Saturday, January 26, 2008

An idiot meets his echo

Johnny Bravo, the narcistic, dim-witted celebrity yells from the edge of canyon:

Johnny B: "I'm good"
The Echo: "'m gooooood"

Johnny B: "I'm better"
The Echo: "'m betttrrr"

Johnny B: "I'm better than you!"
The Echo: "'m better than youu!!"

Johny to himself: "Oh, he's good"

What happens when an idiot meets his echo is some sort of avalanche. Worth mentioning recursion of self inducing stupidity. When you think of it, it is one of THE drivers of the society. You happen to notice it almost everywhere - traffic, media, fashion, stock markets or politics, almost everywhere we hear some idiot's echo. Now, why is that?

You know Einstein speaking of infinity? "Two things are infinite. The Universe and Human Stupidity, although I am not sure about the former".

Does it mean, that each and every time we resonate with echos, we are idiots? Yes, indeed, I would say, and not really. I feed my ego, trying to restrain of resonating, but soon enough found out for example, that I tend to buy and read the most read newspaper. And you probably know, that as particles of the society we are constantly resonating to the pleasures and discontents, so what should we do? Isolate? Hide? One simply can not. As human beings there always would be things that make us resonate with one another. With something or everyting. With opinions, theories or even the buss schedule. One driver for this resonance could be this hypothesis, "Safety in numbers". Or, the more people tuned in an opinion, we support, the less likely is for us to find someone to collide with. Do we avoid social collisions? You see, conformism is proven to exist. Are you a leader? Really? In what plane?

Anyway, there is this saying "Every time you follow a beatle, it would lead you to nothing but crap". And maybe, something deep down in our evolution yells "you don't want to miss it". Simply none of the progress we see, would be achieved if we did not make mistakes. Just mind the beatles.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rosie the Riveter - ads for war

All the day long,
Whether rain or shine,
She's a part of the assembly line.
She's making history,
Working for victory,
Rosie brrrrrrrrrrrrrr the Riveter.

You usually seek positive things on TV. I mean it's something, that stops my chanel fast forwarding.

Few days back, I stopped at this utterly positive japanese, who was gesturing the pleasure of seeing the morning, and he was gesturing and smiling either due to his bad english or huge enthusiasm. Either way, he was nice, I liked his smile. Then he remembered he had a sister, and a mother, both dead. They were both killed, when he was six. His face broke into pieces, as he was trying to get a grip. Well, guess the time, guess the place.

I will give you a hint - after the fall of Berlin, after the 7th war loan.

Now about the war loans, or bonds, there are a lot of resources, all of them with something to analyze, or think over. All of them gather around one thought:

"Never before in history has so much of a product been sold in so short a time"

How about that?

180 million in advertising, gave back 156 billion of dollars. In a blink of an eye. If you squint for three years, that is.

"no promotional campaign, commercial, governmental, or Goebbel's has ever spread its basic message so broadly, so quickly." (Samuel, p.26.) quote from Brief History of World War Two Advertising Campaigns

You see, Advertising Campaigns are usually boring. This one is not.

Back then, the ads were mostly printed, either newspaper, or poster ads, the high tech equivalent were the radio ads. One of the radio hits, was Rosie the Riveter, hence - the topic. If you find it, you will probably like it, at least I did.

Let's look at the slogans. All 119 of them.See above, printed ads.

I usually drop all of them in a box, and see which words appear most. Apart from war and bonds and obviously others, bare speach necessities:

"will","win","victory" ...

Least information we get from - "Give Them Bonds"
Most - "Bill's quarters will save 2000 lives"
Maybe with catching up - "It's his [yen] against your Dollars!".

And the whole mobilization campaign, which is different than bond campaings, could be summarised between those:
"Brighten His Christmas - Send Your Gifts Early", and
"Help Him When You Shop".

If you think that motivation is a line of Morale on the left, and Profit on the right, with Recognition and Influence in between, then you will see that all of them, slogans, are spread between both ends and that made 85 million americans buy. Along with Rosie, the Riveter. And Christmas, which back then, and now, sells best.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


It is a handy little tool, those trends of google. Something like a flinstone for cave-man in our modern age. It does astonish me every day, to speculate with peculiarities of the things we look for.

In this case God seems less searched for than IKEA.

Where does this lead to? On the perspective of brands, Coca cola stands lower in the searches, compared to both. So, is it the availability of cola, that lead to this result?

Wait a minute, what about availability of God? Is it still a good idea?

Maybe it's the brand presence, in our days that give motivation to our searches. But again, God as a brand ...

You should play a little with those trends, because if you do, I bet nine out of ten, it would broaden your smile.

And anyway, iLike IKEA .. well, mostly due to the vowels.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One fresh apple every day

Apart from the white coat I should probably wear,this has nothing to do with doctors. Why the white coat? Well, I think I caught something contageous. Something like Apple.

It was a strange argument that the good advertisement is recognized by the information level, or the quantity of information contained in it's message.


Some useless queries (Where are the ads, when you need 'em) away, I came upon this list of Apple slogans, and they are definitely good stuff!

Soon after your contemplation ends, it's time to do some math or stats. Or at least try to prove the bold point from above. Let's find the most common words in all those Slogans or .. the juice of Jobs' .. or fruits of Apple's.

The most common words in this list (concerning iPod advertisement) are:

05 "your"
05 "music"

Definitely something here, I did start thinking about "mine iPod".
Followed by:

04 "put"
04 "in"
04 "a"
04 "pocket"
04 "songs"

Oh now I really get it. What would iPod do for me? "Put my music in my pocket".
It's quite clear. Quite simple. Quite clean. Quite nice.

Now let's imagine that somehow we are granted with the power of knowing all apple's slogans, before they actually sent them out live. Let's analyze them as a heap of symbols without order, just frequencies and probabilities, and draw a chart, of "How much surprise/information would the upcoming slogan bring".

So, here is The Chart of Apple iPod slogans, ordered by information they bring:

Would you guess the worst message on this chart?

"1,000 songs in your pocket"

Yes indeed.

Moving on, what is this strange downfall of the chart in 2004?

"The best keeps getting better"

Yeah, sure.

Now, pay attention to the top.The most informal slogan of all:

"Which iPod are you?"

Yes, indeed. I like it. Maybe it is the best slogan of the list, and maybe there is some point in the idea of advertisement judged as information entropy.

Here are the Top 10 list, of slogans ordered by Information entropy:

8,945440 Which iPod are you? 2006
8,930630 The best digital jukebox and #1 music download store. Now with video. 2005
8,927365 Home stereo. Reinvented. 2006
8,926757 Back for an encore. 2006
8,924699 Clip and go. 2006
8,923975 Completely remastered. 2006
8,922251 Tune your run. 2006
8,917340 Put some music on. 2006
8,911579 Movies, TV shows, games, and music. Now playing on an iPod near you. 2006
8,909616 Put a different kind of change in your pocket. 2006

Point taken. I'll buy.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why we do NOT play random?

Some time ago, I was amused by this article. I ran a quick quiz on my messanger shortlist, and yes indeed, the results were almost the same.

Great. But what patterns do we follow, when we play the lottery? Do we seek God, or wait for the plannets to settle, or just believe in ourselves, hoping that we alone, actually could bring the chaos to the wall and point a finger in its butterfly winged eyes?

Well, here comes some view on the results (actual data taken from here):

You see, it is not 17 that is played the most. It's just 7. Why 7? And after it, there are 5,18,9,3,13?! .. and then 17. Anyway, most frequently played numbers are 7,5,18,9,3 and 13. Period. No 17 here. We are hopeless. Should we blame our heritage, our religion or some common DNA inprinted faith?

I do not believe in coincidence, neither I believe in the inteligence of the masses, and the fact the list begins with something from the Bible, or mythology and ends the same way does not surprise me. Then again, the pure thought of winning the lotary brings a smile on a mathematician's face, and then again twice someone said "A man should admit his madness with pride".

And finally - the frequency map with the numbers disposed the way, we are filling them.

Good luck next time :)