Amazon Kindle With An Ad for Buick

Buzzfeed's Jon Steinberg received his ad-supported Kindle today and snapped a picture of a Buick ad on it.

The First Digital Copywriter

It's Joe McCambley, who is listed as copywriter on that very first 1994 banner for AT&T on HotWired.

According to his bio (pdf), "Joe conceived and developed the first advertising experience that ever appeared on the Internet in October of 1994. It was a banner that led to an online tour of the world’s best art museums, sponsored by AT&T and developed for the inaugural issue of HotWired Magazine."

Which also answers an old question -- what happened when people did click "right HERE".

"The Future of Advertising" Speech by P&G's Ed Artzt, 1994

On May 12, 1994, the CEO of Procter & Gamble Edwin Artzt delivered a speech at the annual 4As conference on the future of advertising. It has since become a classic,  often referenced but rarely read in full.  The speech, written months before the first banner ad received its first impression, was prescient in many regards and inspiring throughout:

"We run the risk of simply adapting to these changing technologies, but if we don't influence them -- and if we don't harness them -- loyalty to our brands could suffer in the long term."
"The most important change, by far, is that people will become more program-driven and less channel-driven." 
"[Remote controls will] soon be replaced by program navigational services that will fundamentally change the dynamics of TV viewing."  
"In virtually all of the media tests that have been launched around the country, consumers respond very positively to time-shifting." 
"History says that the advertising industry adapts brilliantly to new technology. But we can't sit there. We have to act."
"So we've got to get involved in programming to make certain that advertisers have access to the mass audience and to the best properties." 

The speech was made a year and a half before Nicholas Negroponte's seminal Being Digital.  The full text of the speech, via AdAge archives and an abandoned MediaCzar blog,  follows.

You Can't Run An Agency Without Digital

"I realized that you could not run a successful agency without digital and Hispanic advertising."

Bob Hoffman, The Ad "Advertising on The Web is Mostly a Bad Joke" Contrarian, in SF Biz Journal in 2009

Super Mario Propaganda

A set of four limited-edition posters for $80, here.  Also, my all-time favorite: Keep calm and save the princess.

20 Useful Tools

A collection of assorted tools that make my work easier:

1. Instructions for adding bookmarklets to Safari on iPad

2. - bookmark pictures you find online via a browser plug-in; no sign-ups required

3. - create automatic Twitter lists based on certain criteria, such as "people who unfollowed me"

4. Manage Flitter - follow and unfollow people based on their activity levels

5. - a web widget that lets you take appointments on your site

6. - make any picture into a multi-page pdf of a wall-sized poster. Also, The Rasterbator

7. - checks spelling on a website

8. - check how colorblind people see your images

9. Google Refine - a tool for working with messy data sets

10. Social Mention - do a quick check of a brand's mentions in social media

11. Webbed-o-Meter - do a quick check on a URL's appearances in social media

12. Photosynth - create photo panoramas with your iOS device

13. Sendoid - share large files directly between two computers

14. Dropbox plug-ins -- a growing library of add-ons for everyone's favorite shared folder

15. PicMe - an app for rooted Androids that shows your phone's screen on any web browser for screengrabbing purposes

16. Add-ons for Chrome and for Firefox that add a button to YouTube's interface and make downloading the video files super easy

17. Ginipic - searches across different photo sharing sites and presents its findings in a nice photo wall

18. A complete Angry Birds walkthrough - videos

19. Sample Size calculator - is a sample of 100 people big enough?

20. pptPlex - an experimental PowerPoint plug-in from Microsoft that breaks up the linearity of the tool by putting the slides on a zoomable canvas (watch demo)


Indented plates on benches and other surfaces used for seating imprint a brand message on people's legs. Not to be confused with assvertising.
- via

Publishers Promote Books On Document Sharing Sites

Random House is promoting its books by publishing illustrated excerpts on Scribd, with over 2 million total reads of 287 documents to date.

The recently uploaded in time with the TV premier and heavily promoted Game of Thrones has its own custom page and background:

Media: Cross-, Multi-, or Trans-?

Myth #1 in Henry Jenkins's  7 Myths About Transmedia is that "transmedia storytelling refers to any strategy involving more than one media platform."  It doesn't, and the following attempt at a classification of  *media storytelling approaches could be useful for understanding the difference:

- A single story is told concurrently via different media, with the core narrative being supported by artifacts spread out across many types of media. None of these artifacts (except maybe one core piece?) can tell a (the?) story on its own, and the narrative can't be consumed in the absence of the elements. Many ARGs labeled as transmedia actually seem to be multimedia. Many consider traditional merchandising (think Happy Meal toys) to be a form of transmedia storytelling, but I doubt it can be classified even as multimedia.

- A single story is interpreted independently in different media. Consider The Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter books and their movie incarnations.  Consuming the story in one  medium can enhance one's understanding of the story told via the other, but each individual interpretation is self-sufficient.

- Multiple stories are set in a single universe, each is told via different media and they complement each other to form an overarching narrative. Example: The Matrix (one of Jenkins's original examples of transmedia storytelling), with the movie trilogy, the comic books and the virtual world all being self-sufficient but at the same time enhancing each other.

These approaches are not mutually exclusive, of course, and nothing prevents a media franchise from employing all three. Lost, with its combination of the TV series, the ARG, the video game, the board game, the novels and many other media artifacts is a great example of trans- and  multimedia storytelling (examined in detail in Ivan Askwith's thesis).

To the extent that advertising is storytelling, this classification probably applies to our output as well.

This thinking is under heavy construction and I would love it if you could poke holes in it in the comments or elsewhere.

Turn Your House Into A Linkbait

A mobile ad network is offering to pay your mortgage for up to a year if you let them turn your house into a billboard for their services. Probably an imaginative and successful linkbait (including a CNN story) more than an actual project, considering the $100,000 budget and all the codes they might have to deal with.  The company is in the process of attracting additional funding.

AdLab in Snapshots

Explore the visual side of AdLab's archives with Blogger's cool newly released Snapshots view.

Human Billboards in 1920

Walking billboards for run-free stockings, 1920s
- source

Mad Men Barbie

There goes my lunch money. Betty, Don, Joan and Roger for $75 each in a special fashion doll collection by Mattel.