Posts tagged “billboard”

People Have The Power, Says Tech

I saw this BitTorrent billboard in San Francisco last weekend.
Its specific message is opaque, telling us only that people are greater than servers. Hopefully we knew that already, but now we know that BitTorrent knows that too, via this techno-corporate version of a spray-painted cri de coeur. (Looking online for the image, I found the above on BitTorrent’s blog where it may refer to some peer-to-peer alternative to peer-to-cloud product, but that’s as far as I got).

The New York Times carried this full-page ad for PayPal yesterday.
Beginning with the constitutional We The People , the copy culminates with their new slogan, a graffiti-rendered People Rule.

Maybe there are humanists at both these organizations who are indeed passionate about the people they are trying to serve, but it’s hard not to be cynical about these corporations co-opting the language and aesthetics of rebellion and independence to persuade us to adopt their particular technology product versus some other. More than anything, it looks as if the tech industry is trying (yet again) to humanize its image.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Refresh Everything: Egregious Brand Coat-Tailing – Hey, we're a beverage company whose red-white-blue circle logo has elements in common with the a popular red-white-and-blue "O" logo connected with hope and change. Why don't we create a new logo for ourselves that evokes both, let's create a viral-esque phrase like Refresh Everything (get it? He's promising "change" but we promise refreshment?!!!) and let's plaster the logo all over buildings in major cities and take out full-page ads in the newspaper and beyond. All inviting you to a site that does…well, something or other about hope and dreams but either way, we've got our name on this thing going on.
  • HOPE photo in San Francisco – Part of series that is now all over the city .

Collateral Damage

I got this thing in the mail from a company called Veer. The cover slip said: “A giant hand. Angsty Cats. Rioting Models.”


How could I not open it?


It turned out to be a huge advertisement poster. It was so big that once I’d unfolded it, I had to lay it on a chair.

It looked like such a pain in the ass to fold it up again that I left it lying there and went and made coffee.

I was standing in the living room again a few minutes later deciding what to do with my Saturday morning, and I started absentmindedly reading some of the copy on the poster.

It was like I’d created a Veer billboard in my living room.

There was a picture of a sweatshirt I thought was kind of cool. Turns out it’s for sale at Veer’s website. (Veer’s primary business is selling stock photography, fonts, and other graphic design resources.) Then, a description of an animated short that sounded interesting, free to view on the site.

Next thing I know, I’m on my way to Veer’s website, looking for the sweatshirt and the film. Wow. They really got me, didn’t they!

In consideration of the web’s enormous power and ubiquitous presence as a commercial tool, I think this is a testimony to the continuing importance of things you can touch, that interpose themselves in our three-dimensional spaces.

But the story’s not over…


Veer’s website is down.

At this point, I’ve been so adroitly manipulated from being a complete bystander to actively seeking out this company that I’m sure this shutdown itself is also part of the strategy: a way to get me to come back on Monday and talk to someone at Veer, hooked in just a little deeper by thinking I’ve serendipitously ended up with this 10% discount opportunity.

Now I’m caught up in this interesting meta-story–curious about Veer’s tactical moves, wondering if they are being as deeply strategic as I’m imagining?

This whole interaction is an object lesson in the complexity of moving a potential customer back and forth between realspace and webspace, and how many interesting ways there are to go about pursuing this objective.

We’ll see if I use the 10% discount to buy a sweatshirt.

The Tat That Brings Kids Back!

Safety Tat is a product based on the parental practice of writing a phone number inside a diaper or on a backpack.

It can happen anywhere-at an amusement park, zoo, school field trip, or even your local shopping mall. Your attention shifts for a moment, and suddenly your child or loved one has wandered out of sight.

So put the odds in your favor for a safe return, with SafetyTat. Designed by a graphics professional and Mom of three kids, SafetyTat is a fun and colorful kids temporary safety tattoo that’s uniquely personalized with your cell phone number.


See also Forehead Advertising.

Thanks, CPT!

Japan: URLs Are Not Totally Out

In Japan: URL’s Are Totally Out we see an emerging form of advertising a web presence in Japan: showing a search bar rather than the actual URL. I looked through my recent photos and pulled some examples that show this, but also several examples that use the more traditional (if that’s the right word?!) presentation of URLs.

Search bar:

Traditional URL:

And finally, an ad for a search company (Excite? Who knew they were still around) that uses a URL, and also the increasingly popular QR code (see Rob Walker’s recent Consumed column).

(As a side note, I couldn’t find any pictures in my collection but I also remember seeing many examples of a graphical presentation of a URL that (similar to the search version above) used the visual elements of a browser’s address bar with the URL itself being typed in, complete with cursor hovering over the “go” button)


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