‘Dude, You’re Getting a Dell’ Guy Just Wants His Job Back. C’mon, Please?


The “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” guy gained a modicum of fame in the early aughts for popping up in random Dell commercials and surprising enterprising college students and old people with a Dell computer. (Really? This? I asked for an Apple Powerbook…)

Now, Ben Curtis has reemerged onto the tech scene, exciting dudes everywhere with a nostalgia boner for old computers. And Mr. Curtis claims he knows exactly how to solve Dell’s recent financial woes: hire him back, obvi. Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

And Now Facebook Reportedly Wants to Put Video Ads In Your Newsfeed–With Autoplay


Gets it. (Photo: Facebook.)

Caught your breath from Instarage yet? We sure hope so, because here comes another move that’s sure to inspire another round of e-riots on Planet Zuck. Ad Age reports that Facebook is prepping to launch video ads by April of next year. They’ll appear both on the desktop and mobile versions of the site.

Worst of all, sources tell Ad Age they’ll be set to autoplay. Bold move, Mark! Facebook might even enable the audio, which would probably be the most annoying thing Mr. Zuckerberg has done since, well, ever. Read More


Will Instagram’s New Advertising Policy Yield an Exodus of Celebs?

Kim K, queen of the selfies. (Photo: Instagram)

Much ink has already been spilled over Instagram’s new updated terms of service, which specifically states that it can use your photos for “advertising and promotions.” Twitter users erupted in outrage over the news, with many techies claiming they would soon be quitting the service. Wired wrote a helpful how-to on how to download your photos and delete your account. Photographer Clayton Cubitt, who is not at all hyperbolic, called it Instagram’s suicide note. Gizmodo called everyone whiny babies and offered a counterpoint: “shut up.” Read More

Patently Absurd

Creepy New Verizon Patent Would Let Set-Top Box Serve Condom Ads When It Hears You Having Sex

Soon, he'll be able to hear YOU. (Photo: Fonesea)

When last we checked in on creepy technologies that wholly encroach on your sense of personal privacy, Microsoft had registered a patent that would allow the Kinect to detect how many people are in a room and stop playback on a movie if it sensed more people than the copyright allowed. But a new patent filed by Verizon takes that concept a step further by allowing a set-top box to observe what’s going on in your house and serve you ads based on what it hears. Read More


Tech Insurgents 2012: Ryder Ripps, Jonathan Vingiano and Jules LaPlace

(Photo: OKFocus)

The Merry Pranksters

From Old Spice’s viral “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign to the contentious Skittles spot that made One Million Moms cry bestiality, bizarre or aggressive advertising has become commonplace in our internet-addled society. To nab the attention of customers toggling between screens, advertisers frequently toe the line between inappropriate and outrageous, but few are as unabashedly controversial as the Queens-based OKFocus. Named to AdAge’s Creativity 50 in July, OKFocus is a rebel brand’s dream, equal parts design snob and attention-seeking internet troll. And as advertising moves online, OKFocus clients like Google and the Museum of Contemporary Art have taken note.

Read More


Tech Insurgents 2012: Rick Webb

Mr. Webb

The Undercover Ad Man

Of all the “if you build it, they will come,” social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr seemed the most advertising-averse. Floppy-haired founder David Karp memorably betrayed a visceral distaste for the stuff. It “really turns our stomachs,” he said in 2010, following that up with a vow not to become “wildly profitable” by slapping an AdSense ad on the otherwise elegant dashboard of all 80 million Tumblr blogs. But it seems as though the microblogging site’s methodical approach toward making money has paid off—thanks in part to guidance from Rick Webb, a 20-year veteran of the ad industry and co-founder of digital consultancy Barbarian Group, who was attracted to Tumblr for its aversion to the “crap” ads that permeate the web. Read More


Your Obnoxious Tweet Could Now Make It Into a TV Commercial

(Screencap: YouTube)

Shooting off some borderline-rude half-baked review of a product or service is kind of a Twitter rite of passage; the platform would simply cease to exist if crochety tweets were suddenly outlawed. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that your anti-iPhone 5 tweets are actually being used by competitors to mount compelling advertising campaigns. Hey, at least you’re not just shouting into a void? (You’re mostly shouting into a void.) Read More


Clean Water Charity Uses ‘First World Problems’ Meme to Guilt You Into Donating

(Photo: YouTube)

If those save the children infomercials are any indication, drawing on a guilty conscience is one way to compel American audiences to step off their cushy couch and cough up a donation. and its ad agency DDB NY both appear toave a pretty solid grasp of this phenomenon.

In a video released last week, the clean water charity urges people to donate to poverty-stricken Haitians by capitalizing on one of the Internet’s most widespread memes: First World Problems. Read More

Fun with GIFs

GIFs Infiltrate Advertising in Relentless March Toward Total Domination of All Communication


Is there any dusty corner of the Internet isolated from the fervor of the GIF craze? Now it appears that these mesmerizing mini-movies have crept into advertising. Take, for example, an email that the Standard Hotel’s Miami outpost just sent, which employs the best tool for the visual communication since the advent of the emoticon to trumpet its yoga offerings.

The email contains little besides four GIFs, two of which we’ve provided here: Read More


Startup Gives People What They’ve Always Wanted: Ads to Wipe Your Butt With


Perhaps disgruntled Yammer CEO David Sacks was right. With so few good ideas out there to execute on, perhaps we really are in the twilight of Silicon Valley. And even if a company does have a good idea, don’t even mention the M word (monetization, spoken in a whisper), lest you incite the rabid boos of the NYC tech set.

But we have to imagine that this end-times mentality is what led a Michigan startup to hinge its entire business on getting companies to advertise on toilet paper. It’s a more literal take on the term “crappy advertising.” Read More