YouTube Identifies Soundtracks, Creates Auto Playlists?

I was watching this mega-awesome video and noticed that YouTube identified the artist on the soundtrack (Hybrid) and linked the artist's name to a separate page containing more artist details including other tracks, a playlist button, upcoming events, and an info blurb.There's also an affiliate "Buy" link placeholder under the artist's name, but it was left empty. This seems to be a part of YouTube's Content ID program, but I haven't it in this type of action before.

Bonus track: one hacker explores how Content ID works. Cashes In On Rapture

Love how jumped on the Twitter rapture train by paying to for the sponsored tweet in the #endoftheworldconfessions top trending topic. 150 retweets as of this post.

Casual Mobile Advergames - For Cats!

Puss In Boots, boot up your tablet - Friskies has released not one but three Games for Cats advergames playable in any tablet browser thanks to the magic of HTML5/CSS3. The games don't scale down to the phone screen size, though, so smaller cats are out of luck. The games are Cat Fishing,   Tasty Treasures Hunt, and Party Mix-Up. Cats like.

Now waiting for a study on the advergames's effect on feline brand recognition.

There Are No Insights, There Is No Research

Farrah Bostic points out that you can't have "insights" the same you can't have "intelligences":
"You can not uncover, seek, find, or land on "insights". Insight isn’t a noun in the sense that a car or a nickel or a pen are nouns. It’s a noun that names a quality or capacity, like beauty, intelligence, compassion. We tend not to pluralize and objectify these nouns, because they are not about objects.

Insight is a capacity to gain accurate and deep understanding of a person or thing. Insight, in other words, is what a good planner or creative – or hell, in a perfect world a good client or account manager – should have. The depth of this understanding should go so far as to seem intuitive. There are many ways one might obtain insight – through study, immersion, experience, interrogation, observation. And these are the standard tools of the planner or market researcher or strategist."

Ben McAllister warns about the dangers of "scientism":
"As an undergraduate physics major, I had grown to understand scientific research as a slow process that took place over years or even decades. Research, as I understood it then, was an attempt to deliberately advance knowledge by eliminating false theories. It was a difficult undertaking bolstered by rigorous debate.
In the business world, I later learned, “the research” is quite a different phenomenon. As my interview so nicely illustrated, “the research” is not debatable. Apparently it’s capable of predicting people’s reactions to decisions that haven’t even been made yet. In fact, “the research,” seems to be capable of making decisions all on its own."

Hashtagart Turns Twitter Profile Pics Into Beautiful Mosaic Art

Hashtagart creates elaborate mosaic art out of Twitter users' profile pictures:"Hashtagart has proprietary technology and a suite of apps that make it fun for consumers to spread a brand's message. Consumers are no longer advertised to, they BECOME the advertisement, and they have fun connecting with the brand."

The images above are 11am and 5pm  screengrabs from a new Dark Knight movie teaser done with hashtagart's Mosaic app. Check out their other projects for Roku, Window Phone 7, and MSNBC 2010 election coverage.

WSJ's Article About Spying on Internet Users Spies on Internet Users

The very first article in the Wall Street Journal's year-long series on online user tracking places at least 23 "pieces of tracking technology" from at least 10 servers, as identified by the Ghostery browser plug-in.

"One of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found, is the business of spying on Internet users," the first installment reads. One of the servers whose code lives on the article page on is from Bizo, an ad targeting company whose pitch is: "Powered by bizographic data on over 85 million people, the Bizo platform enables marketers, agencies, publishers, and ad networks to understand the "bizographic" makeup of site visitors, and precisely target and engage business professionals online."

The author mentions that "the Journal also tested its own site,".  Since she doesn't share what the study found on specifically, I thought I would.

Money Can't Buy You Love, But "Likes" Are $2 Apiece

As far back as 2007, Facebook's terms of service prohibited using one's profile for ad purposes (such as embedding affiliate widgets, for example): "You agree not to use the Service or the Site to upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising."

The TOS have since been updated, but their current version has a similar language: "You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser)."

Would "liking" Walmart's profile in its Crowdsaver campaign qualify as "selling your status to advertiser" and could getting a deal on a product be interpreted as "commercial gain"?  Tricky.

And it doesn't seem like the TOS is stopping a growing army of entrepreneurial individuals from mediating the relationship between people seeking online fame and people looking to make a buck. I easily found half a dozen services that are prepared to pay you for a range of Facebook feed-related activities, from posting  status updates to "liking" stuff.

Here, someone who seems to be an affiliate is promoting one such service with an ad on Craigslist.
The service -- a Facebook app -- promises that "from the moment you connect to this app, you can start receiving money when you SHARE videos. Simply keep on sharing videos with your facebook friends, just as usual. The only difference: You get to receive money."

A page on MyLikes says the service has 221,236 publishers (that is, Facebook or Twitter users) with an aggregate audience of 310,785,405, and has generate 43,023,415 clicks for its advertisers. The company has a write-up in the Crunchbase. Its Twitter account has over 31K followers. You can "Like" stuff on the go, too, using their Android and iOS apps. (The service is Twitter-centric, but it allows users to post their "likes" on Facebook even though it doesn't pay for any Facebook-originated clicks.)

PaidStatus offers access to "promotion-ready Facebook users". And at a $.85 CPM, it sounds like a good deal, too: "As at October 2010, direct exposure to 1,000 Facebook users works out at just 85 cents!"

VideoLikes specializes in promoting videos via "liking".

This Is Your Brain On Apple

A BBC Secrets of the Brands documentary looks into how one Apple fan's brain reacts to the brand's iconography. Turns out "the Apple products are triggering the same bits of [Brooks'] brain as religious imagery triggers in a person of faith."

Back in 2004, Douglas Atkin in his The Culting of Brands (aff link) drew similar parallels between religious cults and brands that enjoy very enthusiastic following, Apple in particular; I posted about the book here.


From the mailbox:

- Matt sent in this variation of a captcha ad where you have to click on the ad for it to reveal the security squiggle.  Why annoy your user once if you can do it twice?

- Buy cheap wooden furniture, not. Or else.

- People using Polyvore put together collections inspired by the royal wedding.

- Jared is hacking advertising.

- These Minis are actual cars.

Sofa-Shaped Popcorn Bags Sell Sofas

Sofa-shaped popcorn bags promote a sofa event at a department store in Brazil to the tune of a 17% increase in sofa sales, according to Ogilvy Brasil, the agency behind the stunt. Don't think I've seen popcorn bags used as an ad medium before. Very nice.

Make Your Own Facebook Book

Can't get around to writing that memoir of yours?  My Social Memories is an application by Deutsche Post DHL that rolls two years of your Facebook life into an 18-page printed book for about $30 plus shipping (I paid only shipping for mine thanks to a coupon included with the press release). Mine won't be particularly thrilling, I am afraid, but the app does a few neat things like calculating and laying out friend stats. It's not without its share of glitches: it put my hometown as Germany (not by a long shot) and it chokes on non-Latin characters. One genius move -- even though you can't embed the slideshow of the book, it does export a few pages as stills that it then places in your photo gallery as an album and posts it on your wall.

A French telecom did something similar last year, and you can order photobooks and posters of your friends' profile pics elsewhere.

The iPad and the Return of Tummy TV

One of my first iPad impressions last year was how different it felt to hold moving images in your hands: "Watching HD videos on the iPad gives a strange sensation you don’t get from TV or laptop, a feeling of proximity, almost intimacy." Adam Lisagor, in a much longer post, shared a similar feeling:

"The iPad is for the nightstand. And for the sofa, and for the places between where you stand in line and where you sit at your desk. That’s why every iPad poster and billboard features it on a lap or a knee. They’ve stopped short of showing it on a chest in bed, but that’s where mine gets its most use."
"To my mind, holding a 10” screen a foot from my face in a dark room is more immersive than staring blankly at a 40” screen twelve feet away."
"iPad. It’s TV for your chest™."
Which reminded me of an 1965 ad from Bernbach's book for the new 5-inch TV sets by Sony that had become known, likely thanks to Bernbach, as tummy TVs ("so that your wife can sleep, we also include a personal ear plug").

-- image credits: 1, 2. Also from the same Sony series: Pee Wee Tee Vee and The Walkie-Watchie

Branded Music Visualization Plug-In for Land Rover

I last wrote about branded WinAmp visualizations five years ago and haven't heard much since until today when I saw the Land Rover team released a visualization plug-in for Windows Media Player.
-- via

As Seen on Google

A site is using its top Google SERP rank as a seal of approval:  Google Ranks #1 for "Spy Camera"
-- banner on  home page

11 Random Adlab Posts

Just that: 11 totally random posts from the past six years brought to you by the wonderful "Show a Random Post" button on the blog's right sidebar. Click here to subscribe to the RSS feed if you are new here.

Santa Bot Talks Sex, Swears (2007)

Study: Low Awareness of Brands in Second Life (2007)

Human Locator's Interactive Targeted Billboards (2005)

Data Transmission Through Visible Light (2005)

"Future of Advertising" Photoshop Contest (2005)

Military Recruitment Ads From Around the World (2008)

Imagining Apple TV (2010)

NYTimes on Military Analysts As Propaganda Proxies (2008; the author subsequently won a Pulitzer for his investigative reporting on the subject))

Diapers and Beer: The Real Story (2008)

Two Ad Agencies Announce Second Life Branches (2006)

Subliminal Spam (2006)

The Human "Million Dollar Home Page"

Remember the Million Dollar Home Page? Billy "The Billboard" Gibby (recently featured in Bizarre) has 32 tattoos of brands and websites on his body, and has a spot for one more, which he is selling on eBay with a starting bid of $300.

Or you can buy a package deal and get the tattoo AND the rights to change Billy's legal name to your liking (starting at $6K).  Right now, Billy's legal name is Hostgator Mel Dotcom, which he changed from Billy after hosting company had bought the package last year and issued a press release.

So far, no bids with four hours left till the auction's end. Potential media buyers must be concerned about ad clutter.

Tattoo an Ecko Logo and Get 20% Off For Life

Speaking of branded tattoos: Ecko offers 20% off for life to anyone who tattoos its brand logo (the rhino or the shears) and presents the appropriately inked body part at the store.  There's fine print: "Tattoo must be permanent and provided by a professional third-party tattoo artist operating in accordance with applicable laws. Multiple tattoos does not entitle the consumer to more than one 20% discount. Not valid on bulk buys." -- found on one of deal aggregator sites

Also, Techdirt asks: is it infringement to get your favorite sports team logo tattooed on your body? (They aren't sure.)

Get Free Gas; Ugly Cars Need Not Apply

If you are "cool and responsible", work "in a busy retail location" and drive a "high quality stylish vehicle" (or "any nice truck if you work at a large home improvement store") that you routinely park at beaches, sporting events, malls and fair groups, then Take 1 If You Dare has a deal for you. You festoon your "stylish vehicle" with promo magnets, and the company pays for your gas. Which in the age of $4-$5 gas, might not be a bad deal.

And if you need help with your mortgage, there's a deal for you, too.