Posts concerning advertising

Spam Break

23:21 28 Feb 2011

Since adding reCAPTCHA to my comment forms, the amount of spam comments I’m getting has dropped. Initially it dropped to almost nothing, but now it’s back up to several a day, which is annoying but not unmanageable. Still too high, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t have email on my phone.

Before the current point of manageable spam was reached, however, I had accumulated 15,000 pending comments for my blog.

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Rather Better Than a Cover Letter

18:55 13 May 2010

It might sound like a cheesy stunt, but I have a hard time coming up with a more fitting way to land a job at an advertising agency.

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“I’m a Mac—and I only date other Macs”

23:53 07 May 2010

A dating site for Apple fans only. I don’t think we need much more evidence that buying Apple products is status signalling much of the time. Maybe not always, but clearly it’s a big part of it. And I say this as someone who likes, and has, Apple laptops.

The thought of basing dating pools on brand allegiance makes me queasy. If it doesn’t make you queasy, I suspect that either you’re already way more cynical than I am, or you’re unaware of the degree to which you’ve been manipulated by advertising.

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Giles Bowkett on Finding New Programming Jobs

15:52 23 Mar 2010. Updated: 17:58 23 Mar 2010

It’s too long, it’s full of self-promotion, and really it’s an ad for a video he’s selling, but it’s entertaining and contains some good advice: “Programmers: What to do if You Get Fired”.

This might be the best line:

If you’re looking for a better job, writing an amazing resume is a good place to start. I don’t mean just a better resume; I mean a resume that makes people stop asking if they should hire you and start asking if they can afford you.

Annoyingly, I find myself tempted to buy that video after reading his post…

So far, his 2008 presentation at RubyFringe seems pretty entertaining too. Maybe you should watch it after you’ve updated your résumé.

Update: at the end of that presentation, he says “build something because you believe it should exist”, which I agree with 100%.

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Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

15:08 29 Oct 2009

Those would be advertising and flies. Yes, flies. A German company decided to attract attention by attaching banner advertisements to flies at a trade show.

I assume that means that they’re responsible for introducing flies into the trade show, rather than having harvested flies already present, which is… interesting.

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The Smart Choice is Froot

13:29 18 Sep 2009

Apparently in response to increased public interest in eating better, the American food manufacturing industry has put together a campaign called Smart Choices. This is essentially a marketing effort masquerading as a health information campaign, as demonstrated quite well by the fact that Froot Loops qualify as a “smart choice”.

To defend this, the president of the Smart Choices board, Eileen T. Kennedy, gave the New York Times one of the most egregious pieces of dodgy rhetoric I’ve seen in quite some time:

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”

—William Neuman. “For Your Health, Froot Loops”. The New York Times, 04 September 2009.


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04:02 20 Jun 2008

A distraction of an entirely different kind, taking my mind off things by being deeply reprehensible, creepy, and disturbing:

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This Week’s Flash Game: Portal

23:55 16 Nov 2007

This is a side-scrolling platform/puzzle game based on the idea of a “portal gun” that can create portals on surfaces. Fire one onto one wall, the second onto another wall, step through the first, emerge through the second. It’s essentially an ad for the three-dimensional version from Valve, but it’s still fun.

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21:42 31 Aug 2007

I’m reading Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs at the moment. It’s an exploration of what Levy calls “raunch culture”, the pornographization of American mainstream culture. One of her points that I think is worth examining is the distinction between sexiness and sexuality.

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Musings on Social Control

23:40 24 Feb 2007. Updated: 02:49 25 Feb 2007

One of the key problems with attempting to suppress certain behaviors in a subject population is that you end up introducing corruption into your system of government. I’m really referring to attempts to suppress behaviors that are popular in themselves (drinking alcohol being a classic example). You can’t really enforce demand, and most of the population will know that the proscribed activity goes on all the time behind closed doors.

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Super Bowl Ads

23:44 04 Feb 2007. Updated: 00:45 05 Feb 2007

I’ll probably write about the game itself at some point, but wow, I thought the ads were terrible.

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