Have you seen Amazon’s Echo? If you haven’t, it is a new device which you can place somewhere around the house and ask it things – like an external Siri.

We can’t decide if it feels like the eerie monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey or that house voiced by Pierce Brosnan from The Simpsons which pervs on Marge in the bath.

Anyway, this little talking tool was shown off by Amazon with an advert which has already been rightly lampooned, thanks to it being so amazingly awkward.

So, having watched the spoof, it is now time for you to watch the original and, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll be stunned that the spoof version used so much of the one put out by Amazon.

In fact, the joke version might not be as toe-curling, weird and funny as the one Amazon spent money on. Is there anything more dreadful than the family as envisioned by an ad-agency?

Touch the Coca Cola truck!

November 10th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING EVERYONE!

Yes, you might have noticed a recent upsurge of signifiers in recent days of Christmas actually coming. Seriously. It’s not pissing about – it’s on its way. And so naturally one’s thoughts immediately turn to the Coca-Cola truck.

The red and white truck festooned with festivery, will be calling at 45 main shopping areas from November 28 at The Plainstones in Elgin, and wandering the highways of the country, before ending up – as most UK tours do – in London, at Wembley Park Boulevard on December 23rd.

There’s a full interactive map affair of the dates here so you can check when you can go and touch the truck. Or just check out a hot bearded trucker who is into gift-giving.

You can, obviously, follow the truck via social media on @cokezone (which sounds like a Complete Ledge night out).

Not much else is specified as to what will go on while the trucks are parked. No doubt some activities and free carbonated syrupy gloop. Perhaps it’s a trap like The Childcatcher sprung in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to abduct the town’s children.

Christmas AdWatch: Tesco

November 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Tesco have unveiled their Christmas advert, on an ad break last night during period comedy Downton Abbey.

It’s a cheery enough ad for the troubled supermarket, understandably short on star names (you decide whether Tesco can’t afford them now or whether celebrities don’t want to be associated with them at the moment). The main action features various homely set-ups switching on their Christmas lights before going all a bit glitzy with some jolly lights in Wigan raved up by the team behind the Olympic opening ceremony at the end.

The music is the decidedly unfestive Flashdance theme played by a brass band and the ad will mark the start of Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps Make Christmas’ campaign.

Jill Easterbrook, chief customer officer at Tesco, said: “Christmas is a wonderfully special time of year and we want to help customers in whatever way we can. This is just one example of how we’re doing every little thing we can to help make Christmas in fun and helpful ways.”

“We’re with our customers every step of the way through the festive season.”

It’s good. A reasonably cosy attempt to show that Tesco is still there and fighting gamely, rather than some flash affair attracting criticism while it bleeds customers.

Either way, “helping customers” and “we’re doing every little thing we can” is someone screaming “OH GOD! PLEASE SHOP WITH US! WE’RE ALL GOING TO GET THE SACK IF YOU DON’T!” internally, isn’t it?

Monster: the Satanic energy drink

November 10th, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

monster 666 400px 300x234 Monster: the Satanic energy drinkYou thought Monster was just a horrible tasting drink full of stuff to get you hopped up when you’ve got to go to work with a lousy hangover didn’t you?

WRONG.

Monster, it turns out, is the work of Satan himself. Don’t believe us? Well, a Christian American (who else?) has proven that the energy drink is the antichrist of liquids.

The Monster Energy logo looks like three Hebrew vavs, which is a number 6 in Hebrew and, not only that, the company’s slogan is ‘Unleash the Beast’, you know, like THE BEAST from the Bible. The number… of the beast… 666… oh my, it is all true. There’s also profanity and other theories surrounding it.

Of course, the Monster/Satan link has been a trope online for various internet nutcases, but instead of listening to us while we fashion our tinfoil hats, listen to the nice lady as she explains it all.

[via DangerousMinds]

Fancy some Mountain Dew that tastes like feet?

November 7th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Sometimes, you have to get weird to progress, but there’s something unholy about Mountain Dew’s latest experiment that they’ve been testing out on American students.

They’ve made Mountain Dew that tastes like cheesy Doritos. They call it ”Mountain Dew Dewitos.”

They’ve also been trying out flavours such as Lemon Ginger and Mango Habanero, but it is the one that will clearly taste like feet which is the most batshit, Willy Wonka of them all.

And it looks like a urine sample.

wr3ndflahsocjm3h1nyf 375x500 Fancy some Mountain Dew that tastes like feet?

According to the interestingly named ‘joes_nipples‘, Dewitos tasted “like if you shoved a handful of Doritos in your mouth and chugged some Dew at the same time.”

“It honestly wasn’t that disgusting,” they added. “It tasted like orange with a doritos aftertaste. It tasted like straight doritos afterwards though. Weirdest thing I’ve ever drunk.”

Kotaku have the skinny on all this and more photos of this ghastly idea.

Turkish hair removal advert, now with terrorists!

November 5th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Companies drop clangers all the time, but an advert for a Turkish hair removal company has gone above and beyond. They used a photo of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to promote their product… and he just happens to be the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.

The ad for ‘Epila’ features a picture the product next to an image of the terrorist, with the slogan: “The hair will not go away because you keep waiting!”

turkish terrorist advert Turkish hair removal advert, now with terrorists!

Mehmet Can Yildiz, a spokesman for the company, has said sorry and they they found the photo from a social media site. Alas, the site they chose was the Turkish equivalent of 4chan, so they were on a hiding to nothing.

They said: “We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad.”

“We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism.”

The advert has since been removed. Nice to know that his lasting legacy could be his hairy shoulders and not an act of mass murder.

Government snooping on your Facebook

November 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Government snooping on your FacebookGovernment requests for access to your Facebook data have gone up by 24% in the first six months of 2014.

Governments made 34,946 requests for data, Facebook said in its latest transparency report, which was up 24% from the second half of 2013.

The Government are allowed to see what you’ve been having a say about, should they fancy it, and can do something about it should they wish, and you’ll be none the wiser. Chances are they won’t because you’ve probably spent half your time using it to organise nights out or to flirt with someone who isn’t interested in you at all.

Facebook was also forced to restrict access to about 19% more content than it had before thanks to local laws, due to content having some form of untoward activity featured in it.

Someone with quite a bit of time on their hands, compiled the requests by country, and the U.S. was responsible for 15,433 of them – covering 23,667 users and/or accounts. Most of those requests were search warrants (7,676) and subpoenas (6,088) – of which 84% and 80% were granted, respectively.

A nameless drone from Facebook, clearly unaware of the irony, said “As we’ve said before, we scrutinize every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests.”

That’d be the company that makes you feel miserable for experiments and nearly forced drag queens to use their real names on the site. That’s how much they care.

So a handy tip here would be “don’t be a dick on Facebook”. If Facebook could follow the same advice, that would be lovely.

fruity pebbles 300x233 The UKs first Cereal Cafe declares itself open‘God help us if there’s a war’ update now, with news reaching us that the UK’s first cereal cafe is soon come upon us. That’s right. A cafe for cereal.

Cereal Killer Cafe will offer more than 100 varieties of cereal from all over the globe!

It’s been set up by identical twins Alan and Gary Keery, whose life-long obsessions with cereals have seen them amass a ton of ephemera related to the breakfast treat, and their collection will decorate the new cafe.

And if you’ve crossed off your hipster bingo card, you can now shout “OF COURSE IT’S OPENING IN SHOREDITCH”

It will offer a variety of milks and toppings to tempt and rot teeth in equal measure.

Visitors are promised the likes of Oreo O’s from South Korea and Poppin’ Fruity Pebbles (pictured) from America – a berry flavoured mix with popping candy. Sounds, um, yum.

Alan says: “We remember how exciting cereal was as kids and we are trying to recreate it in our cafe, so you’ll be surrounded by a lot of vintage cereal memorabilia to stir up the nostalgia in all of us. We’re putting our own twist on a regular bowl of cereal by letting you customise it with different milks and toppings. This will be a cafe experience like no other.”

For those who think Corn Flakes are a slow death, and find milk deeply unappetising, there’ll also be pop tarts, coffee and toast on offer. However, you will be surrounded by hooting berks, so it might be an idea to order American cereals from the internet and recreate this experience at home. On your own. Where everything is not shrieking with irony.

smily death 300x200 Deathwatch: An app to help you watch your deathWant to know when you’re going to die? A slightly more precise diagnosis rather than “at some point”?

Well there’s now an app that can do that. Yes.

The Deadline app uses algorithms used by insurers – together with the Apple iPhone health tracking capabilities – to predict when you will cark it.

Cheery!

You do a quiz thing, which no doubt you can easily edit your answers to sound healthier than you actually are, and the app taps into your iPhone for additional health information.

Users then get a countdown clock showing the estimated time they have left on Earth.

The countdown clock also appears on the phone’s lock screen, meaning that every time a user checks their phone they are given a reminder of their mortality. Lovely.

Which will be quite comforting if it shows another 40 years or so, but a worry if it flashes up with TOMORROW.

Of course, there’s been a myriad a countdown death clocks online and in app-form, but this one seems more sophisticated than the rest. So much so that, if it is right, you can be certain that you’re going to shuffle off your moral coil when the death alarm goes off, which means you can make sure you’ve said goodbye to everyone or, if you prefer, organise your funeral for while you’re still alive so you can enjoy the party.

Like this guy!

Amazon has the most social influence

October 31st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

amazoninstant Amazon has the most social influenceA Top 50 detailing the brands with the most social influence has been topped by that Amazon.

The Klout Top 50 was compiled using data from the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands Report and corresponding Klout scores, had Microsoft as close second followed by MTV, Google and Facebook.

The chart was based on how the brands engage socially with their client and user-base and lots of other types of factors, although ignoring ‘not cool taxwise’ as a factor.

Katy Keim, CMO of Klout owner Lithium, said: “The Klout 50 salutes those brands that know social is part of their consumer’s everyday life and for effectively connecting and sharing experiences with them. However, this is also a wake-up call for the brands that are not on the list to understand that without social they lose.”

Get her.

Shall we look at the whole list with their Klout scores then?

1.)  Amazon 98.86
2.)  Microsoft 98.85
3.)  MTV 98.32
4.)  Google 98.04
5.)  Facebook 97.94
6.)  Intel 95.94
7.)  Nintendo 95.04
8.)  McDonald’s 94.74
9.)  Ebay 93.82
10.)  Ford 93.19
11.)  Sony 93.06
12.)  HP 92.38
13.)  Chevrolet 92.36
14.)  Coca-Cola 91.99
15.)  Thomson Reuters 91.89
16.)  General Electric 91.37
17.)  Nike 91.22
18.)  Honda 90.94
19.)  Pizza Hut 90.94
20.)  Audi 90.75
21.)  Adidas 90.00
22.)  Adobe 89.90
23.)  Nokia 89.84
24.)  Goldman Sachs 89.67
25.)  Tiffany and Co 89.60
26.)  Budweiser 89.56
27.)  Porsche 89.22
28.)  Apple (AppStore) 89.19
29.)  Shell 88.94
30.)  Pepsi 88.80
31.)  SAP 88.59
32.)  American Express 88.50
33.)  Louis Vuitton 87.76
34.)  MasterCard 87.42
35.)  Oracle 87.14
36.)  Gucci 86.75
37.)  Morgan Stanley 86.65
38.)  Burberry 86.04
39.)  Accenture 86.01
40.)  Caterpillar Inc 85.27
41.)  3M 85.20
42.)  John Deere 83.53
43.)  Starbucks 83.51
44.)  Sprite 83.22
45.)  Gillette 83.03
46.)  Zara 83.02
47.)  Heineken 82.81
48.)  Gap 82.76
49.)  Disney 82.39
50.)  KFC 81.76

pizza 300x168 Order pizza by shouting FEED ME! at your XboxOrdering a takeaway is hard. You have to first navigate all the menus on JustEat or rifle through all those awful flyers and menus you got stuffed unceremoniously in your letter box and then actually speak to someone on the phone or hit buttons with your fingers.

It is too much like hard work.

Well, here’s good news for you slovens – you’ll be able to simply shout at your Xbox One and get pizza delivered to your door. Sadly, no-one has worked out a way of getting it in your mouth without you walking to the front door and paying someone, but its a start.

Inspired by the Xbox 360′s Pizza Hut app, which raked it in thanks to gaming stoners, the new Domino’s app allows you to utilise the voice-function on your console and simply bark orders at it until someone makes and delivers you a pizza.

The app is optimised for Kinect and as soon as you say “Domino’s, feed me!”, you’re on the way to being fed. You may or may not be aware that Domino’s recently updated their iOS and Android app to allow voice-controlled ordering.

How wonderfully lazy this is.

Toyota ad banned

October 30th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

An advert for that Toyota Yaris Hybrid has been banned.

A whopping 74 viewers were so enraged by the advert, seemingly encouraging dangerous driving, that they felt moved to register a moan about it.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad featured various drivers and passengers enjoying various tunes that were transmitted to their GPS, the edited version of the UK advert focussed on Bruno Mars’ song ‘Locked Out of Heaven’. If the were really driving dangerously, they’d surely be thrown into heaven?

Perhaps we could address some priorities here and suggest the complainants are whinging about the wrong element of the ad, and should focus their ire on Mr Mars.

Toyota defended the ad and told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the car adhered to the speed limit and there were no shots of it travelling fast, competitively or in a daring manner.

They said they tried to portray that both the driver and passengers in the car were having a good time whilst driving, as it wanted to “dispel the myth that drivers cannot have fun whilst driving safely”.

They also denied that the female driver had her eyes closed at any point, which was another point singled out as a complaint. Again, priorities people.

ITV, which broadcast the TV version of the advert, said no viewers had complained to its Viewer Services, and YouTube, which ran the ad online, agreed.

The ASA said that singing along with Bruno Mars is fine (sheesh) but it was concerned that viewers would believe that the closed eyed lady wasn’t paying attention to the onslaught of the road.

The ads must not appear again in their current form and Toyota was told to ensure its ads do not depict dangerous driving in future.

That’s them told.

Hilarious kid shows the art of selling loom bands

October 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Loom bands, as we know, are trouble. Some of them are toxic. Some of them lumber dads with stupidly high phone bills. However, the main problem is that, once you’ve made a lovely thing with some loom bands, nobody wants them.

And so, to a little girl who has an original approach to the art of commerce while trying to sell her loom band creations.

Not only does she scream the street down in a bid to flog some, she also reveals a hilariously potty mouth when talking about them. Save this video – she might end up on The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den in a few years time.

Funny Girl Sells Loom Bands from Mof Gimmers on Vimeo.

halal test 300x163 Check everything is pork free with the Halal test kitA food testing kit which allow you to check if your purchase is Halal or not could soon be a thing in the UK.

Halal Test, which launched in France this week by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography, which is the same technology used for pregnancy tests, to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.

The portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted considerable interest from several companies in the UK and further afield.

Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, but the makers of the kits reckon the UK is a very interesting market to develop further.

The test is packaged with a small tube into which a food sample is mixed with warm water. A test strip is then inserted into the tube, and after a few minutes reveals whether any pork traces are present by displaying two lines for a positive result and one for a negative result.

It can also sniff out alcohol in food products too, like a proper party pooper. The company is also developing a test that can detect how an animal was killed too. It’s all glamour, basically.

Capital Biotech said: “There are similar tests which use similar technology, but they are much more complicated to use, and require a special liquid extraction buffer usually containing ethanol. We concentrated our research efforts to simplify the use of these tests and get rid of the liquid extraction buffer, which makes them easy to use by anyone and anywhere.”

Imagine that – going to a restaurant and pulling out a mini laboratory and making the rest of your family wait for your findings while their food goes cold.

Tesco cash machine offers ‘free erections’

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Large businesses and government departments just can’t get their heads around the fact that, if you’re going to produce something in Welsh, then it might be a good idea to hire a Welsh person to do it for you or you might end up with all manner of nonsense.

We’ve had roadsigns emblazoned with an out-of-office message and a cycling sign oddly warning of bladder disease (for more, click here, just to see how wrong people get it). Now, we’ve got a cash machine that offers customers ‘free erections’ rather than the usual withdrawals. Arf.

The clanger was spotted at a Tesco in Aberystwyth.

codiad am ddim 500x332 Tesco cash machine offers free erections

Tesco will be sorting this mess out as soon as they can and said: ”Thanks to everyone who pointed out the mistake,” before muttering under their breath about not being able to catch a bloody break at the minute.

Councillor Ceredig Davies, who saw the sign, said: ”There were a few titters in the town so I went down to have a look myself. Ten out of 10 to Tesco for considering the Welsh language… but perhaps they should have had it checked by an actual Welsh speaker before putting the signs on the machines.”

“People get their Welsh translations wrong from time to time but this one is hilarious.”

Saeson ynfyd – dim ond un peth ar eu meddyliau!