Just how much did that cup of coffee cost?

I’m amused at the brouhaha over the allegedly “accidental” placement of a Starbucks coffee cup in a scene from the latest Game of Thrones episode. Do you really believe that happened “accidentally”?  Do you really think that cup happened to “just end up” in the final season of what may be the most popular HBO show ever, in absolutely plain sight – not hidden behind anything, or in a place where it might have been overlooked?  Do you think that happened despite all the continuity staff’s precautions, the most experienced crews in showbiz, and all the measures against things like that going

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Still one of the best advertisements ever made

I was happily reminded, via Earthbound Misfit, of the famous “herding cats” commercial filmed for Electronic Data Systems (EDS).  It was first broadcast during the 2000 Super Bowl championship game.  According to AdAge: Richard Brown … and ad veteran Don Uzzi … determined that they would make EDS famous with a Super Bowl ad. Fallon McElligott, which had picked up the account from Bates Worldwide the prior May with an explicit assignment to reinvigorate the brand, decided to play on the expression “herding cats,” the managerial metaphor for the difficulty of aligning team members’ efforts. “It was an expression that was instantly visual,”

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Data: defining ourselves by what we do

A very interesting article by Jacob Ward points out that privacy, as such, is no longer the critical issue for us:  rather, it’s the data about us accumulated by service providers that results in the effective demolition of any concept of “privacy” as such. Facebook and other companies may very well be protecting your privacy — but they don’t need your personal information to determine exactly who you are and what you’ll do next. . . . First, understand that privacy and data are separate things. Your privacy — your first and last name, your Social Security number, your online credentials — is the

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“Bait and switch” prices are still going strong

It looks like companies are getting sneaky with high-tech shopping apps, using them to bait you into visiting their stores or Web sites, then switching prices on you.  This and other tactics have been used online for well over a decade, as this 2005 report shows.  Now Target appears to be doing something similar. In a two-month investigation, that began with a concern from a viewer, KARE 11 found Target’s app changes its prices on certain items depending on if you are inside or outside of the store. For instance, Target’s app price for a particular Samsung 55-inch Smart TV was $499.99, but

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Doofus Of The Day #1,033

Today’s award goes to People Eating Tasty Animals People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  By overreacting in the most hysterically over-the-top way to a restaurant food promotion, they’ve ensured that a local (one-city-only) promotion has people talking about it all across the country. Popeyes, a US fast-food fried chicken franchise, recently launched a promotion at Philadelphia’s airport.  With all the fuss about fake “emotional support animals”, the local operator figured that a play on words would help sell more chicken:  so they started selling an “emotional support chicken meal”.  Click the images for a larger view. PETA promptly lost its collective marbles. 

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Marketing: it’s all about the buzzwords

Having been involved with the military and security sectors for large parts of my adult life, both in uniform and out of it, I have a certain acquaintance with the ways in which companies market their products to those industries – particularly to “wannabes” who want to look the part, even if they can’t actually fill the role in real life.  (There are far more self-proclaimed “Green Berets”, “Rangers”, “Navy SEALs”, etc. in US bars than there ever were in uniform.)One of the ways in which companies capitalize on such fantasies is to market products that are (allegedly) used by

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Dishonesty in advertising

I was very angry to read about a misappropriated photograph for a very controversial advertisement. Last month, “Shout Your Abortion,” a pro-abortion organization who seeks to normalize the killing of children, published a story to their website titled, “I am 23 and I have had 3 abortions. YES I HAVE!” The story was purportedly submitted by a woman named Heather. Readers were made to believe the cover image was one of the writer, but it has since been discovered the photo was stolen. Molly Schaap, the actual woman pictured, reached out to Canadian pro-life organization Choice42 after seeing her photo circulating

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