August 13, 2006

Frontiers In Web Advertising? [10:22 am]

The leading edge? Or far enough over it that the industry will draw some bright lines? Using porn to sell clothes; and think of the clickstream data! — Web Ads Show Just How Sexy These Clothes Make You Feel - pdf

The Internet is rapidly changing the rules of advertising — but using naked people to sell clothes?

A French clothier is testing the limits of the maxim that sex sells with online commercials that use hard-core pornography to hawk $100 T-shirts.

[...] “One of the things that is kind of intriguing about it is that … on the Web, you don’t have to worry about standards boards. You are getting rid of all your lines of censorship,” said Tom Reichert, who teaches advertising at the University of Georgia at Athens and wrote “The Erotic History of Advertising.”

Jeff Lanctot, the Seattle-based vice president of ad agency Avenue A/Razorfish, said future-looking marketers once dreamt that shows like “Friends” could prompt an instant buying frenzy.

“Years ago there were predictions that you’d be able to click to buy Jennifer Aniston’s sweater,” Lanctot said. “That time has come, but Jennifer Aniston has been replaced by a porn star. It’s another sign where pornography is right on the front lines of a lot of new trends.”

Curious? See http://www.sexpacking.com/home.php (and, seriously, this *is* porn, and therefore NSFW)

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In Search of the Next Paradigm [9:58 am]

Apropos in the face of this week’s LATimes series on entertaining the MySpace generation: The Television Has Disintegrated. All That’s Left Is the Viewer

It seemed, in fact, as though the very idea of television itself was disintegrating. Televisions have always contained two devices: an apparatus for displaying the picture and a tuner for receiving the broadcast signal. And yet they have always seemed like single things, as unitary as a light bulb. You plug them in, turn them on, and there is the old familiar glow of “Laverne and Shirley” beaming down out of the skies. But this new television is nothing like that. It is a town square, an ecumenical gathering place for signals of all kinds. There are all the usual connections, of course, plus ports for a computer (which plays DVD’s), a game controller (which plays DVD’s too), a video iPod (which plays downloaded videos), and a separate port for something I have never heard of called “Service.” There’s a tuner in the TV and also two in the TiVo box. So where, exactly, is “the television”?

I think the answer is that we are now the television. Think of all the devices we carry that snatch signal out of the air or intercept it as it streams past over cable of some kind or another. Think of all the possible sources of signal — not merely network and cable but Youtube and iTunes and a million more as broadband broadens. A device like TiVo used to seem remarkable: sitting at home, watching television all day long, saving what we asked it to save or what it thought we might like to have saved. But there is no such thing as cosmic TiVo, dialed in to all the signals that pass through our lives, coordinating and saving Web sources and air sources and cable sources and personal sources, like home videos and digital photos. We ourselves are the tuner in the television set, modulating all these inputs, carrying them to the new flat-screen panel for viewing, one by one. The idea of sitting down in front of “the television” and watching “what’s on” seems almost romantically archaic. Until you try it. Then it just seems archaic.

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