For those of us for whom multitasking is a high art, a South Korean retail experiment combining grocery shopping with commuting looks like a godsend.
In a bid to boost online sales, grocery retailer Tesco covered the walls of a Korean subway station with photos of its merchandise arranged on store shelves. Each item was endowed with a QR code, those black-and-white squares recognized by smartphones, and commuters on their way in to work could snap pictures of the codes with phones to fill a virtual shopping cart. They paid for their items via an app, and the food was delivered to their homes after they got home from work.
No after-work grocery shopping crush, no squeaky-wheeled carts, no post-apocalyptic check-out lines. Just a little less time devoted to playing Angry Birds on the platform.
“Advertising for monkeys” is just too good a phrase to pass up.
Even since ads created for a study investigating whether monkeys respond to billboards debuted at the Cannes Lions ad conference, the headlines have been flowing freely. We learn Yale primatologist Laurie Santos and two ad executives came up with the idea at last year’s TED, after Santos gave a talk on her experiments showing that monkeys that learn to use money are as irrational about it as we are.
Ad firm Proton has now developed two billboards to hang outside capuchin monkeys’ enclosures, and the researchers plan to see whether they will prefer one kind of food, or “brand,” over another when it is shown in close proximity to some titillating photos, including a “graphic shot” of a female monkey exposing her genitals and a shot of the troop’s alpha male with the food.
By Lena Groeger
The abysmal flop of the Gap logo redesign has prompted a flurry of critique from marketing experts, branding consultants, as well as the inner critic in each of us that wants to explain what, exactly, went so wrong.
Now another group is chiming in: neuroscientists. NeuroFocus, one of the leading neuromarketing firms in the country, just released an analysis of why our deep subconscious rejected the Gap logo with such finality. Here are some of their findings:
1. When words overlap with images, as in the unsuccessful Gap logo, our brain tends to bypass the word and focus on the image. So we ignore the “p” when it’s placed over the blue box (for the Gap name, that’s a big fail).
Warning: Some viewers might find the video below disturbing and graphic.
In a move that some are calling a misguided publicity stunt, the environmental activist group 10:10 Climate Change Campaign produced and released a gory and disturbing short film, similar to Plane Stupid’s “Polar Bear” video (warning: also gory), to promote the climate change action day scheduled for October 10, 2010 (or 10/10/10).
In the video above, people who don’t pledge themselves to 10:10′s cause (including school children and Gillian Anderson) are exploded into red, chunky goo with the press of a button. It was released last week and has resulted in a media backlash, including Sony’s retraction of support of the cause. It even inspired a cartoon.
Not only does the video offend and disgust, but the New York Times’s Dot Earth Blog summarized another main problem with the video–the dark shadow the negative publicity has spread over the entirety of the climate change debate:
If the goal had been to convince people that environmental campaigners have lost their minds and to provide red meat (literally) to shock radio hosts and pundits fighting curbs on greenhouse gases, it worked like a charm. Of course the goal might have been buzz more than efficacy. Too often these days, that’s the online norm. They succeeded on that front. I, among many others, am forced to write about it. Congratulations.
It would be an advertiser’s dream: knowing the exact location in your brain that indicates whether an ad has worked, and whether you intend to buy that cat food or wear that suntan lotion. Now, some researchers claim they’ve found a region which might predict whether viewers will act on what a commercial tells them.
For a study published yesterday in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers asked 20 participants to listen to a series of “persuasive messages.” While the test subjects listened, researchers used an fMRI to record the activity in various regions in their brains. The study was small–but researchers say that, with these 20 participants, they could determine many of these listeners’ intentions by looking at a region associated with self-consciousness, called the medial prefrontal cortex.
The subjects listened to messages covering a range of subjects, but the team, lead by Matthew Lieberman at UCLA, was really interested in a public service message about the importance of using sunscreen. Before the brain scans, researchers surveyed the participants about a variety of their behaviors, including their expected sunscreen use for the next week.
What’s a quick way to make some cash? Sell advertising space on anything you’ve got. That’s what a proposed bill suggests to put a dent in California’s $19 billion deficit. If the bill gets passed, the state will roll out digital car license plate ads for traveling promotion.
While the car is in motion, the plates will display the driver’s standard license plate number, but four seconds after stopping the magic happens. The plates will then flash ads alongside the number until the car starts to move again.
This bill was the bright idea of Curren Price, a democratic state senator from Los Angeles, who told the AP:
“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” he said. “It’s an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront.”
Over the years of our addiction to the great idiot box, television, we’ve gradually learned to block out the pesky commercials that interrupt and interfere with our viewing pleasure with their yammering attempts to sell us things. Unfortunately, this has only led marketers to wonder how they could influence our buying decisions in more subtle ways, ushering in a new era of creepy ideas that smack of brainwashing.
The first idea was product placement, where the stars of TV shows drank a certain brand of fizzy soda or typed on a certain brand of computer. But now that most viewers are hip to these product placements, the marketers and networks have stepped it up a notch to reclaim our attention again. NBC has introduced “behavior placement,” wherein certain behaviors are written into the show’s narrative in order to foist a more nebulous kind of marketing on us.
For a week in April, NBC will use its shows to convince viewers to “get green,” compost, or otherwise save the planet. The benefits for advertisers are two-fold. Some companies simply want to link their brand to a feel-good and socially aware show, while other companies–like those that sell energy-efficient lightbulbs or organic household cleaning products–think advertising on these shows will directly boost sales.
The Web site for POM pomegranate juice makes some pretty extreme claims, strongly implying that the juice can prevent or help treat diseases like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and even erectile dysfunction. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has said such claims are misleading and are not allowed on food products, according to a report in The New York Times. If POM wants to make such claims, the FDA stated, it will have to be regulated as a drug.
In a crackdown on companies with misleading labels, the FDA shot off warning letters asking 17 companies to clean up their act.