marketing

You’ve changed. That sparkle in your eyes has gone.

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Merely changing the face of a model in an ad increases the number of potential purchasers by as much as 15% (8% on average), according to a study being published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

{ Informs | Continue reading }

art { Martial Raysse, Life is so complex, 1966 | more }

related { Real-time makeup using projection mapping }

‘I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.’ —Kant

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The present research provides empirical evidence that drug names may entail implicit promises about their therapeutic power. We asked people to evaluate the perceived efficacy and risk associated with hypothetical drug names and other secondary related measures. We compared opaque (without meaning), functional (targeting the health issue that the drug is meant to solve) and persuasive (targeting the expected outcome of the treatment) names. Persuasive names were perceived as more efficacious and less risky than both opaque and functional names, suggesting that names that target the expected outcome of the drug may bias the perception of risk and efficacy.

{ Applied Cognitive Psychology }

oil on canvas { Vincent van Gogh, Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette , 1886 }

The bags under my eyes right now are reaaaal

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{ Why the Trix Rabbit Looks Down on You | FiveThirtyEight | full story }

Ivan Ilych saw that he was dying, and he was in continual despair

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People whose cellphones move at a certain clip across city parks between 5:30 and 8:30 every morning are flagged by Viasense’s algorithm as “early morning joggers.” When you give your smartphone permission to access your location, you may be sharing a lot more than you realize.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. […]

Table S1 presents a sample of highly predictive Likes related to each of the attributes. For example, the best predictors of high intelligence include “Thunderstorms,” “The Colbert Report,” “Science,” and “Curly Fries,” whereas low intelligence was indicated by “Sephora,” “I Love Being A Mom,” “Harley Davidson,” and “Lady Antebellum.” Good predictors of male homosexuality included “No H8 Campaign,” “Mac Cosmetics,” and “Wicked The Musical,” whereas strong predictors of male heterosexuality included “Wu-Tang Clan,” “Shaq,” and “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps.” Although some of the Likes clearly relate to their predicted attribute, as in the case of No H8 Campaign and homosexuality, other pairs are more elusive; there is no obvious connection between Curly Fries and high intelligence.

Moreover, note that few users were associated with Likes explicitly revealing their attributes. For example, less than 5% of users labeled as gay were connected with explicitly gay groups, such as No H8 Campaign, “Being Gay,” “Gay Marriage,” “I love Being Gay,” “We Didn’t Choose To Be Gay We Were Chosen.” […]

Predicting users’ individual attributes and preferences can be used to improve numerous products and services. For instance, digital systems and devices (such as online stores or cars) could be designed to adjust their behavior to best fit each user’s inferred profile. Also, the relevance of marketing and product recommendations could be improved by adding psychological dimensions to current user models. For example, online insurance advertisements might emphasize security when facing emotionally unstable (neurotic) users but stress potential threats when dealing with emotionally stable ones.

{ PNAS | PDF }

related { PhD candidate in sociology explains his experiences working for Facebook }

photo { Albert Moldvay, A woman shops for a fur coat at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, 1964 }

‘The meaning lies in the appropriation.’ ―Kierkegaard

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{ The photo features a real soldier and his girlfriend, according to a San Diego TV station, and the ad is inspired by a real married couple, according to the website of SnoreStop, the company using the ad. […] The ad is selling a throat spray that is supposed to help people stop snoring and thus keep them “together.” | Military Times | Continue reading }

‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ –Sir Claus Moser

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“News is what somebody does not want you to print. All the rest is advertising,” […]

In 2014, the fastest-growing form of online “content” is an epidemic of heartwarming videos (“One Mother Did Something Illegal To Help Her Kids, And This Cop Was Totally, Unexpectedly Cool”), funny lists (“33 Reasons Miley Cyrus Was Actually The Best Thing To Happen To 2013”) and click-bait headlines from sites such as BuzzFeed, Upworthy and ViralNova.

Rather than being found on news sites or through search engines, they flourish on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. While reporters pride themselves on digging out bad news and awkward facts, these stories often appeal to positive emotions – affection, admiration and awe. They are packaged to make people share content with friends, and to spread like a virus.

Some of this is advertising – BuzzFeed designs viral campaigns for companies that are difficult to tell apart from its other output. Much of it has an advertising-like aspect. […]

One study of 7,000 New York Times articles by two professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that sad stories were the least shared because sadness is a low-arousal, negative state.

{ FT | Continue reading }

My advice to teens who DON’T want to get pregnant and become a statistic, in one word: anal

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The auto-playing ads will appear on both the desktop version of Facebook and the mobile app for Android and iOS phones. But the ads won’t gobble up a bunch of costly data while playing. Facebook said the videos will download ahead of time while the user is within range of Wi-Fi, not while using cellular data like 4G. The app has to be open for the ad to download. The video ad is stored on the phone – how much storage it takes up is an open question — and then played at the appropriate scroll point.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

related { Facebook saves everything you type - even if you don’t publish it }

the regenerations of the incarnations of the emanations of the apparentations of Funn and Nin in Cleethabala

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{ JPMorgan is taking questions from Twitter | What exactly possesses PR people into thinking it’s a wise idea to launch live “Twitter Q&As?” }

And the drum beat goes like this

They say any artist paying six dollars may exhibit. Mr. Richard Mutt sent in a fountain.

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We’re basically asking the 70 year-old fuselage of a DC-9 to go supersonic. […] Same with the ad industry model.

The system is set up to reward layers, reward churn (hours-based work) and reward quick, incremental successes Vs. real ‘innovation’ or cutting edge and efficient ideas that could transform business. Whether that’s evidenced by brand managers who simply need to move the needle in order to get promoted or ad execs who need to get an award to jump up in a position, it’s apparent everybody’s pushing for short term gains, small passes that move the needle just a few points and add enough time and layers to bill.

This is what clients are paying for, encouraging and perpetuating. Starting with the pitch process (albeit, the first massive outlay is from agencies themselves. But if they win your business – they’ll get it back).

Client processes are what keep that status quo in place. Agencies are not innovating their own model fast enough only because they can’t. The agency model of the now is still making all the money. But it’s the model of the 1960′s.

One example is media. Often, agencies are presented with a media schedule before there’s even a concept. […] It’s kind of like handing us an expensive megaphone and only then being told to try to soothe a baby to sleep. […]

(there are plenty of those ‘innovative’ ideas sitting around anyway, but most don’t get made in a system that rewards overspending Vs. outthinking).

{ Tim Geoghegan | Continue reading }

If you want money in your pocket, you want a top hat on your head

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{ Boards of Canada code found hidden in messageboard banner; might include title of new record | Fact | full story }

More matter with less art

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“There’s a huge amount of vodka that’s sold for drinking at home,” Lieskovsky says. “But no one knew where it was really going”—apart from down someone’s throat eventually, and on a bad night perhaps back up again. Was it treated as a sacred fluid, not to be polluted or adulterated except by an expert mixologist? Some Absolut advertising and iconography suggested exactly this, assuming understandably that buyers of a “premium” vodka would want laboratory precision for their cocktails. Another possibility was that the drinkers might not care much about the purity of the product, and that bringing it to a party merely lubricated social interaction. “We wanted to know what they are seeking,” Lieskovsky says. “Do they want the ‘perfect’ cocktail party? Is it all about how they present themselves to their friends, for status? Is it collaboration, friendship, fun?”

Over the course of the company’s research, the rituals gradually emerged. “One after another, you see the same thing,” Lieskovsky told me. “Someone comes with a bottle. She gives it to the host, then the host puts it in the freezer and listens to the story of where the bottle came from, and why it’s important.” And then, when the bottle is served, it goes right out onto the table with all the other booze, the premium spirits and the bottom-shelf hooch mixed together, in a vision of alcoholic egalitarianism that would make a pro bartender or a cocktail snob cringe.

What mattered most, to the partygoers and their hosts, were the narratives that accompanied the drinks. […]

The corporate anthropology that ReD and a few others are pioneering is the most intense form of market research yet devised, a set of techniques that make surveys and dinnertime robo-calls (“This will take only 10 minutes of your time”) seem superficial by comparison. ReD is one of just a handful of consultancies that treat everyday life—and everyday consumerism—as a subject worthy of the scrutiny normally reserved for academic social science.

{ The Atlantic | Continue reading | Thanks Tim }