The Culture of Spam
is an alternate map of the world that represents a country through its junk mail. One can examine and compare the type and subject of spam mails sent throughout the world, getting a feel of social values and desires in a culture." A project by MIT Media Lab.
Japan Ad Industry Loses Interest in US Stars
"A Hollywood in-house secret, Japanese TV commercials
were once talked about with a wink and a shake of the head. Piles of cash were paid to stars willing to peddle anything from whiskey to cigarettes, cars to coffee, instant noodles to cafe latte — as long as nobody told the fans back home. Sadly, the days of seeing, say, Harrison Ford guzzling Kirin beer may be over. American stars have not vanished from the Japanese advertising landscape, but their numbers have dropped dramatically since the heyday of the 1990s.
"The mystique has faded," said Akihiko Sasamoto, who heads the Asian casting division of Hakuhodo, one of Japan's biggest advertising and marketing agencies. "You no longer have this distinction between foreign artists and Japanese artists. So we don't need to spend a big amount of money on a Hollywood star."
-- LA Times
Advertising Icon Museum to Open in Missouri
of more than 900 advertising icons spanning a century of American history will open in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2007.
PokerShare.com Offers to Put Name on Town
"An online poker site wasn't bluffing when it offered $100,000 to have its name stamped on a community. Officials at PokerShare.com
are offering that sum if the western Kentucky hamlet of Sharer - which has no city council, no grocery and no post office - changes its name to PokerShare.com."
-- My Way
Tracking LGBT References in Commercials
"Commercial Closet Association
educates and influences the world of advertising to understand, respect and include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) references in advertising for successful business results and to achieve a more accepting society."
Branding the Army
"As the government and ad agencies gear up their marketing machinery to stave off the recruitment shortfall and avoid possibly having to resurrect the draft, they are encountering a promotional hurdle: the perception that serving in the armed forces means more than merely coming in harm's way. Service, in the eyes of many potential recruits and their families, may mean death."
-- NY Times
"Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts [the author of LoveMarks] has been telling the Pentagon how to spin the war on terror. His advice? Call our struggle, the Fight for a Better World."
Staples Sells "Easy Button" From Its Commercials
Due to what must be popular demand, Staples is now selling the Easy Button
(or Panic button, depending on who's pushing) that appeared earlier in its "That Was Easy" commercials.
-- via Ad Land
Two Louisiana Lawyers Patent Katrina Drink
"A pair of Louisiana lawyers are seeking to cash in on the killer hurricane by slapping the name Katrina on alcoholic beverages. In a new filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg provided federal officials with a logo--reproduced above--bearing the word Katrina, the phrase "Get Blown Away," and a small satellite image of the deadly storm."
-- The Smoking Gun, via Agenda
Researchers to Publish Branded Entertainment Spending Report
PQ Media and iTVX are partnering to collaborate on the first global branded entertainment spending and measurement analysis. This research report, titled Global Branded Entertainment Forecast: Product Placement Spending & Measurement Analysis, will be launched in the first quarter of 2006.
-- press release
More Consumer-Created Ads
to another example of customer-created ads for their favorite brands
, this time for American Apparel
and posted on Flickr (more on Flickr brandspotting
Speech Bubble Social Commentary
"I printed 50,000 of these speech bubble stickers. I place them on top of movie posters, ads and signs all over New York City. Passers are invited to fill them in. I go back and photograph the results
Hooters Employee Handbook
"I hereby acknowledge and affirm that the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace." The rest of the handbook
, published by the Smoking Gun, is as uptight as a bank's.
-- via Agenda
Product Placement in Commercials For Other Products
"Product placement, already common in TV programs, movies and video games, now is being seen in yet another medium: commercials. Marketers are pushing products in other marketers' commercials."
-- USA Today
New Book: Culture and Consumption II
Grant McCracken, a member of this Consortium
, has a new book out. It's a follow-up to his famous Culture and Consumption
and talks about American homes, cars, museums, marketing and advertising. A quote:
"Materialism is fast becoming the villain of piece. [...] We've got ourselves an all-purpose explanation for the ills of conteporary life. [...] This argument is a dangerous misrepresentation of the facts. It is, in my opinion, alarmist, accusatory, rich in assumption, poor in research, and almost entirely wrong."
On his blog
, Grant has posted an invitation
for the book launch party that will happen in NYC on September 27. See Culture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand Management
points to IdleType
that points to this guy
who made a tux out of Coke cans. This almost beats the iPod Halloween costumes (this
) from a year ago.
An Unsolicited Commercial Love Story
of a mysterious Alicia, whose entire life unfolds in a series of unrelated spam banners in one happy guy's inbox.
EVENT: Tats Cru on Urban Marketing, Sept 20, 7pm
is back in business, and here's our first public event. Bronx-based graffiti artists TATS CRU
present "The Journey from Subways to Urban Media Marketing" on Tuesday September 20 at 7 pm in the Kirsch Auditorium (32-123) in Stata (campus map
, Google map
) as a part of the Abramowitz Artist-in-Residence Program. Here's an MIT press release
. The event is free and open to the public.
Gallery of iPhone Dreams
In anticipation of Wednesday's expected launch of Apple's MP3-enabled cell phone, Gizmodo has compiled a gallery of popular mock-ups and speculations
around the device spanning four years.
Cultural Cliches in Advertising
"Saving a few quid on a car insurance bill of several hundred pounds will make you ecstatic for the rest of the week."Here
are many more brought to you by writer John Camm and BBC readers.