While the USA's reputation has taken a hit lately, it's good to remember that many living there are just decent human beings going about their job. Themed "Keep Walking America," this particular road trip is powered by a heartfelt spoken-word rendition of "This Land Is Your Land," Woody Guthrie's iconic 1940 celebration of social justice and inclusion. Voiceover artist Rommel Molina provides the narration, including some phrases in Spanish, during the 90-second spot below. His lightly accented recitation, plainly stated yet intense and yearning, speaks volumes about the American experience. [more inside]
via Buzzfeed: Why Aren’t Advertisers Interested In Selling Stuff To Lesbians? It’s not good enough to put a lesbian couple in an ad but then fail to support LGBT employees or events like pride celebrations. Absolut vodka and Subaru were advertising with queer messaging in queer publications when no one else would. “There a lot of brands I am die-hard loyal to because I’ve seen them at events,” said Grace. She says there are companies she feels she can trust thanks to their LGBT marketing. “When I go to a Marriott, I know I won’t have to worry about being discriminated against, I know the person behind the desk won’t ask me and my wife if we want two beds.” (Previously)
In Food Hacking, a documentary series of shorts from Vice's Munchies, host Simon Klose explores the people and science mapping out new boundaries of Japanese cuisine, as well as their social and environmental implications. [more inside]
Who Is Louise Delage? (AdWeek)
The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (get it?) has replaced 68 advertisements in the Clapham Common Tube station with pictures of cats. Many of the featured models are adoptable cats from Cats Protection or Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. More photos and video here.
Microsoft Branding Generator [warning: autoplaying audio]
This groundbreaking new ad [60s] depicts the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms—and highlights the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The ad will have its national TV debut on FOX News Channel next Thursday, July 21, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later.
When filming cars for movies or commercials, coordinating the availability of exotic, high-performance, or new vehicles--along with the location, the filming, and setting up the perfect shot--can be difficult and expensive. For a shoot, you need the car--that is, until now. The next car you see onscreen may actually be The Blackbird.
South Korean girl group Mamamoo has created what might be the catchiest mobile phone advert ever. [SLYT]
Albert Omoss is an artist who uses computers to explore bodies as rubbery, entangled forms (all likely NSFW) and to make ads and data visualizations. Among other tools, he uses Processing to make hypnotic animations.
Veggen ("The Wall") is the first in a series of eight Norwegian advertisements that show us the tragic consequences of a miraculous discovery. [more inside]
"While gay and lesbian consumers loved the shout outs in the license plates, straight people would only notice features like a bike rack. Paul Poux, who helped come up with the license plate idea, says he held focus groups with straight audiences where he’d show ads featuring gay couples. Even after an hour of talking about gay issues, they’d think a man was shopping with his uncle." (See also: pinkwashing, pink money.)
Burger Chef was a US fast food chain, created in the 1950's, that once rivaled McDonald's. In the early 1970's it had over 1000 locations nationwide. In the 1980's General Foods Corporation gradually divested itself of the chain by selling locations to Hardee's. Some people remember Burger Chef quite fondly. [more inside]
In a sea of imperfect options, this is the one I feel best about! We made something great for three years, and now we’re going to go do something else. The only regret I have is that Bustle will outlive us and I will never be able to icily reject a million-dollar check from Bryan Goldberg, but that’s pretty much it. - The Toast will be closing on July 1st. [more inside]
CALVES CALVES CALVES "not sure why i rewrote the copy on the men’s clothing section of the uniqlo website, but i did it. the words are different now." [more inside]
confirmshaming [via mefi projects, by danb] "when a site asks you to sign up for their thing and then the 'no thank you' link is some hot garbage." Submit your own screenshots right here.
At Blandly we believe that you need a rich set of perspectives to build the perfect bland. That’s why we’ve incubated a company culture that grows unique bland outcomes. We are an eclectic team of avid outdoorswomen, comic book collectors, whiskey nerds, fixed-gear bicycle aficionados, Rosicrucianists, and bacon lovers.
I’m typing this on February 27, 2016. Today was my last day at Facebook. I turned in my badge and my laptop and I walked onto Willow Road with a flash drive containing the images you’ll see below. [more inside]
A new formula that removed artificial preservatives and swapped out artificial dyes for a combination of paprika, annatto and turmeric had been under development for three years. “We’ve sold well over 50 million boxes with essentially no one noticing,” said Greg Guidotti, vice president for meal solutions at Kraft Heinz. (SLNYT)
Kawaii but not as you know it. (SL slightly pretentious advertisement)
As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
Who needs vinyl letters or printed posters? Portland artist Scot Campbell paints store windows the old-fashioned way, and shows you how he does it. (MLYT)
If asked to think of the lasting legacies of Ronald Reagan, you might conjure up the long shadow of US military intervention in Central America or the coordinated attack on organized labor and public-sector programs. Probably few of us would think about the spectacle of Shrek hawking Twinkies. But one lasting consequence of Reagan’s reign is felt by every parent in the country every day: As president, Reagan opened the floodgates to targeted junk food marketing to children and teens.What Ronald Reagan has to do with Dora on your Popsicle package: the backstory behind Shrek hawking Twinkies (and everything else) [more inside]
"It Started Here." With great excitement, living history attraction Colonial Williamsburg spent more than a million dollars to put out its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl. The splurge may have backfired, as its use of footage of the World Trade Center towers falling on 9/11 to a Tom Brokaw voice-over angered and upset many in its target markets and puzzled plenty of others. Takes from Daily News, Esquire, Gothamist, USA Today, NY Post, Slate, HuffPo. [more inside]
Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
John and Sherry Petersik built a cult following with their website, Young House Love. Then they tried to walk away. The couple behind Young House Love on the process of falling down the rabbit hole from lifestyle bloggers, to full time "brand," and the burnout that resulted. Related, Heather Armstrong (a.k.a. Dooce) on "Why the 'Queen of the Mommy Bloggers' had to quit." [more inside]
"But in the dark crevices of the Internet, something else was brewing: without warning, Erin Esurance became masturbation fodder for the very demographic she was designed to target." How Esurance Lost Its Mascot to the Internet.
Footbal fans ,NOT, writ, so gud. Aficionados of basketball, however, are erudite. Baseball fans are ok. Grammarly has graded a number of comments from sports related websites for grammar and spelling, then tabulated the results by league, team and city.
The originator of "on fleek" was a 16-year-old girl from South Chicago. "Cool hunting" by advertisers has long captured and resold content from black youth in urban communities. But the rise of social media have made the process significantly faster, and the capitalization on trends far richer. Yet the youth who create dance styles and new language are rarely compensated for their cultural work. And the shape of copyright law is partly to blame. [more inside]
Is this the most emotionally moving holiday commercial ever, or is it "the worst thing I’ve ever, ever seen"? You decide.
The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
Le Petit Théâtre Dior: An exhibit of miniature Dior creations was mounted in China earlier this year. [more inside]
The gloves are coming off in the race for the Louisiana governorship, as a new attack ad from Democrat John Bel Edwards states that Republican rival David Vitter 'chose prostitutes over patriots'. [more inside]
Indian comedy group All India Bakchod teams up with dating site TrulyMadly to present the Creep Qawwali (a form of Sufi devotional music), lamenting online and offline creepy guys. [more inside]
Here's an old Burger King ad campaign, created by New York firm J Walter Thompson, that was a legendary flop. 30 years ago Burger King failed to get the whole country asking: Where's Herb? He was supposedly the only person in the country not to have had a burger from their chain. They offered food discounts, but only to people who weren't Herb (weird cameo at the end of that one). They even talked to Herb's parents. Eventually Herb did have a burger and visited a BK in every state as part of a contest. The sites Go Retro and Burgatory have articles about the non-phenomenon (with an interview with Jon Menick, who played Herb). It was all an attempt to duplicate Wendy's success the year before with Where's The Beef? [more inside]
What can we do about the privacy threat posed by online ad networks? And how much trust should we place in Silicon Valley to design the future of our society? What Happens Next Will Amaze You: Slides from a recent talk by (Mefi's own) Maciej Cegłowski.
It's no accident how much the ad racket resembles high-frequency trading. A small number of sophisticated players are making a killing at the expense of everybody else. [...] I don't believe there's a technology bubble, but there is absolutely an advertising bubble. When it bursts, companies are going to be more desperate and will unload all the personal data they have on us to absolutely any willing buyer. And then we'll see if all these dire warnings about the dangers of surveillance were right.[more inside]
If you've been seeing a lot of ads for DraftKings on your (U.S.) TV as the college and pro football seasons ramp up, you're not alone. The "daily fantasy" site has spent more than $100 million on television advertising this year, and last week outspent AT&T, Ford, Warner Brothers, GEICO, and everyone else. But what is this "daily fantasy" thing, and why is there enough money in it to outspend Fortune 500 companies? [more inside]
Big Pot: the California Democratic party added marijuana legalisation to its party platform - "Earlier this year Founders Fund, a venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, led a $75m investment round into Privateer, a private equity group focused on cannabis. It is the biggest single investment in the US cannabis industry to date: 'What Privateer is doing is looking like a Procter & Gamble or a Coca-Cola approach. The real value in the market is going to be having the Coke-calibre brand...' Meanwhile, a distinctly California-style backlash is already growing [and] the US has become an exporter of illegal cannabis to Mexico, as cultivation in the US has increased." [more inside]
Our Long National Nightmare is Over..."just a few short months later, Hammond is out for some reason and Norm Macdonald — of all people, being that he is not known to take corporate sponsorship very seriously — is in, if you caught the commercials that debuted on TV and online Sunday night..."
The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more. Just enter a chunk of text with at least 100 recognized words and Watson will break down your (or Hitler's or Donald Trump's) personality compared to other participants. [more inside]
Writing at FiveThirtyEight.com, Sam Dean argues that until very recently, there has been no way to meaningfully measure web traffic. For advertisers and site owners, "just having a number that everyone can point to as an acceptable proxy of reality is more important than how accurate that number may be." [more inside]