When Playboy was founded in 1953, conservatives were up in arms about the way that it contradicted traditional "American values". But how times have changed. Playboy has become the latest brand to delete its Facebook pages, claiming that Facebook is both "sexually repressive" and contradicts Playboy's values.
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After the passage of China's new cybersecurity laws, watching out for international consequences might be par for the course for brands that do business there. Per a report in the Wall Street Journal, hospitality chain Marriott International Inc fired 49-year-old social media manager Roy Jones (who was making just $18 an hour) after he liked a tweet praising the chain for listing Tibet "as a country, rather than part of China, in an online survey."
There's being into video gaming and there's identifying as a hardcore gamer. Both are fine! But the latter group has developed a well-earned reputation for being rife with bigoted jerks, from the whole mess over Gamergate to more recent instances like PewDiePie's repeated instances of racism. It's also not a coincidence that hardware manufacturers have long learned to appeal to hardcore gamers with branding exercises that could be described as Mountain Dew with an extra spoonful of cringe.
Scientifically speaking, April Fools' Day is the worst day of the year. And as consumers we have only two options to survive the horror that is brands flogging the dead horse known as April Fools' Day. The first is to humour them by politely chuckling at their whipping of the stallion's corpse.
The second is to saddle up and ride that poor, rotting pony -- pretending it's alive until these brands provide us with the products and services they're offering.
But honestly, some of the products that brands advertise on April Fools' Day sound pretty nice. Like Virgin Australia's Kids Class cabin? No more screaming children kicking the back of your seat? Sign me the hell up.
Andres Iniesta is a Spanish soccer star, captain of FC Barcelona and player on the national team. A different Andres Iniesta is a regular guy from Madrid, and owner of the @ainiesta Instagram account. Or at least, he was.
Remember ello? It's the social network that advertised itself as the indie alternative to Facebook, but was then unmasked as VC funded by XOXO founder Andy Baio. Now they're back, with more VC money, and their new ad campaign is just as cluelessly disingenuous as their last one.
Amazon's latest experimental product is the Dash button, a programmable key that makes reordering essentials like laundry detergent as easy as pushing Start on the microwave. Is this the best thing that ever happened to busy America? Or a sign that we've become the docile servants of our Amazon Prime accounts?
A good logo should be easily and universally recognised, even if it were written in Chinese. But sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Chinatown, a project by Mehmet Gozetlik, shows how a famous logo can look both foreign and yet still somehow be recognisable at the same time. It's like getting a glimpse of an alternate reality.
Imagine you're part of a big brand like Target. How do you convince customers you're cool? If you're not waiting around for one of your employees to become a viral teen hearthrob, how about thrusting them into a virtual reality world? In the latest example of VR advertising, Google and Target have teamed up to let shoppers explore a winter wonderland as they stride down the aisles.
Brilliant. Artist Bruce Yan remixes the logos of famous brands by inserting the cartoon characters we grew up with. So the Playboy bunny becomes a profile view of Bugs Bunny, the mermaid in the Starbucks Logo becomes Ariel, Charlie Brown is the BIC guy and so on. The twists are super clever and fun.
Since advertising is all about the power of suggestion, it's fun to see what happens when the conceits of well-known campaigns are totally undermined. Honest Slogans takes well-known advertising and turns the slogan into some real talk about the product, or at least designer Clif Dickens's take on it.
According to a recent article on Smithsonian.com, the notion that poison candy is routinely distributed to unsuspecting children on Halloween is a myth perpetrated by advice columnists Dear Abby and Ann Landers in the 1980s and '90s. But historically, candy meant for young consumers has sported poisonous-sounding, WTF wrappers and packages that most self-respecting 2013 parents would be dismayed to see dumped out of their children's trick-or-treat bags.
A new way of verifying you're a real person and not a spam machine might eliminate the chore of typing phrases like "beetle sausage" and so on, with a startup looking to gamify the art of verifying you're a human.