To The Extent That Obvious Attempts At Viral Advertising Can Be Art, This Is It

(GE on YouTube)

While I am not one to wax on about lightbulbs, I do desperately adore actor Jeff Goldblum. So sure, this ad by GE for its lightbulbs is definitely a blatant attempt to “go viral,” as the people who think they sound hip say, but it’s also utterly weird and great. And also Jeff Goldblum. [More]

"Hey, ladies, talk about ED before you guys go on vacation."

Viagra Airing TV Ads Targeted At Women For The First Time

While Viagra is a medication taken for men, they’re not the only ones who could benefit from its use. The makers of the erectile dysfunction treatment have figured out that women are a valuable marketing asset, what with being half of a man-woman horizontal tango, and as such, have started aiming ads at the female of the species for the first time ever. [More]

(Bob Avery)

Facebook’s New Ad Service Lets Advertisers Get Up Close And Personal Everywhere You Are

Facebook ads: we’ve all seen a million of them. While some are generic spam, many are very creepily on-target. Until now, Facebook has mostly used its massive hoard of detailed user data for itself, and to sell ads on its own site. But now the site you love to hate is finding a new way to bank on your favorite bands and brands, with a new advertising service that can let companies chase down and advertise to any specific group they want. [More]

You Could Buy 5 Tricked-Out Teslas For the Price Of One Sunday Night Football Ad

You Could Buy 5 Tricked-Out Teslas For the Price Of One Sunday Night Football Ad

Are you thinking about advertising your business on prime-time network TV? It might be a good investment, but for the price of just a single ad on one show, you could treat yourself to a very expensive, maxed-out electric vehicle. [More]

(Simon Abrams)

Feds Warn Advertisers Against Trying To Hide The Truth

Most of us accept the fact that advertisers have to massage the truth to put their products in the best possible light. You’re likely to sell more widgets saying “The fastest widget on the market!” and doing your best to hide the disclosure that you really mean it’s the fastest widget you can buy at one particular market in rural Alberta. But some advertisers have apparently been getting too fine with their fine print and have been put on notice by federal regulators to just stop it already. [More]

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court held that Yelp is free to shuffle positive and negative reviews around at will, and can even use that freedom as a way to urge businesses to advertise on the site. But even in light of this ruling, Yelp maintains that buying ads on the site does not determine which reviews show up for your business. [More]

(Xavier J. Peg)

Procter & Gamble Reportedly Cancels NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Promotion

The nation’s largest TV advertiser, and the company that makes many of the products in your bathroom, has reportedly decided against sponsoring the NFL’s annual breast cancer awareness initiative in the wake of numerous allegations of domestic abuse against players. [More]

If Facebook Is Going To Label Satirical Stories, It Should Be Calling Out Ads Posing As News Links

I'm mostly doing this story so I can repeatedly share my Facebook profile photo of an 18-year-old me with a glorious head of 1993 hair.

Facebook began labeling certain shared links as “satire,” as a bit of hand-holding for its less-savvy users who can’t tell the difference between an actual news headline and one written by the writers of The Onion. But what Facebook really needs to do is start labeling so-called “native” or sponsored stories on non-satire sites so that your idiot friends might think twice before sharing a story that is really just an ad for some juice company. [More]

This LifeAlert Ad Is Creepier Than American Horror Story

This LifeAlert Ad Is Creepier Than American Horror Story

Fear can be a good motivator in marketing. It’s probably not such a good motivator when your ads freak everyone out so much that they leave the room or change the channel. What company has consumers so frightened that they’re begging the company to stop showing the ads? Life Alert. Yes, the people behind the often-mocked “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” ads. [More]

Creator Of Pop-Up Ads Apologizes For Doing His Part To Ruin The Internet

(Misfit Photographer)

Along with auto-play video and auto-refresh webpages, pop-up ads make up the unholy trinity of browsing the Internet. Now, the man who wrote the code for the first ever ad to come out of nowhere and spoil your reading experience is saying he’s sorry to the world. [More]

Truly Depressing: 400K People Watched Arby’s “Brisket Channel” For Average Of 38 Minutes

Truly Depressing: 400K People Watched Arby’s “Brisket Channel” For Average Of 38 Minutes

Perhaps it was to satisfy an atavistic desire, connecting across the eons with our hunter/gatherer forebears by gazing in awe as a slab of animal meat cooks slowly, the fat rendering, collagen melting. Or perhaps we’ve reached another stage in the mind’s evolution, with some next-level humans able to divine meaning and narrative out of watching a brisket cook through the lens of a single fixed TV camera. Please let there be some sane, acceptable explanation why hundreds of thousands of people would tune in to watch an Arby’s marketing stunt, and why they would give it more attention than they would the average TV show. [More]

Burger King’s Largest Franchisee Blames Local Ad Cuts For Lower Sales

Burger King’s Largest Franchisee Blames Local Ad Cuts For Lower Sales

A few weeks ago, we shared with you a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story about fast-food chain Burger King, its young leadership, and its effort to change a lot of things about the fast-food brand business model. When the chain shed most of its corporate-owned stores in the U.S. in 2012, existing franchisees like publicly traded Carrols took on those restaurants. Its sales are down, Carrols wants investors to know, because Burger King cut back on local ad reimbursements to his loyal subjects. [More]

With legal pot, comes advertising.

Cannabis Company Unveils Country’s First Marijuana Billboards In Seattle

Back in my day, the only billboards along the side of the road were for things like light beer, ambulance chasers, adult video stores, fast food and car dealerships. No longer will roadside advertising be limited to such things, as a new era of everyday legal marijuana use in Washington has made the country’s first cannabis billboards a reality. [More]

GEICO Spent Almost $1 Billion On Advertising Last Year

GEICO Spent Almost $1 Billion On Advertising Last Year

If it seems to you that Geico advertises during every program you watch on TV, you’re not wrong. The insurance company spent $935 million on ads last year, and there cannot possibly be anyone left in this country who doesn’t know how long it might take them to save 15% on car insurance. Can there? [More]

This screengrab from the company's website was used as evidence in the FTC's complaint.

You Can’t Sell “Made In The USA” Seals Without Checking That Products Live Up To That Label

As we’ve talked about in previous stories, while there are federal guidelines about what constitutes a “Made In America” product, manufacturers are operating on an honor system because it would be too onerous a task for the government to actually investigate every product claiming to be American-made. But if a company charges thousands of dollars for seals that indicate that a product’s Made In USA bona fides have been verified, it should actually be doing something to check those claims. [More]

Now Facebook Is Testing A “Buy” Button In Its Ads

Now Facebook Is Testing A “Buy” Button In Its Ads

Because you should apparently never, ever have to even consider leaving Facebook to do anything, the online baby photo depository and place where recently divorced singles go to try to reignite high school romances has begun testing a “Buy” button that allows you to purchase crap you could buy elsewhere. [More]

Nordstrom Catalog Acknowledges That People With Disabilities Like Fashion Too

An image from the newest Nordstrom catalog.

Much in the way that not everyone is a size 0 or built like a Greek god, not everyone who wants to dress in nice clothes has the use of all of their limbs. Then there are all the people with disabilities that aren’t immediately evident, but which nonetheless have a huge impact on their lives. These folks represent billions of dollars in buying power, but often go overlooked in fashion advertising, though not in the pages of Nordstrom catalogs. [More]

Ask and ye shall maybe receive.

Guy With Hidden Camera Asks Fast Food Workers To Remake His Orders More Like The Ads

While it’s no news to anyone who has eyes in their head that fast food reality barely ever lives up to those glistening tomatoes, perky lettuce and perfectly chargrilled patties in the ads, what if you simply asked for your food to be remade in its commercial image? Either you’d get a lot of laughing in your face, or heck, maybe you could convince someone to try a little bit harder just for you. [More]