Mad for Ads? Add Ads to Mad
October 15, 2014 5:23 AM   Subscribe

Madison is a new Vintage Ad archive from the New York Times. "But the Times is inviting readers to do more than just view the ads. It's also asking readers to help shape the archive by sifting through the ads, identifying them and even transcribing their text."

Of course, no crowdsourcing project would be complete these days without a gamification element, so they show progress and award titles as you go along. Currently all Ads are from the 60's but more decades will be added eventually. Further Reading if you've used up your AdAge links this month.
posted by FreezBoy (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The AdAge link only shows me an abstract, saying that I'd need to upgrade to read more.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:28 AM on October 15, 2014


I'm having Mechanical Turk flashbacks here.
posted by Gev at 5:35 AM on October 15, 2014


Let's work for the NYT for free!
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:54 AM on October 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


I know I've harped on this point before but:

A gaming aspect to Madison seeks to incentivize amateur archivists by showing their progress and giving them titles after completing certain steps.

As opposed to incentivizing trained archivists by giving them money.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:02 AM on October 15, 2014 [26 favorites]


This post has way less Mad Magazine than I initially thought it would.
posted by item at 6:11 AM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I remember the good old days, when I could read all of the NYTimes online for free, except the crossword puzzle. If I do their archival work gratis, will they let me past their paywall?
posted by nushustu at 6:20 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


The NYT says that this prestigious unpaid archiving experience is a great resume booster for that prestigious unpaid internship you're applying to.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:22 AM on October 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


It amuses me that some of the complainers here have used NYT links in their FPPs, so I hope you've enjoyed your unpaid traffic-generation work.

As a Vintage Ad fan, I think this is a neat project and won't mind giving them a few brain cycles now and again.
posted by FreezBoy at 6:48 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


So I have to pay for the privilege of working for the NYT? SUPER!
posted by nerdler at 7:39 AM on October 15, 2014


I see nothing inconsistent with exploiting free labour to archive materials used to trick people out of their money.
posted by srboisvert at 7:49 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I clicked hoping to see retro-futuristic full-color ads for fashionable products being foisted on image-conscious New Yorkers, and what I got was b/w classified help-wanted and lost-and-found ads, a "now showing in theaters" list, and a masthead. Perfectly encapsulating the "advertising" experience.
posted by achrise at 8:40 AM on October 15, 2014


I was charmed by the moon phase calendar and sunrise/sunset time table.

The NYT says that this prestigious unpaid archiving experience is a great resume booster for that prestigious unpaid internship you're applying to.

It's a good thing no one's got it in their heads to click "not an ad" for ads and "advertisement" for mastheads and sunrise/sunset time tables.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 11:05 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


One interesting thing that I noticed so far is that the prices for clothes in 1969 really aren't that far off from today - two ads I saw had prices of $33 and $48 for a Dacron polyester/wool blend dress and a pure black wool dress respectively. Those prices would be about the same today (well, at least for the blend) and the dresses would be made in appalling conditions somewhere.
posted by peacheater at 1:50 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


"[Our bathing suits] come in sizes 6 to 14"

Pretty sure yesterday's "6" is today's "0 petite."

(Agreed with peacheater on the prices being eerily similar to today. $20 in 1969 is almost $130 now.)
posted by nev at 6:07 PM on October 15, 2014


I find this very interesting but then again I am the type who browses the NYT archive and download PDFs from them, hating that it's always just one article and not the full paper from ... oh, say August 7, 1977. I don't know why this stuff intrigues me but it does.

But what's missing with these ads is context. It's like reading a Chinese Ad today and not understanding what is meaningful why because you don't live there and don't know the Memes of the day.
posted by krautland at 12:26 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


The New York Public Library has a similar project, What's On The Menu?
posted by xtian at 4:49 AM on October 16, 2014


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