Instagram "influencers" phished and accounts stolen

Instagram influencers are easy marks for phishers: they are unlikely to be security-savvy, are easily taken-in by marketing patter, have huge easily-grifted audiences, and Instagram won't even give them their accounts back afterward. Taylor Lorenz:

For young influencers with no direct contacts at Instagram or Facebook, it can be nearly impossible to retrieve a stolen account. Hackers will change the contact email address and phone number and reset the username so the account is impossible to find. Then, they’ll run ads on it until they can sell the whole page off for a large price, sometimes more than a hundred thousand dollars.

Faisal Shafique, a college student who Instagrams under the handle @Fact, said that he earns roughly $300,000 a year from posting sponsored content for brands like TikTok and Fashion Nova. When Brooks seized control of his account several weeks ago, it put those brand deals in jeopardy, potentially costing him his livelihood. Shafique was able to retrieve his account back before it was sold off, but he estimates he would have lost a half-a-million-dollar property if he hadn’t.

See also The Rise of the Nanoinfluencer -- people with smaller but still exploitable social media followings who get paid in care packages of the (sometimes expensive) stuff they post about. Read the rest

These Halloween dog treats are called "Bits O' Brains"

I'm not sure what's funnier about these Halloween dog treats: the fact that they exist or that they're clled "Bits O' Brains"!

My friend Lisa just spotted these at a local Bay Area Target and I was amused, to say the least. I mean, the dog on the package has his own brains exposed. Are we feeding dogs the (all natural, soft and chewy) brains of other dogs? I kid, of course. (I went to the Blue Dog Bakery website for an ingredients list and could not find the product at all.)

I mean, I knew Thanksgiving dog food was a thing but Halloween dog food is new and hilarious to me. I was going to make a joke about how they'll probably make Easter dog food next but they beat me to the punch.

Thanks, Lisa! Read the rest

Summary of how brands manipulate idiots on Twitter

Poolboy nails one of the three most pernicious forms of marketing trends: the ironic self-deprecating brand run by some douchey social media manager: Read the rest

Dunkin' Donuts drops Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts will still sell donuts but, as of January, shall only be Dunkin'.

According to CNN, "The makeover is part of Dunkin' Brand's efforts to relabel itself as a 'beverage-led' company that focuses on coffees, teas, speedy service and to-go food including -— but not limited to — doughnuts."

Read the rest

Nap lounge opens in New York City

Mattress company Casper opened The Dreamery in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. For $25, you get a 45 minute session in one of the nap pods. You can even borrow a pair of pajamas for your snooze. And of course after you pay for this demo of Casper mattresses, you can buy your very own at their shop just around the corner! From The Dreamery:

Uniquely designed for rest, each Nook is a perfectly private, quiet pod with the most comfortable bed imaginable (a Casper mattress, of course). All bedding is freshly laundered for each new dreamer.

The Nook also features:

• Auto-fading lights • A pendant light for reading • Sound absorbing back wall • Ventilation for airflow • A bedside shelf with outlets

(via Uncrate) Read the rest

The real meaning behind DEVO's Energy Dome helmets

They're not dog bowls or flower pots, though DEVO's iconic red plastic vacuum-formed helmets, their "Energy Domes," have been mistaken for such things.

On the fan-site DEVO-OBSESSO, DEVO's co-founder and bass player Gerald ("Jerry") Casale explains their original intent (outside links mine):

It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects the Orgone energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy. It's very important that you use the foam insert (which is included with every Dome when purchased from ClubDevo.com), or better yet, get a plastic hardhat liner, adjust it to your head size and affix it with duct tape or Super Glue to the inside of the Dome. This allows the Dome to "float" just above the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans foam insert or hardhat liner, the recirculation of energy WILL NOT occur.

Mark Mothersbaugh, the band's co-founder, lead singer and keyboardist, shared with Fecal Face in 2008:

We did the red energy dome, which was useful besides being an icon— it was a useful icon. You probably know this very well, but your orgone energy goes out the top of your head...and it dissipates out the top, but if you wear an energy dome it recycles that energy. It comes back down and showers back down on you and, among other things, you remain manly, shall we say, for maybe another 150 years of your life, probably.

Read the rest

The future has arrived with these lemonade "jet packs"

I'm no futurist but I think I've spotted the future of beverage-dispensing devices. Marin County Fair vendor Phil's Lemonade is selling lemonade-filled (philled?) jetpacks for $19.99 a pop. Phil'er up!

Previously: Deep-fried filet mignon, spaghetti donuts, and "unicorn-specific" foods debut at the San Diego County Fair

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff Read the rest

Country Time will pay your kids' lemonade stand fines this summer

If your kid gets fined for running an unlicensed lemonade stand this summer, or has to pay to get a license to operate a stand, Country Time will pay the first $300 in expenses, to a maximum of $60,000 in fines between now and Aug 31 (sorry, Labor Day parade lemonade stands, you're SOL). It's a genius promotion, which is not something I say often. (via Kottke) Read the rest

IHOP isn't really changing it's name to IHOb, but here's what the "b" stands for

IHOP caused quite a stir last week by claiming they are changing the restaurant chain's name to IHOb. They aren't. It's (duh) a marketing stunt and the "b" stands for "burgers." From the New York Times:

Many people said they were distressed, some because they hate the sound of the new word, others because they love pancakes. (Pancakes remain on the restaurant’s menu.) Still others pointed out that the “changed” logo, with its lowercase b, resembled that of o.b. tampons....

Brad Haley, IHOP’s chief marketing officer, said that the idea had been proposed by the marketing firm Droga5 in November. He said that only one IHOP location, on Sunset Boulevard, had undergone a design change in response to the new (fake) name, which is meant to promote a product line of Ultimate Steakburgers.

Read the rest

Ad brokers are selling the fact that you visited an emergency room to ambulance-chasing lawyers

Philadelphia's WHYY radio reports that visitors to the city's hospital emergency room are blitzed for weeks with ads for personal injury lawyers, thanks to "geofenced ad" brokerages. Read the rest

Fantastic psychedelic Levi's commercials from the early 1970s

In the early 1970s, Levi's ran these fantastic psychedelic TV commercials with narration by Ken Nordine, the beat creator of the pioneering Word Jazz albums of the 1950s that melded far-out poetry with hip musical accompaniment. Far fucking out.

Read the rest

Good riddance to Klout, horseman of the influencer apocalypse

Social rating site Klout saw where society was heading with influencer marketing, but like many bad ideas that were a little ahead of their time, Klout will not live on to see the devastation they helped usher in. Read the rest

Boring company makes "the world's most boring billboard" and promises to keep it up for 12 years

Sioo:x Wood Protection is a boring company. That doesn't mean its products aren't important. It's just hard to jump up and down with glee over wood protection. Nevertheless, the "world's most boring billboard" that Sioo:x installed in Malmö, Sweden is pretty cool. It's a triple sided outdoor display made of wood that's been treated with preservative. The billboard will remain outdoors for 12 years as a way to demonstrate the effectiveness of Sioo:x's treatment against long term exposure to the harsh environmental insults handed out by Sweden's unforgiving weather. Read the rest

Just because Cambridge Analytica tells its customers it can sway elections, it doesn't follow that they're any good at it

Unilever founder John Wanamaker famously said, "I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half." It's an odd testament to the power of advertising, an industry whose executives are incredibly effective at selling their services to other executives, even if they can't prove they're any good at selling their customers' products to the public. Read the rest

Forced GIFs are the new forced memes

In an inevitable development, Giphy, which created a very handy platform for creating GIFs from existing content, is now bringing influencers into their studios to deliberately create original GIFs in hopes of getting some of that seconds-long heat for brands. Read the rest

In-depth investigation of the Alibaba-to-Instagram pipeline for scammy crapgadgets with excellent branding

Artist Jenny Odell created the Bureau of Suspended Objects to photographically archive and researched the manufacturing origins of 200 objects found at a San Francisco city dump; last August, she prepared a special report for Oakland's Museum of Capitalism about the bizarre world of shitty "free" watches sold through Instagram influences and heavily promoted through bottom-feeding remnant ad-buys, uncovering a twilight zone of copypasted imagery and promotional materials livened with fake stories about mysterious founders and branded tales. Read the rest

Apple's long-awaited podcast data-transparency reveals an ad-listening audience with no clear format-preferences

Apple's podcast feature in Itunes is probably the most successful podcatcher extant, and it's long been understood that the app gathers extensive data on listeners' habits: what they listen to, when and where, and how they listen (skipping ads, increasing playback speed, etc). Read the rest

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