Social Network – Facebook – Friends Forever

Facebook Logo - Large Square“Thanks to Facebook, I never lose touch with anyone. And that, my Friend, is a problem.”

A perusal of my Facebook Friend roster reveals that I, a medium-social individual of only middling lifetime popularity, have never lost a friend. They’re all there: elementary school friends, high school friends, college friends, work friends, friends of friends, friends of ex-girlfriends—the constellation of familiar faces crowds my Friendbox like medals on Mussolini’s chest. I’m Friend-rich—at least onscreen. I’ve never lost touch with anyone, it seems. What I’ve lost is the right to lose touch. – Wired Magazine

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Creativity: Apple vs Microsoft. Mac vs PC Marketing

By now most of the public has seen at least one of the many creative Mac vs PC commercials. If you are like me I find them hilarious and very memorable. Already thousands of spoofs have been generated using a similar type of message delivery. The Mac vs PC campaign is so unique and memorable it will most likely go down in history as one of the best.

Microsoft however was not amused. After Vista failed to meet expectations and criticized across the board, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft blamed the commercials for the poor view of Vista. Microsoft than launched a $300 million dollar ad campaign to fight back.

I find this “battle” quite amusing because the type of ads that are produced are only further affirming the image the public has of each company. Microsoft as the out of touch, big bad company that throws money to get what it wants. Apple as the hip young company who are well in tune with what consumers want and one of the best at marketing it’s products. I’ve summarized their campaigns embedded the relevant videos below. Definitely check out the Apple ones.

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Influence of TV SNL Satire on Political Identity – Sarah Palin 2008

I am sure by now you’ve seen one of the Saturday Night Live (SNL) spoofs of Sarah Palin. If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth a good laugh. (And you can find some of the videos below on this post). Tina Fey’s impersonation is excellent and by all means looks just like Sarah Palin. SNL has been part of the political landscape imitating politicians since 1975. This year has been no different as millions of people have tuned in to watch Tina Fey impersonate Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate. SNL ratings have skyrocketed to the highest in seven years and the sketches have been seen all over the internet as well as replayed in all the major news stations.

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Creativity: Leave Nothing Nike Commercials

Below are TWO Nike “Leave Nothing” Commercials. Both really get your adrenaline rushing and are great pieces of work. Click into the entry to see the rest!

Leave Nothing Nike Commercial – FATE
Director: David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, The Game etc.,)
Song: Ecstasy of Gold
Follows the life journey of NFL players LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu from the moment they were born running to the point where they meet on the football field. Fate.

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Creativity: Don’t Vote Print Campaign

Brilliant voting campaign aimed to push the public to go vote. This marketing campaign was created by Borders Perrin Norrander and Pollinate Media. They provide the files so people can print out posters as well as banners for the public to put on their blogs and websites. The tag line is “Don’t Vote. Things are fine just the way they are.” Just simple and brilliant.

See more examples below the jump!
Website to the creatives also available below the jump!
(for those not familiar with the blog term “jump” – it means click into the entry and you can see the rest of the article)

Print Ad - Don't Vote Campaign - Amde in China
Don't Vote Campaign - Made in China

Message: Our Economy is in trouble. America’s stance in the world in diminishing. China’s economy is growing while our influence in the worldwide economy lessens.
Execution: America, now.. made in China. Awesome

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Surveillance of Skype Messages in China Part II

After posting the entry about Surveillance of Skype Messages in China, I was immediately informed that the issues highlighted in the Citizen Lab report affect only the TOM-Skype software distributed by TOM in China and that standard versions of Skype remain unaffected. [thanks Peter]. This is indeed an important piece of information as to appease the fears of the Skype user base.

It looks like Skype has been active in addressing the public in regards to this matter. Here are some excerpts from their President Josh Silverman.

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Creativity: Classic Honda TV Commercial

An oldie, but a goody. Good Example of a very well done commercial. Creative. Original. Clean. Captures the viewer as well as highlight a product advantage (everything just works/ reliability). Enhances the brand image by associating creativity and cool factor. This is also a video that easily goes viral because of it was unique and different compared to other commercials of it’s kind. Enjoy!

We need more of these type of commercials that are clean and doesn’t sell emotions or feelings.

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Surveillance of Skype Messages in China

The New York Times reported that a group of Canadian human right activist and a computer security researcher has discovered a surveillance system that monitors and archives web text messages and conversations. It is triggered when the conversation includes politically charged words. Researchers in Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto uncovered hundreds of message records after they decrypted the messages. Example words are “communist”, “quit the party”, “democracy”, “Tibet”, “Tiananmen” “SARS”, “Taiwan Independence”, and “milk powder”.

Media Monitoring Controvery
This new discovery again highlights the controversy of media monitoring by the Chinese government. The Chinese government filters out websites, images, stories from the web and makes them inaccessible through search engines. The most notorious was the removal of Tiananmen Square related information. The most recent controversy involved the accusation of the Chinese Gymnastic team being underaged. Hundreds of blog posts with screenshots of records of the Chinese Gymnastic team that was found through Internet research appeared on the web, but soon after each of the online records would mysteriously disappear. The investigation was recently dropped due to the lack of evidence.

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Latest in 3D: HD Holographic Projection, 2D/3D, HeadTracking

Ok so this isn’t the “Latest” in 3D technology, but they are fascinating videos none the less and probably new to most people. For those of you visiting here for the first time, I like to occasionally post entries highlighting creativity in media, advertising and art/design. So if your interested in some of the advances going on in the 3D world. Check out the videos below.

  1. 3D HD Holographic Projection
  2. 2D / 3D Integration
  3. 3D Head Tracking – FaceAPI Technology

1. 3D HD Holographic Projection

This first video shows a live demonstration of this 3D Holographic Technology. What seemingly is like a beautiful screen saver in 3D eventually forms into a human figure. Very Cool.

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Just Inappropriate for Kids or Just Inappropriate

Just Inappropriate for Kids or Just Inappropriate
Many people talk about how the media affects our children, how it may lead to violence or how it may encourage promiscuous lifestyles. There is a lot of merit there, but one thing that is increasingly noticeable but overlooked is the fact that the parents themselves are underestimating the influences of media in their own lives and indirectly how it affects their children.

Take a look at movie review sites where users list their ages, you’ll see adults saying the movie is inappropriate for the younger audience. But you ask a 25 year old how they feel and they say it is inappropriate for 21 and under. Ask a 21 year old and they say it is inappropriate for 15 and under and so on. Thinking we are above the influences of media starts at a very young age. In the same way, lot of the criticism that are made against inappropriate shows, movie scenes, and video games are often argued for the sake of the children rather than based on morals because the latter would mean the older adults themselves are subject to their own cry for control.

Hints at “Inappropriateness”
If it’s morally wrong to put a sex scene in a mainstream game, then they themselves should not be playing it. If one believes it is morally ok, then shouldn’t that bother us in someway? If it is something we would be embarrassed to be watching in open public or in front of your kids, doesn’t that hint at the fact the question shouldn’t be whether it is appropriate for our children, but whether it is something appropriate at all?

Take a look some of the comment excerpts for an article discussing the controversy of placing nudity in a video game.

“I just find it sad the trivial amounts of nudity and sexuality in a video game is so controversial.”

– I find it sad, that our society as a whole has come to a point that nudity and sexuality in video GAME is consider “trivial” and is even considered a topic of “controversy”. There is no controversy here.

“Where is it said that all video games are supposed to be suitable for children?”

– This can only be said when one deems playing games with sex and nudity is suitable for adults. Is it though? Is that suitable for anyone?

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Creativity: Contextual Advertising & Visuals

Do you know what contextual advertising is? Advertising companies take websites and divide up their pages into themes. It does this by reading the content on the page and assigning a particular context. Then advertisers can then choose particular themes to target depending on their business needs. Advertisers can utilize banner ads or text ads in these slots.

Below is an example of a very cleverly made ad on a news article page. It really captures your attention. I am a huge fan of apple’s marketing.

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Google Changes stance on Abortion Keywords

Back in March, Google rejected a Google Adwords ad from the Christian Institute, a British group. It stated “UK Abortion laws: Key news and views on abrotion law from The Christian Institute.” This group put out this ad during a period where the House of Commons was considering a bill regarding abortion issues. Google rejected this ad stating that it contained “abortion and religion-related content”.

The lawyers of the Christian Institute immediately filed a lawsuit saying the company was discriminating on religious grounds. They said it violated the United Kingdom’s Equality Act of 2006, which prohibits religious discrimination in providing services. Their case was that Google was allowing secular groups to promote abortions and their practices but was not allowing other groups, or in this case religious groups, to advertise in that space.

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