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Friday, February 19, 2010

On A Friday: Um, no I won’t click that

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Day after day we are bombarded with commercial images trying to convince us to buy the latest and greatest product – be it whitegoods, technology, a political idea or spray on cheese. A lot of this advertising is mediocre, with vague attempts at appealing to our sense of modernism, however there has been some truly great advertising.

An example of one such piece of excellent marketing is the “low fat, no fat”  ad for Pauls’ Smarter White milk which has fully infiltrated Australian society.

There are some sad, sad cases though. The internet is a really easy place to find poor advertising due to its relative cheapness – especially if you are advertising your own products on your own website.

Last month I found the ad below on the Gigabyte website.

insert it
[Ad reads “Booktop (tm). The thrill comes after you insert it.” Images: Laptop on dock and man picking his nose]

Yes it does grab your attention, but there is little appeal in clicking an ad with a picture of a man picking his nose as the main focal point when it is not entirely clear what the product is. In this case you have to be tech savvy to notice the laptop dock which is the real purpose of the ad. This uncertainty cuts out some groups of potential customers.

There have also been some poor attempts at public relations stunts. I found the hidden tile pictured below in Microsoft’s Bing search engine some time ago.

[click image for larger screenshot. Tile reads “Almost every animal is insanely cute when it’s a baby. This is also true for hippos »”]

I understand what happened to the advertising gurus when they were writing this one – the craze of insanely cute pictures of kittens and puppies that have been getting millions of hits finally brainwashed these poor people at Microsoft into distastefully getting them more visitors to further their grip on the world’s chain messages. It’s a sad day when your search engine attempts to distract you from researching a world war with the promise of cute hippos.

In a time where there is vast unemployment around the world, surely Gigabyte and Microsoft must be able to find better public relations personnel than those who wrote these!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eighth Radiohead Album Coming Soon?

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Given Radiohead front man Thom Yorke’s statement to NME  last year that another full album would “kill” Radiohead, it was a surprise when fellow band member Ed O’Brien later announced that the band would begin recording their eighth album.

In a post on the band’s website in December last year, O’Brien said that the band would return to the the studio in January. O’Brien wrote that it was “reassuring” that the band was “most definitely a different band” to what it was whilst recording their forth album ‘Kid A’, suggesting that the band’s stylistic movement was “the aim of the game” in music.

And history tells us that when Radiohead moves onto another album their website moves with it. On the Radiohead website, ‘Dead Air Space’, there is a section for old websites under the Orwellian name of “Memory Hole”. This includes websites designed specifically for the release of many of their previous albums including ‘Hail to the Thief’, ‘Amnesiac’, ‘Kid A’, and ‘OK Computer’. Their second most recent design tied directly in with the cover art of their seventh album ‘In Rainbows’, and now it has changed again.

onecuckoosnest.comRHSITENEW [The new design of the Radiohead website.]

Although this doesn’t explicitly mean that the band is to release another full album, the redesign shows that with the January recordings Radiohead has made a definite step from their last album.

NOTE: Due to an error in publishing, the time posted for this article is incorrect. The real time is 12:05PM

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On A Friday: How To Escape A Ninja

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There has been a craze of “Ninjas can’t catch you if….” backgrounds sweeping the internet. One of my personal favourites is one designed for a dual monitor desktop that reads “Ninjas can’t catch you if you’re on another monitor.”

Two Monitor Pic
“Ninjas can’t catch you if… you’re on another monitor”

But despite this being a reasonable argument I am not convinced. Why? I am certainly no expert at dodging jumping, near-invisible, super-stealthy killers so I don’t take much comfort from there just being a monitor between me and them!

So to arm myself against these killers in black I have created my own safeguard. I feel it may just save my life:

other computer
“Ninjas can’t catch you if… you’re on another computer”
[CLICK IMAGE for larger version]

And with that advice I wish you a happy, ninja-free week.

P.S. – I know it’s not Friday but this is such an important community service announcement that one can throw convention to the wind!


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