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Big Shoulders, Big Hair, Big Perfume: 1980s Through Fragrance

"The beginning of my interest in fragrance coincided more or less with a momentous year in perfumery: 1981. It was in that first year of what would later be called the Big Eighties that a Beverly Hills boutique released an eponymous scent housed in a box with yellow stripes that evoked the store’s awning. Giorgio was an immediate and a ubiquitous smash, a powerhouse floral so outsized that restaurants were said to refuse seating to Giorgio-wearing patrons." The '80s ushered in a new era in perfumery. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 28, 2014 - 83 comments

Would you like furballs with that

A (fake) Pizza Hut in Japan is staffed entirely by cats.
posted by whistle pig on Aug 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Cages, craniums, and giant scary eyes

Psychiatric magazine ads from the seventies.
posted by Iridic on Jul 28, 2014 - 27 comments

If Horses Were People

If Horses Were People: an equestrian sketch comedy series. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 14, 2014 - 13 comments

Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web

"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 3, 2014 - 173 comments

Carrier Access Codes and cultural detritus, featuring Alf and friends

Carrier Access Codes are a largely dated*, though still functional service to select your long-distance telephone carrier per phone call. In the United States, these "dial-around codes" reached a (commercial) peak in the late 1990s, as seen with ads featuring such semi-notables as Marla Gibbs, Christine Taylor and Reginald VelJohnson, Harry Anderson, John Lithgow, Tony Danza, Doug Flutie, and even Alf and some well-known friends. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 29, 2014 - 73 comments

The refreshment stand is closed forever

Here are some compilations of old drive-in theater intermission shorts, obsolete advertising for vanished venues. Won't you please visit our celestial snack bar? The show starts in ∞ minutes. Hover over links for more detail.
1 (10m, corn dogs, Dairy Queen) - 2 (10m, Butch, Eskimo Pie) - 3 (7m, public displays of affection) - 4 (3m, cable TV)
5 (10m, PSAs) - 6 (10m, performing food!) - 7 (9.5m, racist indians, snack bar gnomes) - 8 (10m, Jay Ward-like cartoon roundup)
9 (4m, daylight savings time) - 10 (13m, shrimp rolls, local ads) - 11 (10.5m, Dr Pepper robbery, conformity, PSAs) - 12 (14m, Creepy the Clown and "Dutch Treete")
13 (10m, Optigan music spectacular!) - 14 (2m, EAT CANDY BARS) - 15 (9m, Swiss people are magical) - 16 (5m, assorted animation)
17 (17m, Snacks in Space) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2014 - 48 comments

Con Men! Artistocrats! Nancy Boys! Radiothearpy and More!

The Trickster Prince is academic and historian Matt Houlbrook's blog about the ephemera and little-known stories of the English inter-war period (and before) with a focus on class-jumping, queer narratives, "faking it", and urban society in the 20s and 30s.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 5, 2014 - 13 comments

Jamie Casino's got murder, vengeance, and a flaming sledgehammer.

Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino of Savannah, GA really went all out with his Metal as ___ Super Bowl ad (SLYT).
posted by T.D. Strange on Feb 3, 2014 - 59 comments

Gelatin, from calf's hoof jelly to Jell-O, "America's Favorite Dessert"

Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 2, 2014 - 31 comments

Moms

Two very different commercials about mothers.
1. Old Spice "Momsong"
2. P&G "Pick Them Back Up"
Bring your tissues for that second one.
posted by Rock Steady on Jan 9, 2014 - 53 comments

A burrito bowl of Scarecrow

Chipotle's new ad for a mobile game is haunting, dark, and beautiful. It strikes a pretty serious chord for a fast food chain trying to launch a game that ends with a free burrito. If you were wondering how in the hell it got made, there's a behind the scenes video with the creators, designers, and animators that came up with it on their website.
posted by mathowie on Sep 12, 2013 - 90 comments

Big Bad Bag Boys

Last month, New York PBS affiliate WNET launched a subway ad campaign that promoted several fake but totally plausible reality shows, to poke fun at the state of Cable TV. To follow up on the successful campaign, yesterday, the network released 3 TV spots with a similar theme. (Kinda previously...)
posted by schmod on Jul 16, 2013 - 57 comments

Don't Bother Being Specific

On appeal, the Federal Circuit has upheld Ultramericial's patent on the process of users viewing video ads online in order to view content. The court ruled that the abstractness of the patent does not invalidate it. [more inside]
posted by juiceCake on Jun 25, 2013 - 37 comments

Another Stupid Newsreel! I Hate The News.

We visited Weirdo Video back in 07 for propaganda films, but the YouTube channel has been steadily updating with yesterday's ephemera. Why not enjoy some vintage newsreels about STRIKES! SULTANS! SUEZ! SAN FRANSISCO! or some FITNESS FADS!
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2013 - 2 comments

Old print ads

This Livejournal contains many vintage advertisements.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 6, 2013 - 10 comments

This system sucks

So now it turns out I need around 1,500 readers to get that $5 for my hypothetical site. Say I want to pay myself $500 for the month. It’s not a ton of money. I need 150,000 page views. That jumped right up there, didn’t it? Now look at sites that employ a number of highly skilled, professional writers that are full time and making a livable wage. You’re suddenly looking at millions and millions of page views required to keep everything afloat, much less expand.
Ad-blockers, the games press, and why sexy cosplay galleries lead to better reporting.
posted by griphus on Apr 17, 2013 - 119 comments

You've always wanted to know who it was...

Who is that hot ad girl?
posted by deezil on Apr 1, 2013 - 76 comments

Thanks, Obama.

A series of GIFs captures the difficult lives of people in infomercials.
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 31, 2013 - 152 comments

Abercrombie & Fitch & Zizek

In 2003, Abercrombie and Fitch approached Slovene philosopher and culture critic Slavoj Žižek to write ad copy. The results were odd. (And NSFW.)
posted by Rinku on Mar 17, 2013 - 66 comments

“Don't be …”

Google has removed Ad Blocking apps from their Play Store. AdAway is available on the open source Android repository F-Droid. AdBlock+ remains available from their own site.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 14, 2013 - 129 comments

New Parasites for 2013/ The Cat That Screamed Like A Man/ Coffin Bro

Liar Town Usa: An alternate USA where our products, signage, headlines, and fads are all slightly more surreal, sinister, and threatening.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 7, 2013 - 93 comments

Bizarro

Weird Vintage - a tumblr of weird ads, illustrations, and photographs of a vintage or antiquated nature
posted by growabrain on Jan 26, 2013 - 29 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 8, 2012 - 103 comments

SDGOP

1997: Arizona. Matt Varilek gets a degree in Environmental Studies, and starts teaching at the Biosphere 2, known as an incubator for radical enviromental ideas. Back in South Dakota, Kristi Noem is named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Watertown Jaycees.
posted by benbenson on Oct 26, 2012 - 21 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

Copenhagen cool

American public transportation commercials? Boring. Belgian De Lijn commercials? Amusing. Danish? Exciting!
posted by fredludd on Sep 13, 2012 - 17 comments

Looking Back With Virtual Boy Tinted Glasses

Do Go On - A tumblr celebration of totally rad 90s video game magazines [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 4, 2012 - 42 comments

Classic Video Game Ads

This great Flickr album of classic video game advertisements is a nostalgia overdose for those of us who read video-game magazines in the 80s and 90s. From classic ads like the "Genesis Does What Nintendon't" ad to ads for Pac Man, The Simpsons, Super Mario Brothers 2 and ye olde Atari Lynx, this helps you relive the glory days of the medium, when even the ads were entertaining. And for those of you who never got to experience gaming magazines in their heyday, check out this entire copy of the first issue on Nintendo Power (PDF) from way back in 1988. And then get off my lawn.
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 16, 2012 - 26 comments

Alofa mai Vailima, fa'amolemole!

Vailima, a German-style lager, has been brewed just outside the capital of Independent Samoa since 1978. There are two versions to choose from, the normal 4.9% strength and the the export-only 6.7%. But, unless you're somewhere near Samoa, you probably won't be able to find it. So, enjoy the commercials, instead! [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 7, 2012 - 9 comments

Maximize your billables by matching up the syllables

Rhymez Meanz Beanz (via)
posted by unSane on Jul 13, 2012 - 9 comments

Ye Olde Advertisements

Old-timey ads. Sexist vintage ads. Some other, different old advertisements.
posted by curious nu on Jun 13, 2012 - 32 comments

Advertising Jingle Earworm Transmission Begins Now

TVAdSongs.com houses a library of 1,515 songs from TV and Radio ads, and that’s how my jingle earworm attached. Pretty soon I’d discovered that Barry Manilow used to include a bit he called "Our VSM" (short for our "Very Strange Medley" of songs he’s composed for commercials) in each of his concerts. (Weezer’s a big fan - previously). That’s where it struck me personally how insidously omnipresent these songs were (and are). Pretty soon, the earworm took over. So, I figure, what better way to get rid of a tune stuck in your head than to share it with the rest of the world? So, here goes — I am prepared for your curses. | "A" is for Apple, "J" is for JacksAnd They Call It... Charlie!Break Me Off a Piece of that Kit Kat Bar ... [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on May 5, 2012 - 29 comments

"Those obnoxious intrusive ads that pay $42 a day are the only way a site like ours stays afloat."

A Transparent Attempt to Explain the Economics Behind Running a Pop-Culture Website and the Need to Run Intrusive Advertising The thing about display ads is that you are paid for about what they are worth, which is to say: $.30 per 1,000 impressions. Most people barely even notice them, so advertisers are not willing to pay you very much to run them...Instead, we have to use intrusive ads which are paid on a much larger scale, approximately $7.00 per 1,000 impressions. So, if a site like ours generates 100,000 impressions, that should be $700 a day. Awesome. We should be rich, right? Not so much. Pajiba previously. [via Slashfilm]
posted by mediareport on Apr 22, 2012 - 181 comments

Autism Prevalence on the Rise

Since 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has based its estimates of how many children in the United States have autism on surveillance reports from its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Every two years, researchers count how many 8-year-olds have an autism spectrum disorder in about a dozen communities across the nation. According to a new report released by the CDC yesterday, (pdf), the latest data estimate that 1 in 88 American children has some form of autism spectrum disorder. (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls.) That's a 78% increase compared to a decade ago. The report, which analyzed data from 2008, indicates a 23 percent rise in diagnoses of ASDs over a two-year period. (Last link has autoplaying video)
posted by zarq on Mar 30, 2012 - 42 comments

"more overt sexuality, more exposed flesh"

American illustrator Coles Phillips became famous in 1908 for his "Fade-Away Girl" magazine covers, which caught the eye and saved money on color printing. He was a leader in creating "more modern, active and athletic images of women" after the prim poise of the Gibson Girl era. His later work became more overtly sexual, making him one of the first artists whose beautifully designed ads were "torn out of magazines and swiped out of store windows to become pin-ups on college dormitory walls." Some were considered scandalous. He died in 1927. Two long pages of Coles Phillips images. Six pages. Bio. Tumblr tag. More ads.
posted by mediareport on Mar 4, 2012 - 33 comments

I hear a football game is also scheduled to air that night....

Super Bowl commercial breaks have become the most expensive and arguably most coveted advertising timeslots on television. NBC is charging $3.5 million for each 30 second slot -- $116,667 per second of airtime. But this year, many companies have released their commercials online in advance of this Sunday's broadcast. Entertainment Weekly and Adland are compiling them -- the latter on their 40 Years of Super Bowl Commercials page. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 3, 2012 - 44 comments

According to Google I am an 18-24 year-old male. Or maybe it just means I'm a juvenile dick.

They are off by 20 years and a set of genitals in my case... Follow the link in the text to find out if Google has done any better with you.
posted by moneyjane on Jan 26, 2012 - 133 comments

If it's out there, it's in here.

Ding! Furniture stripping. Rock drills. Herbs. Die casting. Dumbwaiters. Conductive shoes. Vanity cases. Civil engineers. If it's out there, it's in here. [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by Orinda on Dec 11, 2011 - 4 comments

...meth is apparently a hell of a drug...

Caution: Disturbing, potentially triggering and possibly NSFW content: The Meth Project, known for their gritty, confrontational and disturbing online and print ads, which graphically depict the effects of methamphetamine drug use, launched a new, interactive website last week. The revamped site gives visitors an opportunity to share their own stories. They've also premiered four new 30-second television PSA's by the director of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky: E.R., Deep End, Losing Control and Desperate. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 16, 2011 - 103 comments

Ads in digital magazines: double dipping or lifeblood of the industry?

Marco Arment, creator of successful link-saving, ad-stripping service Instapaper, takes aim at web and iPad magazines for "double dipping": charging customers and still displaying ads. Magazine industry insiders and supporters respond that ads are vital to keeping magazines affordable and are easy to skip in digital form anyway. With Apple's recent launch of Newsstand already looking like it could revolutionise the magazine industry, should ad-allergic users accept them in digital magazines as a necessary evil? Or could publishers feasibly figure out a new business model that doesn't require ads?
posted by scrm on Oct 29, 2011 - 70 comments

Feel the warmth

A commercial. But a commercial featuring two of MetaFilter's favorite things: knitting and stop motion animation. Also, there's a cat. The making of.
posted by jacquilynne on Oct 16, 2011 - 14 comments

Just like Mom used to make.

Aspic and other delights showcases the absolute horrors of good, old-fashioned home cooking. Or, at least the advertisements for it. Aspic, in case you were wondering, is food, often meat or seafood encased in gelatin or cooled meat stock.
posted by converge on Aug 17, 2011 - 84 comments

The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.

It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 1, 2011 - 61 comments

f p p

Minimal Movie Posters [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 1, 2011 - 38 comments

Neko, no.

Touch The Screen [more inside]
posted by empath on Mar 30, 2011 - 25 comments

Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything

4 photogenic youngsters travel to beautiful cities, to Paris, Barcelona, Beijing & London. Short, upbeat commercials by Gustav Johansson & Albin Holmqvist for a French language school
posted by growabrain on Mar 9, 2011 - 22 comments

For those who think the ads are the best part

Watch the Super Bowl ads now.
posted by kevinsp8 on Feb 4, 2011 - 73 comments

mcmyspace angle

Fast food - ads vs. reality
posted by crayz on Dec 5, 2010 - 132 comments

I'm Thomas Jefferson and I approve this message.

Some political watchers are saying this could be the nastiest, most negative election season of all time. [SLYT]
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 30, 2010 - 68 comments

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