Keeping Up With the Jones
"Peter van Stolk, the 40-year-old founder of Jones Soda
, was quick to learn the rules of the industry and then ignore them. Since he began selling his iconoclastic drinks out of ice chests in snowboarding shops and tattoo parlors in 1996, he's sold 187 million bottles. In explaining the runaway success of the brand, van Stolk is the first to admit, "The world doesn't need another soda." But what young cynical consumers apparently did need was a brand with which they could identify. Unlike the slick Madison Avenue spin of huge competitors, Jones Soda -- without any money for advertising -- created a cool under-the-radar appeal by urging fans to send in photographs to the website to use as bottle labels. The Seattle company now has over a million submissions and has used 4,372 of the photos."
-- Business Week
MIT Prof: Religion Is Good for Economy
"Jonathan Gruber (MIT, Department of Economics) has posted "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?
" on the NBER web site. Gruber concludes that being in an area with more co-religionists leads to better economic outcomes through the channel of increased religious participation. Although this paper does not investigate the mechanism through which religiosity creates these results, Gruber suggests four possibilities: that religious attendance increases the number of social interactions in a way peculiar to religious settings; that religious institutions provide financial and emotional "insurance" that help people mitigate their losses when setbacks occur; that attendance at religious schools may be an advantage; and, finally, that religious faith may simply improve well-being directly by enabling the faithful to be "less stressed out" by the problems of every day life."
-- Tax Prof
Branding Through Architecture
"When companies like Apple, JetBlue, and Toyota want to build structures that articulate who they are, they turn to Gensler, an architecture and design firm with 28 offices, 2,000 employees, and 2004 revenues of $264 million. Done Gensler’s way, buildings become a subtle expression of corporate personality. “We design everything to fit the message of the brand,” says Dian Duvall, principal in the firm’s San Francisco headquarters. So how do you translate the ephemeral qualities of a corporate image into tangible structures of concrete, steel, and glass?"
-- Business 2.0
"Inspired by the world's obsession and devotion to the iPod, iBelieve
is a replacement lanyard for your Shuffle. It is a social commentary on the fastest-growing religion in the world."
Site Sells Products That Appear On TV Shows and Movies
is working on a website
that will sell stuff that appears as product placement in TV shows and movies (intended or not), a kind of reverse product placement business. From Times Dispatch
: "For consumers, Visure will be a Web site that features a catalog of products found in movies and television shows. Users will be able to click on pictures of different movies or shows on the Visure Web site and pull up most of the items that are placed in the background of a screenshot or purposefully -- if not craftily -- put near the camera."
-- via AdJab
Study: Concurrent Media Exposure
Ball State Uni's Center for Media Design
is selling a "consumer-centric, data-driven look
at patterns of Concurrent Media Exposure (CME) -- including how common it is, how much of the media day it occupies, and what media are regularly combined in concurrent exposures. Some findings:
- CME is pervasive (involving over 96% of the study's participants) and constitutes a substantial portion of all media exposure (30.7 percent of the media day).
- CME differs across media in incidence and time accrued – some media are almost always experienced concurrently with other media (e.g., instant messaging, telephone, newspaper) and some have a low amount of CME (e.g., DVD viewing)."
"Madison Avenue was once known for men in gray flannel suits. Today some of its most credible foot soldiers wear T shirts and sneakers. They are 280,000 strong, ages 13 to 19, all of them enlisted by an arm of Procter & Gamble called Tremor
. Their mission is to help companies plant information about their brands in living rooms, schools and other crevices that are difficult for corporate America to infiltrate. These kids deliver endorsements in school cafeterias, at sleepovers, by cell phone and by e-mail. They are being tapped to talk up just about everything, from movies to milk and motor oil--and they do it for free."
-- Commercial Alert
Vatican on Advertising
"Especially since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has frequently addressed the question of the media and their role and responsibilities. She has sought to do so in a fundamentally positive manner, viewing the media as "gifts of God" which, in accordance with his providential design, bring people together and "help them to cooperate with his plan for their salvation."
-- Pontifical Council for Social Communications
"Everything I Touch" Photo Ethnography
Jan Chipchase writes
about an interesting variation of the photo-ethnographic research method called "Everything-I-Touch":
"Using a digital camera, the participant is asked to take a photo of everything they touch for at least half a day sometimes from the moment they get up. If you like user research data, the results are a rich orgy of the mundane. The method was successful enough in achieving its original aims, but also yielded other interesting data such as highlighting the flow of the day, the order in which tasks were completed - people likely to pee before checking the weather in the mornings, and understanding the range of contexts where the user spends time."
PETA Gives Away Colonel Cruelty Masks
PETA is giving away Psycho Colonel Sanders masks
just in time for Halloween to protest KFC's cruel treatment of chicken. Buy a mask from Burger King
for your significant other, and you can stage Colonel's cruelty toward Subservient Chicken, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
How the Open Source Revolution Impacts Your Brands
Advertising Age runs a column by Bob Garfield
on the effects of emerging open-source culture on brands:
In the distance? It’s a crowd forming -- a crowd of what you used to call your “audience.” They’re still an audience, but they aren’t necessarily listening to you. They’re listening to each other talk about you. And they’re using your products, your brand names, your iconography, your slogans, your trademarks, your designs, your goodwill, all of it as if it belonged to them -- which, in a way, it all does, because, after all, haven’t you spent decades, and trillions, to convince them of just that?"
If you don't have a password for free access, pick it up at BugMeNot.com
Burger King Farked
Burger King's masks
ended up in the Photoshop-happy paws of Farkers
Burger King Halloween Masks
Burger King gives you a great chance
to creep your friends out this Halloween by dressing up as the ever smiling King or the Subservient Chicken. Brand-mascot costumes? Why not. Last-year's hit was the iPod ad outfit
Smurfs' Village Bombed in an Ad
"The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.
The short but chilling film is the work of Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, and is to be broadcast on national television next week as a campaign advertisement."
Insipired by Escher's Relativity
, created by Alien Loves Predator
, found via Jack Cheng
Kinder Chocolate Icon Publishes Memoirs
"Guenter Euringer, whose dazzling smile has helped sell millions of boxes of chocolate bars, is now 42 and ready to talk about his secret life as an icon. His autobiography, The Chocolate Child, was launched in Munich on Tuesday. The question he is always asked is how much he earned for the advertisement - and the answer, he says, is just 300 Deutschmarks (150 euros or £100). Curiously, Mr Euringer's face has begun to be replaced on Kinder chocolates in Switzerland in recent weeks" (bottom photo, spotted by a Flickr user