Pokemon Go and the Frontiers of Corporate Spying

pokemon logo Advertising Age today includes a typically comico-chilling observation from an ad industry worker. Speaking about big business marketers’ growing ability to gather data about cell phone users’ movements, locations, and behaviors, here’s what “Kirsten McMullen, chief privacy officer at mobile ad firm 4Info” tells AdAge:

Marketers and consumers have both become “way more comfortable with location data being used,” Ms. McMullen said.

The punchline and payload?:

[S]he also added, “Consumers remain largely unaware of it.

Of course they do, but it doesn’t stop the professional DoubeThink required for Ms. McMullen to keep doing her job.

Meanwhile, as its design ensures, corporate capitalism continues its bold march toward stronger and better market-totalitarian behavioral engineering:

While 4Info argues that using store visit data to gauge ad effectiveness is less relevant than measuring actual purchase transactions, which the company does for most of its packaged-goods advertiser clients, Mr. Moxley acknowledged the value of mobile location data for measuring mobile ad campaigns.

“The key to the mobile device is it goes everywhere,” he said. “Nobody carries their TV into the store.”

Quite so, and, as TCT always says, history’s state totalitarians must be looking up from Hades purple-faced, jealous over this deniable system’s ability to keep on rolling. Soviet citizens in 1982 would never have blithely walked around with little Brezhnev boxes in their pockets, or would at least have known who they were serving by doing so. Here, it’s “freedom.”

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Ad Age Worried About Killary Losing California

hillary-clinton Hillary Clinton, who looks authentic responding to charges of corruption and sitting in on war crimes but looks like the cat who swallowed the canary in front of actual working class people and groups, might lose the upcoming California primary.

Among the many reasons to hope that happens is the fact that Advertising Age magazine, the flagship of the big business marketing press and the enterprise that named the war-criminal architect of Romneycare’s passage its 2008 Marketer of the Year, fears that Killary losing California might “cause a fatal chain reaction.”

Fascinating and telling that the prospective failure to sell the long-sponsored Klinton show might be such a huge blow to our existing system of “election” via political marketing…

This system is a mile wide and endowed with trillions, but remains a mere inch deep.

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What is Spotify?

“According to its most recent publicly-available measure, Spotify has 45 million active users that can receive ads, and another 30 million subscribers.” So reports Advertising Age today.

What is the purpose?

“With Spotify and Krux working together, we have access to first-party data allowing us to better target specific people and user groups such as those looking for auto insurance and commuters,” said Cyndie Beckwith, VP-marketing at Esurance. “For this initiative, we wanted to add on some similar targeting approaches that we’ve been leveraging across desktops to streaming audio, and in particular mobile streaming audio.”

Listening to playlists is an increasingly common experience on Spotify, and the company is investing in analyzing such listening data and enhancing it with third-party demographic information — some of which Krux provides, such as education status and household income. The company tracks when specific users listen to playlists, for example when someone starts a “running” playlist around the same time most mornings, it can be used to determine that that person is actually running during those times.

Spotify has grown to use such data as a proxy for determining user activities and moods, said Brian Benedik, global head of sales at Spotify. An adult activating a playlist of kids’ music is likely a parent, for example.

Data harvesting and real-time marketing are the purpose. Spotify is overclass spyware.

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Adieu, National Basketball Association

race-bottom If you like both basketball and human freedom, enjoy next season of the NBA. The one after that should be the end of your willingness to pay it any attention, as 2017-2018 will mark the arrival of advertisements on game-day jerseys.

Here’s the lovely explanation, per ESPN:

“It’s manifest destiny,” [NBA Commissioner Adam] Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols last month. “So let’s begin by saying this isn’t going to affect the competition. What we’re talking about is a patch on the jersey. And one of the reasons we want to do it is that it creates an additional investment in those companies in the league … the amplification we get from those sponsors, those marketing partners of the league, who want to attach to our teams and our players. But once they put their name on the jerseys, they’ll then use their media to promote the NBA extensively. That’s probably the greatest reason for us to do it.”

A Golden Hicksie to you, Mr. Silver. Enjoy it.

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Behavior Changers

In today’s Advertising Age, another admission of the true nature of corporate marketing:

“Skincare is an interesting category for us because it’s one a decent number of men aren’t even using today,” said Dollar Shave CMO Adam Weber. “It allows us to do what we’ve done in some other categories, like butt wipes, by thinking about what men are doing and how we can change behavior.”

Men’s skincare has been a big but largely unfulfilled dream for many marketers in the U.S., where it’s a $263 million category growing about 3% annually, according to Euromonitor. Globally, the category is $3.5 billion and growing more than twice as fast.

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An Especially Disappointing Golden Hicksie

Stephen Hawking undoubtedly knows better:

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

So, what in the universe is he doing here?:

Not only is this an ad for the machine that is, barring sharp and unlikely new forms of popular education and intervention, virtually certain to finish completing “the second option,” but it is for an “SUV” version of said machine.

So, alas, Professor Hawking, to go along with your Lucasian Chair, etc., you hereby receive the un-coveted Golden Hicksie.

Meanwhile, the ad itself is a rather pristine exhibition of the profound adolescence of the contemporary overclass mind:

“Have you ever noticed how some people in life seem to get away with everything?”

and

“We live our lives from an elevated perspective. We keep our head [is this a British sic, or a grammatical match with the time-honored royal we?*] in the clouds.”

Wow.

*Either way, it’s funny.

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