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Bringing clutter to mass transit

The Boston Globe reports that the T, Boston's mass transit system, is looking for ways to raise funds in order to offset their $10 million deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1 with advertising.

Desperate to raise more money without increasing fares, the MBTA is preparing to install its own closed-circuit television network in subway cars and stations.

T officials said the plan, which calls for installing television screens inside subway cars on the Red, Orange, and Blue lines, could generate $3.5 million in advertising revenues a year. But the televisions would mark a dramatic change for America's oldest subway system.

The network, which would probably offer a newscast in addition to advertisements, would be installed within the next year, according to the plan, which requires final approval from the T board.

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SoundAds

Some of the greatest Dutch photographers and illustrators combined print with sound. What's behind this idea?

Hugo Kalf (business director) and Marco de Boer (creative director) both working at Artmiks in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, want to show that you can do more with mobile phones. Everybody has got one so why not use them for advertising. By addressing people to call in an indirect and intriging way, you have a longer print/customer contact than usual. In the SoundAds campaign they were able to push this contact up to 1.15 minutes.

More behind this idea...

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McDonald's product placing "Big Mac" in rap lyrics.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, especially after LucJames : Billboard Brands opened it's doors tracking the tally of brands that crop up in the Top Twenty songs. Not only is hip-hop naughty but the genre seems to have a monopoly on product placement. Hip hop artists have rhymed on everything from Velcro to Versace, why not get paid for it?

AdAge reports that McDonald's is buying product placement in hip-hop lyrics. - with the help of marketing firm Maven Strategies McDonald's will find the right rap-artists to work the word "Big Mac" into their songs. The artists get paid $1 to $5 each time their song is played on the radio, a carrot that encourages them to write a hit.

... Maven has started to drum up interest from advertisers after the company was able to integrate Seagrams gin into five rap songs last year from artists such as Kanye West, Twista, the Franchise Boys and Petey Pablo. Petey Pablos Freek-a-leek ended up as the No. 2 hip-hop song of the year, according to the Billboard Top 50 hip-hop songs of 2004, and played over 350,000 times on the radio. Part of that songs lyrics: Now I got to give a shout out to Seagram's Gin/Cause Im drinkin' it and they payin' me for it.

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Font aid III ready, Fleurons of Hope

Back in 1999 Claes Källarsson of fuelfonts, Sweden started Font aid where 25 type designers created a collaborative font, with proceeds of it's sale going to UNICEF.

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Uninformed UK debate about childrens advertising marches on

The Scotsman carries a quote from Winston Fletcher about advertising aimed at children in an article about same.

"In Sweden advertising to children has been banned ever since commercial television began there, but 18 per cent of Swedish children are overweight - much the same as in Britain," says Winston Fletcher, who chairs the Advertising Standards Board of Finance and is a director of advertising agency DLKW. "Advertising to children was banned in Quebec more than 20 years ago, but 28 per cent of children in the province are overweight - about the same as in the rest of Canada where advertising to children has always been permitted."

Unfortunately, this quote has been allowed to go unchecked by journalists. Fletcher seems blissfully unaware that both the laws he quotes are completely toothless and have no effect at all in diminishing the amount of advertising children in Quebec and Sweden see every day which undermines his argument.

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Cover those billboards

Apparently semi-naked men shilling for underwear on billboards isn't flying in Bangkok.

The Ministry for Culture of Bangkok has ordered local advertisers to remove all billboards depicting images of men in their underwear from the streets of the city. Municipal officials believe that such images are corrupting local residents. In addition, such advertising activity was said to be immoral towards children.

The king and his milieu said that posters of semi-naked men in underwear were "obscene." The king said that the owners of such billboards would have to remove obscene photographs from the streets within several days.

More on the story here.

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Budskis and Amstelikovs!

Heineken's taking Amstel and Budweiser to Russia, but it looks as if it ain't necessarily going to be an easy sell.


What is surprising, though perhaps not refreshing for the company, is that it has failed to make any significant headway with the Heineken brand itself. For reasons that are not completely clear, it is simply not popular in Russia.

Nifty article on this and the state of the Russian beer market here.

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Marketing and MRI gone awry

Those brain-gauging marketing guys are still at it, trying to replace intuition with pseudoscientific data.


"Right now, brain scanning, especially at the level of neuromarketing, is to some degree a matter of tea-leaf reading," said George Lowenstein, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University.

Robert Lee Hotz of the LA Times reports, via The Seattle Times.

My Magic 8 Ball works just fine for me, and without all that pesky magnetic brain scrambling.

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