Nepso

I present you my four year old daughter’s latest creative output. While other kids are drawing useless doodles, Natalie is mastering the steps of NPD, brainstorming, advertising, and graphic design.

This is a rather detailed concept for “Nepso” brand candy (here seen “falling into a basket”).

Note the unique brand name, the pleasing overall layout, and a fine, fine logo work in the bottom right corner.

While this work might be considered derivative of products of Mars, Incorporated, I still feel that this is a fine first foray into marketing.

Facebook Marketing: 25 Most Effective, Unknown, Black-Op Marketing Techniques for Bands and Businesses

The much anticipated Facebook Marketing Book by Nick Jag ( NickJag.com ).

Everyone has been talking about Facebook – it’s the next MySpace! The problem is, how to do you, as a band or business, take advantage of this opportunity?

Whether you’re just getting started on Facebook or have been on the site for years, this book is going to show you how to promote your band or business effectively and efficiently!

There are so many marketing channels in Facebook, many of the ineffective. Some will even get your profile deleted very easily. Don’t worry about any of it, because with this book you will learn…

– Which promotion channels to avoid, hitting limits, and being reported as spam.

– Which main promotion channels are most effective for your brand and how to get the most out of them.

– Hidden marketing techniques that will sky rocket your brand expansion, having the Facebook site do all the work for you!

– Top secret mass messaging and marketing techniques that will leave you in awe ( NickJag.com )

Eyeballs vs Clicks

I really don’t understand why Internet advertising industry is so centered on clicks. Everywhere else advertisers pay to put ads on billboards, magazine pages, TV and movie screens, all unclickable. They will even pay crazy money for tiny little logos on very fast cars going in circles. Or on outfits of athletes and even golfers. Yet when it comes to web advertising – eyeballs do not matter, it’s all about clicks. For instance, Vonage gets a really sweet deal – I never click on their ads, but every ad is a reminder to me that Verizon is ripping me off and I should really think about an IP telephony solution. When I will finally see that they have done something about providing a 911 service that is as reliable as a regular phone company’s maybe I’ll finally succumb. Or maybe their ads will do their dirty deed, I won’t have much problems finding them – their company name is also their web address.

“If You Paid Attention, You’d be Worried Too” or Finit Finis Finish Omnious Omnium Shmomnious

The very special 47-50th Street/Rockefeller Center station has some very strange advertisements posted in the decrepit old clock boxes. You know, the ones overhead, the ones to which nobody pays attention too because the clocks are usually way off?

For some reason I thought that the ads that I’ve seen for a long time were cigarette ads. But recently I looked at them a little bit more carefully and realized that something was odd. The ads show a sunset over the forest and a flock of birds in the air. The caption says “Omnium Finis Imminet”. Huh. Hello conspiracy theories.

Well, my crappy knowledge of Latin tells me that “omnium” means “all”, “finis” means “end” and “imminet” since it sounds just like “imminent” means “is coming”.

Apparently graffiti with this nice apocalyptic message has been popping up in other places. On the other hand, this is not graffiti, is it? At the very best this is a well executed hack.

Come Monday (well, if the end of the world is not going to happen before then) I am totally giving a call to Gannett Transit (formerly New York Subways Advertising Co) at (212) 297-6400 to figure out what’s up with this.

Update.
I called Gannett Transit just to be kicked to voicemail, but it looks like the ad is legit. I’ve seen a whole bunch in West 4th Station and comments are rolling in about TV spots too. As commenters pinted out this is probably a “guessing game” ad for the new War of the Worlds movie or some stupid Sci-fi Channel movie or series. Well, at least nobody seems to be paying attention to the ads. None of the people I asked were able to recall what it was about.

Well, at least it seems that my humble blog ranks high in the very sparse search results for “omnium finis imminet”, “omnium finis imminent” and the other creative ways to spell this slogan, so hopefully I’ll gain some readers along the way.

Now, if this were an ad for Darren Aronofsky’s Flicker, that would be way cool. But I am not even sure that he is filming it at all.

Another update
Wow, it looks like New York Times fact checkers are in hot water as the reporters totally pulled this out of their butts (or read on this in my blog as it was the top result on Google for a while) :

“The advertisements portray a flock of birds against an angry red sky, with a single phrase: Omnium Finis Imminet, Latin for The End of All Things Is Near. The advertisements, for Steven Spielberg’s movie version of H. G. Wells’s “War of the Worlds,” cost about $50,000. The film is to open in July.”

They did post a correction later on. Here’s the full ad from a recent Scientific American that my wife brought me today.

Note the Photoshop lens flare and the horrible font. Looks like their art director is about as competent as their marketing director. The letter “T” is probably made to look like the Orange County Choppers dagger logo to capitalize on the popularity of that show.

He heh, the show seems to have a stupid “X-Files” marries “Millennium” premise. The end of the world is approaching, and investigators are a physicist instead of Scully and a nun instead of Mulder. That’s some sexy and original stuff. Just get a bad 80s rock ballad for a theme song and all the geeks mourning Star Trek will flock to see this.

Raiding the Foodmotron

I am endlessly fascinated with vending machines, and being my old semi-autistic self like to study their contents. These days, trying to fight my way out of being overweight, the only thing I ever consume out of them is peanuts or trail mix. Still, I am amazed at how hard it is to get anything remotely healthy out of them.

I’ve seen an article once that described how to get a balanced meal out of a vending machine. All I have to say to that is – “Ha!”. So in the spirit of exploration I decided to figure out what is the single most unhealthy item you can get from them.

The placement of items in most of machines that I’ve seen at different workplaces follows the same pattern. Chips at the top, various snacks in the middle and ultrascary stuff at the bottom. The very last minirow is usually reserved for dried out rolls of lifesavers and gum.

The ultrascary items are the ones that I am interested in here. I have to admit that in the dot com years a consumed a couple of items from there. In fact I had a manager who publicly admitted his addiction to “Black Forrest Brownies” located there. I looked at the wrapper of the brownies and was absolutely scared of the fact that somebody managed to stick that much high calory crud into such a small package.

I checked the machine at work and promptly started the collection of scary vending machine food wrappers. I present to you the current champion:

The little “Eddie” character looks a little creepy, doesn’t he?

Wow, 40 grams of fat and 61 grams of carbs. Food of the gods!

I dare you to find something less healthy in your vending machine. If you do and send me a scan of the package I will send you a nice set of 3d photos of New York that I took and 3d glasses to view them.

Die Kunst Der Rant : Shopping Cart Issue.

I don’t care what you call it – a shopping cart, a shopping bag or a shopping sack, but the following retarded things are going to cost you some sales:

1) Expire the shopping cart. There’s nothing that makes me want to complete my order than coming back in the morning and finding out that 20 items that I picked the night before are gone and my shopping cart is reset. Even better, store the cart id in a memory only cookie so that the cart will be reset even sooner.

2) Before checkout ask – “do you have a coupon”? Hey, the fact that there is a possibility that a coupon exists makes you feel that you are getting the _best_ possible price! Nobody is going to use that popular search engine dealy to try to find that coupon, and then to search for a better price on an item. No siree Bob.

3) Save money on copyrighter’s and photographer’s fees. A one line explanation and a tiny pixilated picture is enough. Even if the photographer gave you a big image file, that stuff will only confuse the customer. Product dimensions are irrelevant. I mean, what moron cant’s figure out the dimensions of a product from a tiny image with white background?

4) Don’t link the product in the shopping cart to the page with the description and photo of the product. A 10 pixel by 10 pixel image and a cryptic description is good enough. Who can forget what he added to the cart earlier?

Arrrrgh.

Joko the Lawn Jockey

Immediately after landing in Manhattan, the delegation form Lawn Jockey planet demanded to see our leader.

Interesting, this ubiquitous lawn ornament seems to have an interesting history. It’s also interesting how almost all Jockos I’ve ever seen in New York (including in this stunning collection) were white. And I’ve seen a lot of them when I had a job delivering ad papers in many neighborhoods of Brooklyn. (Yes, I delivered paper spam).