Mind Hacking with Long Copy

I recently subscribed to “Muse by Clio,” an email newsletter from the eponymous awards company. I invariably find interesting items and heartily recommend it to any of my readers who are interested in creativity. It’s free.

In one recent issue,​ there was a clip on a Swiss advertising company that has taken David Ogilvy’s advice that long copy sells to contemporary extremes. In this day of notoriously short attention spans and advertising clutter beyond belief or relief, Scholz and Friends has crafted a series of transit stop posters promoting a trial subscription to Neue Zürcher Zeitung (The New Zurich Times) that are well worth looking at…and reading.

Here’s the link:

https://musebycl.io/advertising/newspaper-all-dares-you-read-its-sneaky-long-copy-ads


Taste and the Lack Thereof

Now that the Emmy nominations for 2018 have been released (https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/emmys-nominations-list-2018-1202871084/) I would like to comment on how the Academy sees the world of television entertainment for the top three program categories, drama series, comedy series, and limited series.

A perusal of the nominations for drama, comedy, and limited TV series leads me to the conclusion that my fellow ATAS members have excellent taste. In particular, it seems to me no matter which limited series wins, it’s a well-deserved achievement.

So why don’t our producers and distributors offer us more like these?

How to explain the presence on our various screens of the likes of Twin Peaks (an utter catastrophe​ I sincerely hope never sees another​ sequel), Claws (a season 2? OMG), or the upcoming​ Purge (violence porn)? Tasteless vehicles of unbridled exploitation all.

Add Shameless to that list. I think William H. Macy deserves his comedy lead actor nom for his portrayal on that show, but my broader point is that the show is an utterly unredeemable piece of trash that objectifies human fallibility​ at its worst. Watching it is surely a masochistic exercise akin to listening to someone drag fingernails across a chalkboard. I liberated myself about halfway​ through season 1.

What are we to make of the apparently unlimited popularity and programmed availability of zombies? Multiple programs drenched in blood. Why?

I confess the psychological appeal of these shows amazes me. But I did some online research and found a piece from Concordia University that I think does a good job of explaining that appeal: https://online.csp.edu/blog/psychology/psychology-of-fear

Nonetheless, I still find it unsettling to see the degree to which people will seek out these exemplars of tension relief. Certainly, there are others more edifying, like​ the shows nominated in the three categories that led off this post.

What do you think?


Media Ethics

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but an article I just came across has prompted me to get back online. The article is about how the media treat mass slayings by always publicizing the name of the perpetrator. As the article points out, the recent​ Parkland shooter was bragging in his vidoes about how big a deal this would be.

I’m old enough to recall that this is not the first time that murderers have included a desire for fame among their motives to engage in such heinous behavior. And our mass media do nothing to stop it. Instead, they encourage it.

It’s time for us all to start reaching out and demanding that the media stop publicizing the names of the killers. Yes, I know that things like arrest records and certainly legal proceedings are subject to public records and that countless​ idiots out there will be more than happy to release the names anyway. But their public impact is a far cry from that of the likes of our major and minor “licensed” news networks, both online and off.

What the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, the CW, and Fox do in this regard is quite legal. But just because something is legal does not mean it is ethical.

Here’s the article from the National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/mass-public-shooters-shouldnt-be-named-media/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Exit%2020180601_GFile&utm_term=GFile


Violent Video Games and Real-World Behavior

Much has been written about violent video games and a number of studies claim to find a link between people who play them and subsequent incidents of acting out (e.g. the current coverage of the Florida school shootings). While it is quite true that laboratory studies demonstrate an increase in aggressive thought and behavior among violent video game players, those studies fail to find a causal link to subsequent real-world behaviors. Inferences are speculative.

But now a new German study by the Max Planck Institute finds that “two months of daily GTA [Grand Theft Auto] causes ‘no significant changes’ in behavior.”

The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. An article from the March 15th online issue of Ars Technica reviews the study and the research.

Here’s the link


Smart Phones Make People Dumber

I just became aware of an excellent Wall Street Journal article, published on October 6, 2017, about the negative effects of smart phones on our ability to think. The article cites a number of peer-reviewed research studies that seem to leave little doubt about how smart phones invade our non conscious selves to such a degree that they actively inhibit our ability to remember, to reason, to create social ties. Author Nicholas Carr is to be commended for this contribution to the literature.

Here’s the link:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-smartphones-hijack-our-minds-1507307811?mod=djcm_OBV1_092216&reflink=email_PocketAcq2


Kids and Social Media

There is a truly outstanding article about why children (pre-teens and teens) should not be allowed to engage with social media. It’s written by a mom whose child wanted to be allowed to sign up for a supposedly innocent social site that would let her create and upload lip-sync videos to popular songs. Mom went to the site and checked it out for herself, then wrote the article (after deleting her account).

After reading this article, my own position, if I had any children under the age of 18, would be to never allow them to use social media at all, period. Read this piece and see if you don’t agree by the time you’re done.

View story at Medium.com


The Perils and Pitfalls of Personalization in Online Advertising

Harvard Business Review is making an article from their January-February 2018 issue available without fee: “Ads that Don’t Overstep.” The article describes recent research by the authors about how consumers react to digital ads on websites when considering issues like relevance, intimacy, and privacy. As they point out “When it comes to personalization, there’s a fine line between creepy and delightful…” (John, Kim & Barasz, 2018).

The article does a fine job of looking at consumer psychology and concludes with five very cogent guidelines that marketers should consider when using personal information about people to target advertising online.

Here’s the link:

https://www.exed.hbs.edu/assets/Documents/hbr-ads-that-dont-overstep.pdf?j=729240&l=7262_HTML&sfmc_sub=77921817&u=37116809&jb=420&mid=6336743&ucid=003i000003fyd8TAAQ&em=20180219_LeadershipInsights_SMM-2/22/2018-729240


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