Advertising, scepticism and zombies

Saturday, 29 August 2009

You remind me of your mother

Didn't I see this on Nick JR?

It's actually a trailer for some weird film makers' fest.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Maoam for some sweet lovin’

Brand Strategy reports that a dad (or a PR agent) has complained that the cartoon fruit on Maoam sweet packaging are having sex. I think that he might be right, but so what? Maybe the packaging would be more suited to flavoured condoms, but if they were to be aimed at adults (after all, Haribo - who own the Maoam sub-brand - are advertised as a product that grown-ups nick from kids) with even more salacious packaging, then Maoams would be the Haagen-Dazs of sweets.

Don't knock it

via I Say Shut Up

Arty science people

More lovely thinkings from the great Dr Michio Kaku who says magical Harry Potter geegaws and Star Trek tech are not implausible.
Dr Kaku’s musings are not as far out as many other ideas of how technology will develop. There’s a busy little corner of my trends file dedicated to futurology and, rifling through it (virtually) I often wonder at that misconception that creativity is the monopoly of arty types.
Is there really such a thing as an arty type, anyway? It’s funny how scientists in popular culture are remarkably uniform, with the most common trait being a streak of insanity from which their creative juices must flow.
That’s why I love science fiction. Sci-fi written by sciencey people makes a good fist of imagining the social consequences of extreme technology.
And maybe it’s just me, but why does it appear that British authors like Iain M Banks and Alastair Reynolds will imagine humanity thousands or millions of years hence, whereas US authors concentrate on the near future?
Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the view from my lab.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Sinister grannies

The Google Insights For Search site is one of my favourite free search tools. Combined with other tools, it's a powerful way of unearthing trends about brands and issues of importance to a certain type of consumer. Plus it can be great fun.
I was recently extremely chuffed to have an Insights search retweeted by Dara O'Briain. He tweeted a link to Tits vs Ass. I responded with this, which I call "Sinister grannies," and first saw in a comment on
There's a nice statistical view of the site on Information is Beautiful.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Reading this means you have a 12% risk of getting cancer

I regard the mainstream media as an important source of information; not for the value of that information but for its influence. This is a source which is, of course, often wrong.
The worst cases are stories about healthcare - a popular sector for a particular type of newspaper because of the opportunities it provides to rehash seemingly innocuous data into something far more sinister. The Guardian's Dr Ben Goldacre frequently illustrates the Daily Mail's propensity for dividing every substance in the universe into those that cause cancer, and those that cure it.This simple presentation does an excellent job of debunking that common tool of the tabloid hack: the contextless percentage.

Kids' games

Why is the new mural in the Children's ward at Southend Hospital giving the kids nightmares?

I never understood why, even after a total zombie holocaust, you never saw zombie kids. Single hits like the undead baby in the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and the lad in the petrol station in 28 Day Later don't count.

Pic from Ffffound!

Dust to dust

via Nick Burcher