Trump running Facebook ads asking people to attend inauguration

We knew President-elect Donald Trump was having trouble finding acts willing to perform at his inauguration, but now we know he's worried about public turnout too. How? Because he's running Facebook ads begging New Yorkers to attend. Read the rest

Scottish techno version of 1980s Turkish Delight ad

Fry's Turkish Delight was full of Eastern Promise in the fabulous yet problematic 1980s UK advertisement embedded here. The amazing thing about it is how it made me, a child, think that eating this vile substance1 might be a good idea; when I did so, as a result of this ad, I instantly and completely understood the power and magic of advertising.

Below is Limmy's "Scottish remix" of the Fry's Turkish Delight theme, which somehow captures all of these feelings and contexts ("It's like eating an old woman's perfume") and nails them to the tree of wonders. [via]

Limmy's Soundcloud is going to keep me occupied all day; sadly, he hasn't done a techno remix of The Ambassador's Reception yet.

1. I know that real Turkish Delight is different and better. Read the rest

Beijing subway ad for an anti-smog rebreather

Bloomberg Asia journalist David Ramli tweeted this photo of a bicep-mounted anti-pollution filter for joggers, displayed on the wall of a Beijing subway station, the day after Beijing posted record pollution levels, 24X the WHO recommendations, with 24 other cities issuing red alerts. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Mumbai's beggars and Trump Tower billboard: not fake news

Last weekend, your social media feed might have featured this photo of beggars sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai, in front of a Trump Tower billboard emblazoned "There is only one way to live. The Trump Way." Read the rest

Public Citizen's Fox News ad shows Trump putting a fox in every henhouse

Public Citizen's extraordinary new 74-second political ad features audio of Donald Trump promising to end the role of big money, lobbyists, and special interests in politics, contrasted with headlines describing the industrial big-money ties of his transition team and cabinet picks, packed with billionaires, notorious CEOs of corrupt companies, offshoring specialists, and other looters. Read the rest

Sneaky ultrasonic adware makes homes vulnerable to ultrasonic hacking

Earlier this year, companies like Silverpush were outed for sneaking ultrasonic communications channels into peoples' devices, so that advertisers could covertly link different devices to a single user in order to build deeper, more complete surveillance profiles of them. Read the rest

Texas county commissioner candidate's election ad is pretty great

Gerald Daugherty, a Republican county commissioner in the Austin-area Travis County, has produced one of the best ad-spots of the season, depicting him as a politics-obsessed public servant whose long-suffering, side-eyeing wife can't wait for him to be re-elected so she won't have to listen to him drone on about how much he wants to help people and fix things in the county. Read the rest

Facebook's crackdown on publishers feeds has sites paying celebs to repost

Facebook -- which accounts for as much as 75% of the traffic to popular websites -- tweaked its algorithm to downrank those same publishers, who had been engaged in an arms-race to dominate Facebook users' feeds through techniques intended to gain high rank in Facebook's secret scoring system. Read the rest

Martin Shkreli offers a bailout to ailing 4chan

Meme factory/Anonymous birthplace/alt-right breeding ground 4chan is facing challenges similar to those plaguing all ad-supported sites, but as with all things channish, 4chan's problems have their own unique and grotesque wrinkles. Read the rest

1916 ad chides Congress for not investing in pneumatic tubes for first class mail delivery

Scott Edelman writes, "An ad in the December 1916 issue of The Scoop, a magazine 'written by newspaper men for newspaper men,' decries the fact Congress appropriated funds for continued mail delivery by pneumatic tubes in New York City, but failed to do the same for Chicago, and insists the loss of that technology 'would be calamitous.' At the time, 10 miles of two-way, eight-inch tubes running under Chicago delivered 8,000,000 pieces of mail daily. To the suggestion that mail should instead be delivered by trucks rather than pneumatic tubes, the question is asked, 'If we are going backward, why not get a wheelbarrow?'" Read the rest

British chocolate ad worth watching

This ad for UK chocolate brand Maltesers—like Whoppers, but edible—is airing during the paralympic games. When there is so much about British media to appreciate never having to see again, this reminds me of what I miss most. Read the rest

Even the woo industry thinks Gwyneth Paltrow's "smoothie dust" ads are too much

Gwyneth Paltrow is patient zero in many epidemics of terrible health ideas (remember the time she told women to steam their vaginas, a practice that can lead to burns [duh] and bacterial imbalances, and which provides none of the claimed benefits?) but finally, she and her lifestye site Goop have gone too far, prompting even the National Ad Division (the self-regulating arm of the unregulated "supplement" industry) to tell her knock it off. Read the rest

Facebook declares war on adblockers, claims it can prevent them detecting ads

Facebook claims it has developed a way to force ads to appear irrespective of whether visitors are using adblockers, and will soon begin doing so. The Wall Street Journal reports that the technique is "relatively easy" because Facebook doesn't use third-party ad tech—another way of saying that as Facebook serves both content and ads itself, it is at liberty to make them technically indistinguishable from one another.

“This isn’t motivated by inventory; it’s not an opportunity for Facebook from that perspective,” Mr. Bosworth said. “We’re doing it more for the principle of the thing. We want to help lead the discussion on this.”

It'd be understandable if they took an ads-or-GTFO attitude, or presented this as a fuck-you to adblocking companies, many of which are now sleazy middlemen who can be bought off (which Facebook has vowed not to do.) But Facebook insists that users damage the "Facebook experience" when they take matters into their own hands, so it's still, to them, a battle for control over what users can do on their own computers.

Depending on how they are counted, between a quarter and a third of users block ads. Desktop ads account for only a small portion of Facebook's total ad revenue, but command higher rates than mobile ads and are apparently regarded as a soft target for growth:

Facebook stands to gain financially from showing ads to ad-blocking users. On the company’s second-quarter earnings call in July, Facebook executives said its “ad load”—the volume of ads its users typically see—was in a “good zone.” That means it doesn’t think it can push many more ads to users than they already see during the time they are spending on the social network.

Read the rest

Pro-tar-sands activists say dirty Canadian oil is better because "lesbians are hot"

The "In Canada lesbians are considered hot!" campaign is the brainchild of Robbie Picard, a tar-sands booster from Fort McMurray, Alberta. Read the rest

Post-Brexit, white-power handbills blanket a north London street

Twitter user LDLDN posted this image of a racist National Front poster on a lamppost in Camden, a neighborhood in north London -- a relatively affluent, diverse neighborhood dominated by a giant subculture market, two huge train stations (St Pancras and King's Cross), a university, and the British Library. Read the rest

Mocap is magic

This 2:47 showreel from Method Studios was produced for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers Awards, as an exuberant celebration of the many possibilities of motion-capture: simply combine talented dancers, pingpong balls, and computer graphics artists, shake and strain, and voila, the impossible is real. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Official corporate song anticipates freedom through an alliance of man and machine

Thinking machines are people, friend. I learned this when I chanced across electronics giant Ricoh's official corporate song. It has only 150 plays and is the only item in one of the company's myriad of localized YouTube channels, but I thought that its vision of a future alliance between man and machine compellingly inspirational. I have transcribed the lyrics below so you can sing along. There are multiple microprocessors within vocal range and all will be pleased. Read the rest

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