Botwars vs ad-tech: the origin story of universal surveillance on the Internet


Maciej Cegłowski's posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet's problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called "What Happens Next Will Amaze You." Read the rest

Dooce quits mommyblogging amid toxic pressure from advertisers


As the supply of publishers went up, advertisers gained leverage they could use to insist on more invasive ads and more unethical editorial practices. Read the rest

Fantastic car ad by stop motion master PES


PES created this advertisement for Honda. I hope they're grateful.

Read the rest

Creator of number one best selling app pulls it from app store: "Just doesn’t feel good"


A well-known software developer pulled his wildly successful ad-blocking utility just two days after releasing it on Apple's App Store. Marco Arment, who co-founded Tumblr and created Instapaper and Overcast, says he felt guilty about selling the ad-blocker, called Peace, because it "just doesn’t feel good." Arment explained why he pulled the app in a post on his blog (which runs ads served by The Deck):

I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today, and I still think Ghostery is the best one, but I’ve learned over the last few crazy days that I don’t feel good making one and being the arbiter of what’s blocked.

Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides. I see war in the Tao Te Ching sense: it should be avoided when possible; when that isn’t possible, war should be entered solemnly, not celebrated.

Even though I’m “winning”, I’ve enjoyed none of it. That’s why I’m withdrawing from the market.

He is giving refunds to everyone who purchased the app. Read the rest

Nutty vintage ads for drug paraphernalia

Far out vintage ads for drug paraphernalia, from a water pipe that looks like a set of bathroom fixtures to "The Boosters," a brand of additives that moisten weed and act as a desiccant for cocaine. Read the rest

Bud Light's weird and bad "Grunge" commercial from the 1990s


"Want some Bud Light, want some Bud Light, hey, yeahhhhhh!" Read the rest

WATCH: Our robot overlords will excel at ping-pong

This ad from Omron Automation & Safety intends to make advanced automation seem fun, but the execution makes it seem like your future will depend on whether you win your sudden death table tennis match with a robotic version of the Aliens xenomorph. Read the rest

Watch the Jackson 5's cereal commercials

Long before the infamous Pepsi commercial, Michael Jackson and his brothers pitched breakfast cereal! Read the rest

"Greedy Bastard" burger criticized


A very large hamburger marketed by New Zealand food chain Burger Fuel has attracted the ire of national regulators. Read the rest

Watch: DeSotos in space!


A fantastic TV commercial for DeSoto automobiles from 1957. (via Weird Universe)

Read the rest

Clever food festival posters turn produce into landscapes


These delightful images were created to celebrate an annual food and culture festival in Brazil. Read the rest

Watch: I was Ronald McDonald


From 1995 to 2007, Joe Maggard was Ronald McDonald. "The clown is right in there. The clown is ready to go." Read the rest

The real state of neuromarketing


Remember the hype about neuromarketing, the use of brain imaging and other technologies to directly measure consumer preference or the effect of advertisements on our unconscious? In The Guardian, Vaughan "Mind Hacks" Bell looks at the latest in neuromarketing and breaks it down into "advertising fluff, serious research, and applied neuroscience." From The Guardian:

First, it’s important to realise that the concept of neuroscience is used in different ways in marketing. Sometimes, it’s just an empty ploy aimed at consumers – the equivalent of putting a bikini-clad body next to your product for people who believe they’re above the bikini ploy. A recent Porsche advert (video above) apparently showed a neuroscience experiment suggesting that the brain reacts in a similar way to driving their car and flying a fighter jet, but it was all glitter and no gold. The images were computer-generated, the measurements impossible, and the scientist an actor.

In complete contrast, neuromarketing is also a serious research area. This is a scientifically sound, genuinely interesting field in cognitive science, where the response to products and consumer decision-making is understood on the level of body and mind. This might involve looking at how familiar brand logos engage the memory systems in the brain, or examining whether the direction of eye gaze of people in ads affects how attention-grabbing they are, or testing whether the brain’s electrical activity varies when watching subtly different ads. Like most of cognitive neuroscience, the studies are abstract, ultra-focused and a long way from everyday experience.

Read the rest

On Big Data's shrinking returns

In my new Guardian column, I point out that the big-data-driven surveillance business model is on the rocks. Read the rest

Free record with underwear purchase


I wish I got a free 7" when I bought a new pack of briefs. Read the rest

Why we can't remember ubiquitous logos, even Apple's


UCLA psychology professor Alan Castel ran an experiment where more than 100 students drew the Apple logo from memory, and the results were surprisingly terrible. Why? Read the rest

Internet users care about their privacy but have given up on safeguarding it

It's not a fair trade, and everyone knows it.

More posts