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Category — Election 2008

Chi-Chi-Chi-Bama: Special Edition Obama Chia Head


Joseph Enterprises started the Chia Pet in 1981 and it’s remained lodged in our collective unconscious every year since then because of massive advertising every holiday season and a weird kitsch appeal that never seems to get old. I honestly still think these things are cool; you do too, admit it.

Now they’re capitalizing on Obama-mania with an ultra-classy likeness of the 44th President. There are two versions of Chia Obama: Happy Chia Obama, and Determined Chia Obama. Joseph Enterprises accurately portrays the full range of our president’s emotional expressions.

Very nice. You can order your very own from the Chia Obama website

February 22, 2009   2 Comments

Obama’s College Photo Shoot – Serendipity


Time Magazine just published a series of photos of Barack Obama taken in 1980, when he was a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles. They were taken by Lisa Jack, who was an aspiring photographer at the time, and asked him to pose for some black and white photographs for her portfolio. The word Serendipity has been voted as one of the ten English words that were hardest to translate; this is a good example of serendipity.

Read on for the rest of the pics:
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December 17, 2008   2 Comments

Facts and Interpretation: The 2008 Election Result Maps


Every day, you’re assaulted with advertisements and news and non-stop information. And every single person spewing that information has an agenda, even the “unbiased” journalists and news anchors and political pundits and survey takers. Everyone has a mind, and each mind has it’s own opinions, and those opinions make their way into the information being spewed. That’s just how it is.

So when you read articles or hear reports with seemingly hard, indisputable facts, you have to take it all with a grain of salt. Consider the recent election.

Scientific American ran an article with 6 different maps all showing the election results across the United States, all in a different way. It’s the way they’re displayed that determines everything. Check it out:
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November 11, 2008   Comments Off

Who Are The Real Monsters In The Monster Years?


I don’t generally agree with Paul Krugman. Most people in his own profession don’t generally agree with Paul Krugman, but he has a voice and it’s loud in the American scene, so I’ll address it.

He says we just ended “the monster years“; 14 years of monster rule, in fact. I agree with him there, partially. Although I think he completely misses the point. What he fails to address is what caused those monster years. He fails to address the (ir)rationality of the American voter.

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November 10, 2008   2 Comments

The Power Of “Framing Effects” And Other Cognitive Biases


Human beings tend to think they’re rational creatures, and that they make sound decisions based on all the available facts. They think their memory is an accurate record of things that have happened to them. But the reality is that we all have a slew of cognitive biases that can alter our thinking… and even our memories.

Psychologists have names for all the different fallacies and biases that influences our thinking: cognitive dissonance, inattentional blindness, blind spot bias, better-than-average bias, introspection illusion, self-serving bias, attribution bias, representative fallacy, availability fallacy, anchoring fallacy, hindsight bias, and the one I’ll be talking about here: framing effects
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November 6, 2008   6 Comments

Be Responsible, Be Patriotic: Don’t Vote!

-Some people would say it’s a person’s civic duty to vote
-That’s very much like saying that its our civic duty to give surgery advice…

It’s almost sacrilege to say “Don’t Vote” in the US these days. People are shamed into voting by the loyal minions of mainstream politics. But does a higher voter turnout actually help society? In Bryan Caplan’s book, Myth of the Rational Voter, he explains in great detail, and with extensive citations and statistics, how the average voter has certain cognitive biases that cause him to vote in ways that have a net negative outcome for society (they’re not uninformed, Caplan argues, they’re misinformed, which is much worse). And since the solitary goal of politicians (the successful ones, at least) is to get elected, their policies are based on pandering to the misinformed public. So their whole ideologies, the ideologies of both major parties, have come to represent policies that are damaging to society as a whole. In effect, democracy is destroying the United States.

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October 31, 2008   Comments Off

Philip Zimbardo: How ordinary people become monsters … or heroes

This is a great talk by Philip Zimbardo about what evil is. Evil, he says, is not a individual condition, it’s the result of circumstances. He cites the Stanley Milgram’s experiment on human behavior, and the Stanford prison experiment and the problems at Abu Ghraib, all leading up to the conclusion that all humans are equally capable of evil.

What does this have to do with advertising? Advertising is social psychology. To understand how advertising affects people, you have to understand why people follow the group and how the brain works. This is a wonderful video on that subject. Check it out.

October 27, 2008   2 Comments

Obama Wins Ad Age’s ‘Marketer Of The Year’


Every year hundreds of the biggest marketers, agency heads, and all manner of people involved in advertising get together at the Association of National Advertisers’ annual conference. And every year, they vote on the best advertiser of that particular year. This year Barack Obama won with a pretty substantial 36% of the vote, beating out the two runners-up Apple and Nike, Coors and Sen. John McCain filled out the bottom of the vote.

“I honestly look at [Obama's] campaign and I look at it as something that we can all learn from as marketers,” said Angus Macaulay, VP-Rodale marketing solutions “To see what he’s done, to be able to create a social network and do it in a way where it’s created the tools to let people get engaged very easily. It’s very easy for people to participate.”
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October 23, 2008   1 Comment

For Those Who REALLY Love Obama: The Head O State


The Obama followers are getting weird. I get it, for whatever reason, people are suddenly starting to see how screwed up government is, and they think his government will be different for some reason. But there’s a sense of rabid cultism, fetishism almost. So this fits in perfectly: The Obama dildo.

I really don’t know what to say about this one. It’s a 7 and a half inch, gold likeness of Obama, with a set of balls at the base. Also, the box says “Commemorative Edition”. So I guess it’s a collectors item. Amazing.

The world is a bizarre place, no doubt. Check out the pictures of the Head O State after the jump, you don’t want to miss this one:
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October 16, 2008   5 Comments

Obama Ads Appear In Xbox Live Video Games


Barack Obama has become the first presidential candidate to advertise in a video game. The Obama campaign purchased ad space in the Xbox live versions of 18 different video games. The ads will run up until Nov. 3, and only be displayed in 10 major swing states.

The ads show that Obama is willing to embrace new technology, and that may be the most important aspect of this whole video game campaign.

Obama’s face and name will be on billboards and signs in “NBA Live ’08″, “Burnout Paradise”, “Nascar 09″, “Need For Speed Carbon”, “Need For Speed Pro Street”, “NFL on Tour”, “NHL ’09″, “Skate”, and “Guitar Hero”, among some others. And the 10 states that are targeted include some major battleground states: Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado.
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October 15, 2008   Comments Off