logical step of: what if someone has already done this?
posted by danny the boy at 2:44 PM on October 29, 2009


... and interestingly, he did take it to the next logical step of: what if someone has already done this?

What did he find, a recipe for bug killer that was so good, it needed to be preserved for the benefit of the human race even in the advent of nuclear holocaust?
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:01 PM on October 29, 2009


Brainstorming session that led to this:

"How do we convey to potential customers that our product eats shit and produces maggots?"

"Whoa, I just got the best idea..."
posted by quin at 3:07 PM on October 29, 2009


I really enjoyed your post title. Very nice. :D
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:14 PM on October 29, 2009


"We support compassion for even the smallest animals."

PETA members should each sponsor their own pet ebola.
posted by rokusan at 3:17 PM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for PETA to run a new ad campaign against this practice by tying banners to silverback gorillas they let loose in Time Square.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:26 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


blea. I really don't care much for insects, but I kinda hate the way some people treat other living creatures as their own personal belongings to do with as they please. I mean, yes, we eat them, and that may be necessary, but do we really need to do something so pointless and frivolous as this?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:10 PM on October 29, 2009


Philip K. Dick had advertising flies in 1964 novel, The Simulacra.
posted by kenlayne at 4:21 PM on October 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


It is funny, viewed through a pair of sunglasses all of the fly messages read CONSUME.
posted by JHarris at 4:30 PM on October 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Never has this sounded so perfect:

Yes, that's right, the sublime Bill Hicks (RIP).
posted by Skygazer at 5:09 PM on October 29, 2009


"...and if we could, get these flies out of the shot."
posted by zerobyproxy at 5:11 PM on October 29, 2009


In addition to pressing detritivores into the service of distributing propaganda, there is a nascent, more palatable approach: 'We've established that it is possible to apply a logo or image onto food, now we need to see if there is a way of repeating it on large quantities of our cereal. We're looking into it.' Laser Flakes....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 5:28 PM on October 29, 2009


What's the ad supposed to say, anyway?

"This dirty fly is crawling on you, courtesy of _________"?!
posted by markkraft at 5:44 PM on October 29, 2009


Of course, those in the next generation of ad-lugging flies will insist to each other that they are wearing all those logos ironically.
posted by darth_tedious at 5:52 PM on October 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why is everyone in the clip so delighted by the flies???
posted by fermezporte at 8:29 PM on October 29, 2009


This used to be fiction.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:59 PM on October 29, 2009


Something tells me this is a fire hazard. What happens when some smartass decides it's funny to set fire to the paper with a cigarette lighter?
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 9:54 PM on October 29, 2009


What happens when some smartass decides it's funny to set fire to the paper with a cigarette lighter?

The paper and the fly are consumed before they hit the ground would be my guess.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:55 PM on October 29, 2009


golly i loved all the expressions. it's not often you get to see adults expressing such childlike wonder.
posted by Hobbacocka at 6:47 AM on October 30, 2009


person 1: oh hey, did I tell you? I saw these flies buzzing around on the convention floor. they had little messages attached to them, and they would land on you and you could read them?
person 2: no shit? that's amazing? how did they do that?
1: who knows. glue and patience, I guess?
2: well, that's pretty ingenious!
1: I know, right?
2: anyway, what did the messages say?
1: oh, Remember to Drink Your Ovaltine.
2: ... you gotta be fucking kidding me.
1: I know. it was cool till I actually read the little slip of paper.
posted by shmegegge at 8:46 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why is everyone in the clip so delighted by the flies???

Because they are slowed down enough to kill easily?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:40 PM on October 30, 2009


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