Saturday, February 20, 2010

Campbell to Retire Iconic Soup Labels in Favor of "Neuromarketing"

Campbell's announced this week that it has made the decision to dramatically overhaul their iconic soup label design in favor of embracing an emerging trend in advertising design that manipulates the involuntary physiological responses of consumers. The famous red labels of Campbell's soup cans remained largely unchanged throughout much of the 20th century and became a global icon through Andy Warhol's use of the can label designs in a series of paintings. While it is fairly clear that Warhol's work was not exactly intended to be a ringing endorsement of the company, it nevertheless solidified Campell's soup cans as one of the quintessential product of American consumerism.

Despite the fact that polls show consumers are clearly in favor of keeping the iconic label designs, Campbell's has chosen to trade in whatever advertising value the nostalgic red labels held for consumers for a decidedly 21st century approach to advertising. While earlier forms of consumer manipulation exploited psychological buttons in the minds of customers such as using red and yellow color schemes to excite customers, Campbell's new label's take advantage of "neuromarketing" techniques that cause an actual physiological change in the human body. Following a two year study that measured subtle changes in pupil dilation, breath, heart rate and skin moisture of customers while they shopped for soup (the same involuntary indicators measured by lie detectors. BTW), Campbell's believes that they have cracked the code to make consumer's hearts go a flutter over a can of cream of mushroom.

Full story including pic of the new labels via Fast Company:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rumors Swirling of Google Super Bowl Ad

Beginning late Saturday, rumors began surfacing of a possible Super Bowl commercial for Google during today's game. Google, who has a history of avoiding mainstream modes of marketing, has begun reaching out changing its tune as it struggles to promote its new Chrome web browser and keep ahead of the curve against Microsoft's Bing search engine. Google CEO Eric Schmidt seemed to verify the rumor from his Twitter account last night:

"Can't wait to watch the Super Bowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said 'Hell has indeed frozen over')."

Mysterious and mysteriouser, the cryptic tweet could mean just about anything, but the tech blogs are taking this as confirmation of rumors of a Google Super Bowl ad that seemed to have originated with Federated Media Publishing's John Battelle.

If the rumors are true, it remains to be seen just which one of Google's many services will be promoted in the Google Super Bowl ad. Some speculations include a possible installment of Google's "search stories" ads or promotion for the Nexus One smartphone.

UFC 109: Randy Couture Chokes Coleman for the Title

49 year-old UFC hall of fame fighter Randy "The Natural" Couture ended the main event of UFC just into the second round of their light-heavyweight tonight with a rear-naked choke hold that rendered Mark "The Hammer" Coleman unconscious. Couture, who was one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's most well known fighters at the turn of century, has not had a single submission win since the summer of 2005.

MMA insiders and fans alike expected most of the fight to take place off the floor, as both Couture and Coleman are fighters who like to stay on their feet. Coleman, 45, was rated as a slight underdog with sports bookies due to Couture's experience with boxing skills. The first round of the fight went even worse than expected for Coleman, with Couture dominating him in the ring and getting in a number of punches until he had Coleman against the cage and delivered the pain until the end of the round. In round two, Couture took Coleman to the mat and soon brought the match to a close with a choke.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sarah Palin to Deliver Keynote Speech

Of all of the speakers at the first Tea Party convention, it is unlikely that any will garner us much mainstream media attention. Sarah Palin is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech of the convention Saturday night to a crowd that is sure to adore just about anything that comes out of her mouth, as her appeal to fly-over-state indignation seems to know no bounds. While much of the mainstream media, news commentators and general public seems seriously befuddle by Sarah Palin's continued appeal to a certain segment of the population every since she was nominated to the GOP Vice Presidential ticket in 2008, there is no arguing is no getting around the fact that there are people out there who want to hear what she has to say. As far as having a clue as to what she just said, that's another story.

Other than self-righteous indignation and a call to "take this country back," few outside of the Tea Party have a clear understanding of what exactly it is that the movement wants other than furthering the partisan divide to the point of caricature. As such, Palin seems to be the ideal representative of the Tea Party movement. To Tea Partiers, she seems to represent a much needed voice to a public that must feel left behind by a society that is, well, trying to leave the behind. To the rest of us, Palin's rhetoric seems to contain neither form nor content, much like the Tea Party movement itself.