Eye in the Sky Making You Buy

mind reading image Big business marketing grows faster than the corporate capitalist economy from which it logically and necessarily emerges.

Here at TCT, we keep track of the resulting Orwellian news from the general human, rather than MSM/capitalist, perspective.

The latest is more effort in the direction of getting computers to be able to read images on the internet. Currently, those remain mostly grayed-out spots to the data harvesters.

But, because of the special richness and emotionality of images, this will very likely change sometime soon. Per Ad Age:

When then-Google exec Vic Gundotra took the stage at the company’s annual developer conference, he showed a photo of the Eiffel Tower. Many in attendance automatically recognized the landmark — and so did Google’s computers.

Since that milestone in May 2013, Google, along with Yahoo, Facebook and other companies, has been struggling to get at a gold mine of potential data: the millions of images flitting about the web. Image-recognition technology is the next frontier for companies that have built multibillion dollar businesses on their ability to convert data into more personalized content for audiences and better targeting for advertisers.

“There’s this treasure trove of data these companies are sitting on in the form of the visual web. That data for the most part is uncategorized. It’s a black box,” said Justin Fuisz, CEO of Fuisz Media, a company that uses image recognition to attach branded calls to action to objects in videos.

The steps are slow, due to the genuinely deep problems involved in trying to mechanically extract human meanings from images. But some problems (not climate change, war, or poverty, mind you) simply must be solved! Hence, the state-of-affairs in late 2014:

“Our clients have never given it much thought. But as soon as it’s available at scale, it’s going to be huge,” said Doug Kofoid, president-global solutions at Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi.

“When we are talking in theoretical terms about [Horizon Media client] Weight Watchers for instance, we can identify who is pinning Weight Watchers specific materials — food, recipes — but also any type of food content that we think would be a qualifier for a potential Weight Watcher prospect. So it becomes very clearly about the actual content that’s pinned,” said Horizon Media Chief Digital Officer Donald Williams.

“The biggest surprise I had was the richness of those images and how much personal information is coming across in the richness of those images,” said Starcom MediaVest Group’s global research lead Kate Sirkin. “It really does start to give you a good flavor of interests and lifestyle and passions of the consumer.”

Big Brother would be sick with jealousy.

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The Face of Metastasis

Shane Snow Meet Shane Snow, the founder of Contently, which pimps writers out to corporate capitalists like American Express, Coke, GE, Google, Walmart, and General Motors. The service sold is “content marketing,” meaning fake journalism designed to sell more corporate products and otherwise advance the aims of big business marketing campaigns.

Ad Age reports that such efforts are a major boom industry. The various overclass flagships “are expected to spend nearly $2 billion on sponsored content in 2014.”

Mr. Snow does his pimping by “licensing software to brands to help them manage content-marketing projects and connecting these companies with freelance writers, for which it takes a 15% fee.”

As actual journalism dies via strangulation and systemic neglect, here’s how the action looks at Contently:

There is a range of writers and prices from which brands can choose. There are, for instance, best-selling authors and Pulitzer Prize nominees, youngsters fresh out of journalism school and a number of others who work for major publications but freelance on the side. Contently’s stable includes about 50,000 writers, according to Mr. Snow.

“It’s like a supermarket for writers,” said Tomas Kellner, managing editor at GE Reports, GE’s content-marketing site. “People like me, who need to scale up their operations, can get access to writers for a specific project.”

Market totalitarianism.

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PBS Retaliates

blackmail-note The threat of losing sponsors is one of the major factors that make the corporate capitalist media system so effective at its core task of molding behavior on behalf of the overclass.

PBS, in its continuing journey toward complete irrelevance, is apparently now deploying this weapon against its own critics, despite the timidity of the latter.

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Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Corporation

captain_renault The mega-marketing platform known as the National Football League is taking some heat for its employment (Captain Renault is shocked!) of violent people.

The NFL’s hypocrisy, meanwhile, is a mere grain of sand compared to that of its sponsors. To wit:

“The behaviors are disgusting, absolutely unacceptable, and completely fly in the face of the values we at PepsiCo believe in and cherish.”

Thank you, sugar-water pusher!

“We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code.”

That’s Budweiser talking.

“As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable.”

Yes, make-up is all about empowerment and equality.

“McDonald’s is a family brand.”

The only howler bigger than these shameless lies about corporate values is the suggestion that any of these capitalist behemoths might ever refrain from availing themselves of the NFL’s services as an eyeballs-and-eardrums rancher.

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More Good Marketing News

tv-piranha-image Per Ad Age:

Some in the media business worried that the troubles at Nickelodeon were a warning sign that today’s digitally wired children would never grow into traditional television watchers.

“There were a lot of people who legitimately believed that it was over for kids’ television — Nick in particular and TV more broadly,” said Brian Wieser, a media analyst with Pivotal Research. “But no good evidence suggests that there was a meaningful decline in total kids’ consumption of television.”

Despite the concerns, children today are watching more television on a traditional television set than they did five years ago. Children ages 2 to 11 now spend an average of 111 hours, 47 minutes a month watching traditional television, according to Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Report for the first quarter of 2014.

That is up from the average of 108 hours, 45 minutes a month children in that age group spent watching traditional television in 2009.

This advance, of course, comes on top of the even faster rise of tablets, etc.

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FCC Surpasses Orwell

orwell-truth Zerobama promised his suckers constituents net neutrality. They are getting the exact usual. Per The Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Communications Commission advanced new Internet rules that would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites, but allow them to strike deals with content companies for preferential treatment.

So, those who own the roads can’t slow somebody down, but can sell access to faster routes? Only in America, folks, does such blatant DoubleThink get reported straight out, without the slightest snicker or blush.

Of course, how do Comcast and its soon-to-be-acquired “rivals” own the road? Graft, pure and plain.

And check out the ultimate Obamian trick the FCC is now using to finish sealing the deal:

The broadband providers have signaled that they can live with Mr. Wheeler’s approach as drafted.

Democratic commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn joined Mr. Wheeler in voting to advance the notice of proposed rule-making, which will now be open to public comment for 60 days, followed by another 60 days for replies.

Observers expect unprecedented engagement during the comment period, but it remains to be seen how much the final proposal shifts from what Mr. Wheeler has already proposed. Mr. Wheeler’s proposal assumes a strong FCC would aggressively police deals between providers and content companies.

Yes, it certainly does remain to be seen. Any wagers?

Meanwhile, here’s what the WSJ says about the Democratic Party:

Democrats are largely in favor of net neutrality but still divided on the best approach, with a few favoring reclassification and others still on the fence. Mr. Wheeler’s approach also has found favor with some Democrats who worry reclassification would kill investment in broadband deployment.

Translation? Five words: “The Democrats oppose net neutrality.”

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