The Attention Economy and Hoax Marketing

The information age has become an attention economy. Michael H. Goldhaber states: "If the Web and the Net can be viewed as spaces in which we will increasingly live our lives, the economic laws we will live under have to be natural to this new space. These laws turn out to be quite different from what the old economics teaches, or what rubrics such as "the information age" suggest. What counts most is what is most scarce now, namely attention. The attention economy brings with it its own kind of wealth, its own class divisions - stars vs. fans - and its own forms of property, all of which make it incompatible with the industrial-money-market based economy it bids fair to replace. Success will come to those who best accommodate to this new reality."

How can internet marketers tap into this attention economy? Well, one surefire way of capturing the attention of millions is to implement a "hoax marketing" strategy. In SEO terms, a hoax marketing campaign can generate thousands upon thousands of quality backlinks; which, as I'm sure you know, is a prerequisite for a high PageRank.

Hoaxes are also excellent fodder for viral marketing campaigns. People go nuts for a weird or controversial story; they feel empowered because they are privy to a gem of secret knowledge. Inevitably, they then feel compelled to pass on the message via word of mouth/mouse. Within no time the knowledge of the hoax has mushroomed.

Hoax marketing campaigns have been popping up all over the net recently. An excellent example would have to be the one orchestrated by the graffiti site
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FIAP 2006

On Friday the FIAP Awards (Festival of IberoAmerican Advertising) wrapped up in Argentina.

Grand Prix for Television went to Contrapunto, Spain for their "Transparente" spot for the Metro de Madrid. BBDO Chile took home a Grand Prix for Print with "Soldado" for Sony PS2. "Caido" for HSBC by JWT Curitiba, Brazil won the Grand Prix for Outdoor. Giovani FCB grabbed the Grand Prix for Radio with "Internet" for Kaiser. Diageo, Spain also took home a Grand Prix for Cacique/Ron Cacique for Interactive with their "escucha la llamada" site and banners. The Grand Prix for Innovation in Media went to IDB/FBC in Chile for "Grua" for LEGO.

Read on to check some of the ads.


23 pieces of advice on your job hunt

1. Be wary of agencies owned by a Holding Co. Be particularly wary of those Holding Companies whose stock price is either perpetually falling or precariously hanging around pre-pubescence.

2. If the Creative Director utters something like, "We really want to turn the work around. We feel we're poised to do just that. We're just a key player or two from making this happen. The clients are on board, too," immediately terminate the interview.

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Axe wins Clio's 2006 Advertiser of the Year

Well, it's officially award season in the advertising world. Friday, the Clios announced the 2006 Advertiser of the Year award to Axe (a.k.a. Lynx in some countires), which will be presented during the 47th Clio Awards in South Beach, Miami, Florida May 13-16th.


New Sony Work Takes A Literal Leap

The new Sony Campaign, created by McKinney-Silver, Durham, NC is a classic example of a small, literal idea, wrapped with a bushel of dough, just like an overpriced mold begotten burrito. Let's see. The product bennie is simple enough: the digital camera is equipped with anti-blur technology. Nice. The ad campaign is not so nice. It's not mean. It’s just, well, beat. Flat. Zzzz.

The concept: The camera takes such clear pictures that it unleashes the picture taker's muse. Formula: "Unleash your inner muse." The campaign follows the logical next step, which is, to show the muse being 'unleashed'.

Frankly, it's lame ideas like this that give advertising a bad name.


Winterfresh/Big Red Advergame on

What a great advergame. It's actually fun to play. More "game" than "adver"! Way to go Wrigley.

See game at


Full Collection of Crazy Mini Ads

Minis are always surprise people using unexpected methods of communication. Here is an extensive list of their crazy ads.
on my own blog


Murphy's- Connect The Dots (2005) Newspaper (UK)

ANNA winner for December 2005, selected by Tim Delaney of Leagas Delaney, is this newspaper ad by BBH.

Ad type: 

Bitter Pills and Drug Ads

Earlier this week, the Prescription Access Litigation Project (PAL) announced the winners of their Bitter Pill Awards. There were four categories for drug companies who "engage in over-zealous and questionable marketing practices." The While You Were Sleeping Award, for overmarketing insomnia medications to anyone who's ever had a bad night's sleep, went to Lunesta (Sepracor) and Ambien/Ambien CR (Sanofi-Aventis). The “Got Cholesterol?” Award, for advertising statin drugs far beyond those who need them, went to Lipitor (Pfizer) and Crestor (AstraZeneca). The Driven to Distraction Award, for hawking an attention deficit drug by distracting consumers with ADD, went to Strattera (Eli Lilly). The Fox Guarding the Hen House Award and The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Award went to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) while the The Real Deal Award went to MedVantx for promoting safe, effective generics and countering drug industry marketing.

In related news, The NYTimes reports that Celebrex is back to advertising after 16 months without advertising, which resulted after Merck stopped selling Vioxx, a similar drug, because of its heart dangers. Now Celebrex print ads are back and feature a large bold warning, "Important Information: Celebrex may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death."


TAXI and john st. Win Best of Show at Bessies

Canada's Bessies took place today awarding the best television advertising in Canada. There were fewer golds awarded this year in comparison to last year. But who were the winners? Well, Best in Show Single went to the john st. agency for their "Long Goodnight" for Business Travel/Holiday Inn by creatives Donald Vann and Gerald KuglerBest and directed by Tim Godsall of UNTITLED. Best of Show for a Campaign went to TAXI for their "Golf," "Coach," "Office" series for Viagra. Superadgrunts, check them out. Credits inside.