Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 20, 2021


You know you’re an online addict if you’ve got these social-media logo pillows festooning your couch (make that futon — because, c’mon, who are we kidding here?). Plush handiwork by Craftsquatch.

They’re probably too delicate for pillow-fighting, which is a shame — I can’t think of a fairer offline way to settle which community site is mas macho. My weapon of choice would be that Reddit one.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/20/2009 06:17:27 PM
Category: Creative, Fashion, Social Media Online
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Guerilla marketing is already synonymous with recklessness (at least when it backfires), so it’s hard to figure out the wisdom behind British broadband provider TalkTalk’s decision to unleash some sticky-fingered “putpockets” upon London pedestrians.

Aware that people are suffering in the economic crisis, 20 former pickpockets have turned over a new leaf and are now trawling London’s tourist sites slipping money back into unsuspecting pockets. Anything from 5 pounds to 20 pound notes is being surreptitiously deposited in unguarded pockets or open handbags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and other busy spots.

The initiative, which runs until the end of August in London before being rolled out countrywide, is being funded by [TalkTalk], which says it wants to brighten up people’s lives in unusual ways.

Granted, no one’s going to turn down free money. Still, there’s a distinct creepiness to this. I’d feel violated after finding out that someone slipped their hands into my pocket. I don’t know what the attitude is in the UK toward such invasion of personal space; here in the States, people would go nuts. Especially with the knowledge that these are ex-criminals doing the deed — was it really essential for TalkTalk to recruit such shady characters for the task?

I presume that the money will have stickers or stamps on it to identify TalkTalk as the benefactor. That works for brand awareness, but also makes them a target. As with all such stunts, I’m guessing TalkTalk is willing to take on the negative backlash, in exchange for a hoped-for big boost in subscribers.

If this “putpocket” scheme sounds familiar to Americans, that’s because Burger King thought of it first, last year. BK didn’t actually implement it in real life: It just used the concept of “reverse pickpockets” in a couple of TV commercials. I guess The King wasn’t brave enough to cross it over from screen to street.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/20/2009 05:09:56 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, True Crime
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Who knew that dead trees could support live video? Demonstrating that print magazines can still be innovative advertising vehicles in the digital era, some editions of the upcoming September 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly will include a no-foolin’ ultra-flat screen video player.

The technology for the battery-powered ads was manufactured by a Los Angeles-based company called Americhip, and each ad can handle about 40 minutes of video.

Here are some more details about the Americhip technology: the screen, which is 2.7 millimeters thick, has a 320×240 resolution. The battery lasts for about 65 to 70 minutes, and can be recharged, believe it or not, with a mini USB cord-there’s a jack on the back of it. The screen, which uses thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) technology, is enforced by protective polycarbonate. It’s a product that has been in development at Americhip for about two years, spokesman Tim Clegg told CNET News via e-mail.

Wild stuff, especially the mini-USB rechargability. That’s the kind of thing that could have made Esquire’s 75th anniversary e-ink cover a little more impactful; as it is, once the juice ran out, there was no reason to keep playing with it.

I suppose the next generation of these print-video ads will update with refreshed content, either wirelessly or via that USB connection to an online-enabled computer. Although how much capability can you pack into the pages of a magazine, and expect the readers to come back to again and again? Periodicals are inherently disposable media — it’s rare that an average reader dips into back issues. And of course, e-readers and the regular ol’ Internet compete for that sort of dynamic content.

The limited video-embedded issues of EW will be available only to subscribers in New York and Los Angeles — newsstands and the rest of the country miss out. That includes me. Hopefully I can hunt down some nearby subscriber’s copy, just to play with it. Frankly, I’m not that interested in taking in the sure-to-be lame-o CBS sitcom previews or the Pepsi Max ads. Still, I’m a sucker for techie gimmicks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/20/2009 11:42:41 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Publishing, Tech
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