Archive for the ‘Advertising & Marketing’ Category

Birth of Modern Propaganda – Edward Bernays and The Century of Self

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

A fascinating series of video clips on the birth of the modern propaganda industry (rebranded as Public Relations) in the early 1920s – beginning with Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays and the use of PR in America. Below is Part 1 of 4.

How’s this for an amazing quote from the above clip:

What the corporations realized they had to do was transform the way the majority of Americans thought about products. One leading banker, Paul Mazer of Lehman Brothers, was clear about what was necessary. “We must shift America,” he wrote, “from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

Wow. Holy shit! So that’s where the whole fucked-up consumption mentality comes from in American society. For more on Bernays and the use of propaganda in media and society, please see:

Propaganda – Edward Bernays, 1928 (reprint 2004)

Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, 2002

Captains Of Consciousness: Advertising And The Social Roots Of The Consumer Culture – Stuart Ewen, 2001

Taking the Risk Out of Democracy – Alex Carey, 1996

GNN Profile: John Stauber – John Stauber GNN, 2002

And for a truly scary video in the topic of propaganda as mind control, please see:

The Most Dangerous Game – GNN, 2003


Behavioral Targeting explained – how Advertisers use Internet Cookies to track you

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Courtesy of Wall Street Journal Online, published July 2010:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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Digital Ad Buying and Selling – a brief history

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A very nice series of articles on ClickZ on the history of buying and selling digital ads, and the advent and evolution of ad exchanges. Links to the 3-part series are provided below:

A few other articles on ad platforms – both demand-side and sell-side:


Creative Technology in Advertising – John Mayo-Smith and Scott Prindle

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Nice presentation on the increasing importance of creative technology in Advertising by John Mayo-Smith, EVP, Chief Technology Officer, R/GA and Scott Prindle, VP, Executive Creative Technology Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

A very nice quote in the presentation from Scrott Prindel:

The greater the complexity of the ecosystem, the greater the need for creative and strategic technology leadership.

Mayo-Smith also had an interesting message which was this: “Code is the new language of business”. He elaborates:

It’s sort of a parallel concept with the idea that programmers have more to offer than just sort of execution and building out creative ideas that come from somewhere else. There’s something a bit more fundamental going on that we need to explore IMO, which is that code and what’s going on behind the scenes is the new language of business.

In other words, technologists can bring thought processes and ideas to strategy and design that are unique to how they see and experience the world. And that these insights can be key to both strategic insight and product development – and that technology is not just about operational execution. This really rings true to my experience of the world at my company.

In Brand Advertising, says Prindle, programmers can also “collaborate with planners to spark ideas for innovative brand services and utilities”. This is very much part of moving beyond the microsite to more app-based brand product offerings and experiences. As Prindle elaborates, it’s also part of a focusing beyond message development to actually providing interactive services and features with which customers directly interact.

Important ideas IMO.


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The Future of Advertising and Media – R/GA’s Greenberg and Wacksman (September 2009)

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

About a year-and-a-half old now, but a couple of the Advertising industries leading minds – Bob Greenberg and Barry Wacksman of RG/A:

This is a fascinating video that discusses both the move from isolated ad campaigns to integrated brand platforms, and R/GA’s agency operating model.

Here’s an article from February 2009 that explores R/GA’s vision of Brands Platforms vs. Ad Campaigns. And here’s another a video from 2009 of Trevor Eld, R/GA’s Creative Director, talking about Brand Platforms:

In the video below, R/CA Chief Growth Officer Barry Wacksman outlines R/CA’s agency operating model (the content is similar to the first video, but is very nicely produced):

Finally, Nick Law, R/GA’s Chief Creative Office, elaborates on the Platform strategy at R/GA:

Very impressive stuff.


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg – Word-of-Mouth Marketing at Scale (IAB’s MIXX 2010)

February 16, 2011 1 comment

Facebook COO Sheryl Sanderberg at the IAB’s MIXX 2010 on using Facebook to turning consumers into brand advocates through social marketing channels.

Promoting the power of the Social Graph for brand awareness and messaging.


AOL Studios – Video and Brand Advertising

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

A follow-up to the AOL Devil Project post earlier today, this post providing a glimpse into AOL Studios – the video production arm of AOL:

Really like the design focus combined with the “earned media” focus – that is, inserting relevant, beautiful branded advertising into content people care about, that matters to their lives.

… Well, that is to the extent that all Advertising isn’t just pure evil. 😉