Microsoft have filed a patent which could reward users for watching advertisements. The patent is called the ‘Awards and Achievements Across TV Ecosystem’ and it could well be tied in with the new Xbox.
The details released about the Xbox One mentioned the console’s use for TV, along with the new Kinect system.
The patent stated: “Traditional television viewing experiences tend to be passive and do not frequently provide opportunities for a viewer to engage with the programming.”
It added that the “proliferation of digital video recording devices” makes it difficult for advertisers to “introduce their advertisements to viewers.” By monitoring the viewing habits of viewers, this new system could “encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content” by offering “awards and achievements.”
Of course, using the word “achievements” suggests that Microsoft won’t be doling cash out, but rather perhaps, in-game unlockable content, free gamer trophies or rewards like “coupons for an advertised product or service, or an actual product.”
What do you make of that? Direct rewards for watching adverts? Does that seem like a fair trade?
Beards eh? Quirky people grow long beards and carry on like they live in the 1890s (as expertly dissected by Portlandia) and people coo and trill at them as they knit their own butter made out of tattoos. Or whatever.
And now, some thundering berks have launched something called ’beardvertising’ where people who own an “epic beard” can use it as advertising space. They can earn money from it too.
Advertising agency Cornett-IMS is offering men “up to $5 per day” to wear clip-on adverts on their faces, with their website adding: ”Do people stare at its awesomeness? Of course they do. Do you wanna get paid for having an epic beard? Join the world’s first Beardvertising network.”
“It’s simple – turn your beard into a business. Hang a BeardBoard (Patent Pending) in your beard. Sit back and get paid up to $5 per day.”
Company exec Whit Hiler reckons: ” I think it’s the next big thing. Everybody loves beards. We’re getting a ton of emails from guys with epic beards that want to host beardboards and we’re actually in talks with some brands that want to be Beardvertisers.”
“I think we’ll probably be seeing some ‘beardboards’ in the wild before too long.”
Next week: Beard trimmer sales soar as people go gonzo on people advertising Veet in their beards.
Ever since Warrington-born sausage roll botherer Kerry Katona came on the scene brandishing with her relentlessly chirpy coke habit, she’s been in a shedload of trouble.
Now, her new ad for payday loan company Cash Lady has been banned for being a blatant attempt to encourage daft young lasses to get into debt. (Cash Lady offers a gobsmacking APR of 2000%).
‘We’ve all had money troubles at some point, I know I have.’ drones a pissed-sounding Kerry. ‘You could see your bank and fill in loads of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan … So if you need extra cash go to http://www.cashlady.co.uk. Fast cash for fast lives.’
Responsible, eh? Well the ASA didn’t think so, and it got pulled after receiving 29 complaints. PDB UK, who trades under the Cash Lady, defended their decision to use Kerry, saying their customers would be able to relate to her. (Yikes!)
Katona, who was declared bankrupt in 2008 after she spent all her money on Aston Martins, marching powder and chicken jalfrezi, is the perfect poster girl for debt, but the ASA upheld complaints that it encouraged others to be as stupid as she is. Changes must be made before the ad can go out again, they said.
Perhaps the new ad should instead show Kerry in disarray, the wind whistling through the hole in her septum, raking through some bins at the back of Iceland for a stray prawn ring and 250 Hoisin duck filo parcels?
Eye tracking technology is something marketing gurus get their coke spoons in a twist about on a regular basis. It’s so…Robocop! It’s so futuristic! You can like, see inside people’s BRAINS and sell them what they’re thinking about right now! (in my case, usually chips).
Until now, it’s been pretty duff, but now researchers at Lancaster University have developed an advertising system called ‘Sideways’, which zooms in on faces and eye movements while people are shopping. Then a video screen can show them ads related to what they were looking at as they shopped. More usefully, it can also allow people to use their eyes to control advertising on screens, or scroll through content. An eye swipe, if you will.
Senior researcher Andreas Bulling says it can monitor the eye movements of 14 people at a time using a camera positioned behind the screen. “The system detects the faces of people walking by and calculates where the eyes are relative to the eye corners.” He explained.
The creators hope it will be in use in shops within 5 years, but it’s hard to see how this will work for targeted ads. I don’t know about you, but I look at a lot of things I’m not particularly interested in every day, because I have EYES, and that’s what they do – they look at stuff. Pigeons. Dog poo. Tins of beans. So if this catches on, expect to see a lot of ads you don’t give a toss about.
Business as usual, then…
Everybody universally loathed the original Go Compare ads, so a new campaign was created to acknowledge the fact it was so hated, featuring the Go Compare man being kicked in the stomach by Stuart Pearce and blown up by Sue Barker in a balaclava. Clever eh? Oh I bet there were some wry meta chuckles in the idea pod that day.
But those smart arsed advertisers have been hoisted with their own petards, because now THOSE adverts have become the most complained about ads of 2012 – with nearly 2000 complaints.
31,298 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority last year, mostly from people with nothing better to do. Thanks to the big response to the Go Compare ads, complaints about financial services ads skyrocketed by 86%. The Wonga ads, with their cunningly hidden terms and conditions, were also on the ASA list of doom.
People also took exception to Channel 4’s ‘Bigger’, ‘Fatter’ ‘Gypsier’ campaign to promote My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which was third on the list with 373 complaints.
But nobody is more hated than the Go Compare man. It’s enough to make poor Gio Compario sing a heartbreaking aria from Madame Butterfly as he waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Vauxhall Nova.
If you ever had the slightest ambivalence about children, those computer generated Evian babies would have put you off procreation for life. Well, the weird mutant infants are back to torment us, but this time, they’re not on rollerskates. It’s worse than that. MUCH WORSE.
Called Baby and Me, the new campaign shows a very French, very balding hipster in a V-neck seeing his young self reflected back in a car rear view mirror, then in a mirrored window on the street. Soon, other passers-by stop and see themselves as babies too and they all do a ‘funny’ dance to ‘Here Comes the Hotstepper’ by Ini Kamoze – and the world just got that bit more rubbish.
The first Evian campaign to show the dancing babies was the most viewed advert when it came out in 2009 – now this one has notched up over 20 million hits already. It seems that the world loves babies doing improbable things even more than it likes cats falling off tables.
It all just makes you want to get your water from the tap and throw the Internet in the bin, doesn’t it? I need a drink.
While some people in media still think non-print outlets are nothing but a fad, the rest of the world progresses onward and newspapers are dying left, right and centre. A huge growth industry is advertising through mobiles and the market has seen a spike in spend.
Mobile advertising has nearly tripled to record levels, with UK digital ad spend hit £5bn for the first time. Huge. Advertising through UK mobiles grew a whopping 148% year-on-year and it doesn’t look like slowing down.
With around two thirds of the population having a smartphone or tablet, there’s a lot of money to be made.
Only five years ago, mobile advertising was making a weedy £25m. In 2009, mobile accounted for a paltry 1% of the total UK digital advertising market.
“There is simply so much buzz around mobile,” said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau. “Marketers are becoming more attune to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are.”
The 4G rollout is only going to see ad spend increasing and marketing companies will increase their interest in social networks.
Football kits have come a long way since the days of teams releasing one kit every three years. The most noticeable change is that there’s at LEAST one new kit per year, and often, you’ll find teams having four or five shirts to buy at once (including goalkeeper tops, Champion’s League specials, away goalie shirts and third kits… not to mention training kits, jackets and whatnot).
And so, to Chelsea FC, who have a new kit coming out and, along with Adidas, want fans to pre-order it without actually seeing it, with the strapline: “It’s blue. What else matters?”
As well as saying ‘just buy it because it is a blue kit’, Chelsea throw down the gauntlet and say “Prove your passion for the blues. Pre-order the new kit WITHOUT seeing it“.
Like Chelsea? Prove it to us. That’d be Chelsea who charge £87 to watch them play at Stamford Bridge in the West Upper. And the advert is jarring enough as it is, with the loathsome John Terry featuring heavily and Gary Cahill making an appearance as the plaything in some kind of Blue Meanie bukkake video.
Fact is, you’d be mental to buy a football shirt without seeing it first. The design might be awful. It might be one of those lycra shirts that clings to your non-athletic guts, choking you into misery. It might be sponsored by Nigel Farage’s face. That said, if you’re a Chelsea, no-one is that sympathetic because you’re Tim Lovejoy, and frankly, you deserve everything you get.
Virgin Media have been forced to drop an ad that claimed they gave ‘unlimited’ broadband after BSkyB and BT secretly teamed up and grassed them up to the ASA. Virgin Media users will know that their service isn’t exactly unlimited, and many will have found their download speeds cut by 50%.
This is bad news for Branson’s internet wing, as their whole marketing campaign is based around being faster than their rivals.
The Advertising Standards Authority received three complaints (the two from BSkyB and BT, and another from a member of the public) who said the advert was misleading consumers, saying that Virgin Media operates a “traffic management” policy that significantly cuts the internet speed of users who download a lot.
Virgin Media argued that a user would have to download 11,000Mb at peak times to have their broadband speed slowed temporarily, which wouldn’t affect 97.7% of their customers. However, ASA pointed out that consumers would invariably want to partake in “bandwidth intensive activities” thanks to Virgin’s marketing.
“In that context we considered that the restriction of reducing users’ download speeds by 50% was not moderate and that any reference to it was likely to contradict, rather than clarify, the claims that the service was ‘unlimited’,” the ASA said. “We therefore concluded that the claim ‘unlimited’ was misleading”.
The ASA banned the advertisement and told Virgin Media that they can no longer claim to be ‘unlimited’ or crow about ‘no caps’, unless they change the way they do things.
A spokeswoman for Virgin Media have come out swinging, saying: “Our customers receive unlimited, superfast broadband and, even if they’re one of the tiny minority traffic managed for a short period of time, Virgin Media customers can download more than other ‘unlimited’ services, including BT Infinity.”
“Unlike BT or Sky, all Virgin Media customers can download as much as they like, safe in the knowledge we’ll never charge them more.”
Selling cars is a tricky business. If you want to do something different to an ad with twisty mountain roads or neon cityscapes, what do you do?
Well, if you’re JWT India and Ford, and you want to sell a shipment of FordFigo cars, you create an advert that features a load of scantily-clad women tied up and gagged in the boot of Silvio Berlusconi’s car while he winks at everyone.
The tag line reads: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
Ford and JWT have both issued an apology and Ford have said that they didn’t approve the ads. Not surprising really as, on closer inspection, the lady in the schoolgirl outfit is crying as well. Classy, just like Sylvio’s bunga bunga parties.
Another ad features Paris Hilton with the Kardashian family being held hostage in the boot of her car. Astonishing.
Purveyors of molten junk, Domino’s Pizza, have decided that they needed a new logo and promptly went about redesigning that famous logo so there was less of it.
Apparently, this new image is supposed to tie-in with the revamping of Domino’s stores. Of course, like every stupid brand out there (the most amusing being the proud Ruski that was Revolution, with its Stalin-esque promotions, now looking like a McCarthyite diner), they’re going all ’50s. Hopefully we can see a true reflection of the decade that gave us rock ‘n’ roll with racist lynchings and getting polio from drinking water.
It’ll be great, just like the 1950s.
Simon Wallis, sales and marketing director at Domino’s UK, says the logo “proclaims that Domino’s is comfortable in its own skin and doesn’t need to tell anyone that it sells pizza”, adding: “The brand is now one of the most easily recognisable symbols in the country. The name Domino’s is synonymous when referring to pizza delivery and this is a reflection of how far the Domino’s brand has come.”
They might think ‘less is more’, but as long as they remember that, when it comes to pizza, more is still more.
Advertisers are always looking at new ways of flogging products to us gormless saps, and in Japan, the idea of marketing is being taken next level, as they promote products on the thighs of Japanese girls.
Japanese PR company Absolute Territory have started paying young women (over 18, you’ll be thrilled to hear) to wear advertising stickers on their thighs, just beneath the hem of their miniskirts and above their knee-high stockings.
And it is beyond creepy… and clearly going to work.
As of November 2012, over a thousand women applied for this odd service. Basically, the girl chooses a sticker ad and they have to agree to wear it for at least eight hours a day or more.
To prove they are actually doing this, they have to post photos of themselves wearing the stickers on their social networking sites.
And creepier still, it turns out Green Day rather liked this idea, employing Absolut Territory to promote the Japanese release of their new CD ‘!Uno!’ It would’ve been funnier if it was clap cream or something, but there you go.
We eagerly await elderly, busty landladies with adverts for Mr Porky’s pork scratchings plastered across their bosoms.