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Adrants reports on an interesting rumor. The recent forehead-ad auction on eBay may have been a hoax. Andrew Fischer, the guy who successfully auctioned his forehead for $37,375, seems to have had connections to SnoreStop (the company that won the auction) long before the auction occurred. Apparently he went to college with the daughter of SnoreStop's CEO... and the two of them colluded to pull off this pr stunt. The rumor has the ring of truth to it, because as Adrants says:

This entire thing was very iffy and scammy and media savvy, they even had a PR firm ready to give out photos in a jiffy. Who arranged all this to happen with such magic speed?

Plus, the idea of selling ad space on your forehead was hardly new. It had been done before, even on eBay. So it puzzled me why this guy in particular received so much attention. If it were all a carefully organized pr stunt, that would explain why.
Categories: Advertising, eBay
Posted by Alex on Sun Jan 30, 2005
Comments (6) and its companion site,, seem to be fairly obvious marketing attempts to 'blairwitch' the upcoming sequel to the horror movie, The Ring (i.e. to create hoax websites to generate interest about it). But still, I've received a couple of worried emails from people who have watched 'the tape' and are a little concerned, so I thought I should post something about it. As far as I know, no stringy-haired decomposing girl is going to crawl out of a well and kill you if you watch the tape. Though I'm playing it safe. I made my wife watch the tape. She then made the cat watch it. My cat is the one posting this message (she hit the mouse button with her paw to click submit), so if any one of you watches 'the tape' she'll be safe.
Categories: Advertising, Paranormal, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 28, 2005
Comments (60)
image So where will this trend end? We've had head-vertising, ass-vertising, and tadoos (okay, tadoos were a hoax). So it shouldn't be any surprise that one woman is pioneering pregnant-belly-vertising on eBay. Is there any part of the body that advertisers won't pay to plaster their message on? Probably not. But is this woman going to walk around with her belly showing? Even if it's cold outside? It is Winter, after all.
Categories: Advertising, eBay
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 27, 2005
Comments (23)
image Even though I'm not very proficient in Spanish, I'm pretty sure that the Emancipator Bubble is a hoax. According to the machine translation, the Emancipator Bubble "is an inflatable cockpit, with bubble form, that allows you independent living without leaving the familiarity of your house." In other words, it's a large inflatable bubble that you live in, instead of just living in your room. It comes in various models, such as the Sexmancipator. This racy model is "Made with a plastic similar to the latex and with an interior permanently lubricated. It incorporates a small vibrating motor. It is totally soundproof towards the outside." I think the concept of the Emancipator Bubble is a marketing concept dreamed up by a bubble gum company. (via We Make Money Not Art)
Categories: Advertising, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 21, 2005
Comments (7)
image Check out this ad for the Volkswagen Polo (link may be dead) that's been going around. A suicide bomber blows himself up inside the car, but the car is so tough that it contains the explosion. Seems to push the envelope a bit too much to be an actual ad commissioned by Volkswagen, and sure enough it's not. It's a 'spec ad', created by Spec ads are 'speculative ads' created to show potential clients what kind of work you're capable of doing. In other words, Volkswagen never endorsed this material.
Update (1/20/05): The Guardian reports that they were able to track down Lee of, who did indeed make the VW Polo ad. Lee says that he wasn't working for Volkswagen, but implies that he made the ad to get Volkswagen's attention. Reportedly the ad cost £40,000 to make.
Categories: Advertising, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (18)
image Hot on the heels of the latest guy who was auctioning off advertising space on his forehead, comes this eBay entrepreneur who has invented Forehead Ad Blockers.

there is a new type of advertising that is rapidly gaining ground: forehead advertising. These ads will be inescapable, especially if you have to visually interact with that soulless human posing as a walking billboard. That is, unless you have: The Forehead Ad Blocker™
Portable! No heavier than a standard pair of safety glasses!
Adjustable! Blocks forehead ads regardless of their height! Just raise or lift your head!
Patent-pending technology!

(via Adrants)
Categories: Advertising, eBay
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 14, 2005
Comments (4)
image I realize that Ikea gives some of their products strange names. At least, the names sound strange in English. In Swedish I'm sure that they sound perfectly normal. But you would think that somebody in the company would have realized that calling a children's work bench the 'FartFull' wasn't the most astute marketing move. Though kids will probably like the name. I'm pretty sure this isn't a joke because the product is right there on Ikea's website.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 07, 2005
Comments (24)
Here's an interesting piece from a newspaper about the burgeoning market in Coca-Cola Fantasy items. One of the paper's readers wrote in to ask whether their Coca-Cola belt buckle designed by Tiffany Studios and showing a nude woman sitting on a crescent moon was of any value (unfortunately there's no picture of the item). The paper's reply: No, because the item is a fantasy fake:

[This] is what Coca-Cola collectors call a "fantasy," which is a piece that never existed as an old item, was not used in advertising by the Coca-Cola Co. (nor sanctioned by them), but is a modern creation meant to appeal to collectors or to mislead the unwary. There are literally tons and tons of these Coca-Cola "fantasy" items out there, lurking in flea markets and at garage sales. The variety seems to be endless, and belt buckles are one of the favorite items to be made as "fantasies," and many of them feature nude women, including one extremely tasteless and offensive example that has the representation of a nude nun of all things!

Nude Nun Coke memorabilia. I may be twisted, but for some reason that seems more interesting to me than the authentic Coke stuff.
Categories: Advertising, Food, History
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 08, 2004
Comments (31)
Joey the Midwife is an advertising agency. An unbelievably cheap advertising agency. How can it offer such low rates? Simple. "Here's our secret: We have developed the use of "themes" to sell products. Why reinvent the wheel with every ad campaign? We've got a collection of themes that are PROVEN winners.... themes everyone loves. We just plug your product into a theme and PRESTO BINGO, you've got a world-class ad campaign at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time." It's a very strange little site. I think it's the creation of cartoonist David Rees, author of Get Your War On, since a lot of the links lead back to his site. But I'm not sure why Rees created the site.
Categories: Advertising, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 27, 2004
Comments (5)
Here's a video of a guy trying out for a part in an action movie... but things don't go well for him at all. The guy performs so badly that you'd suspect the scene was staged, but apparently it's a real audition tape. did some detective work and discovered that the man in the video seems to be stuntman Mark Allen Hicks, and the video shows him auditioning for a Nike commercial with Allen Iverson and Jim Kelly. Reportedly Hicks left the audition with a bloody nose, and the next few stuntmen who auditioned were told not to do any flips.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 25, 2004
Comments (6)
According to the Independent, researchers have proven that the difference between Coke and Pepsi really is all in your head. Apparently the popularity of Coke's brand image causes people to think Coca-Cola itself tastes better, even though it really doesn't taste very different from Pepsi. As the article says: "When asked to taste blind, they showed no preference. However, when the participants were shown company logos before they drank, the Coke label, the more famous of the two, had a dramatic impact: three-quarters of the tasters declared they preferred Coke." I've long suspected this. Personally I can't taste any difference between Coke and Pepsi, but I have a friend who swears passionately that there's a huge difference. Now I can show him this research to prove that he's simply been brainwashed by advertising. Oh, and the Pepsi Taste Test also turns out to be nothing but hot air: "The findings suggest there is no scientific basis for claims made during the Pepsi ad campaign in which testers purportedly chose Pepsi over Coke when they were not told what they were drinking."
Categories: Advertising, Food
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 19, 2004
Comments (301)
image Peptalk seems to be positioning itself as the mobile phone service provider of choice for Dutch marijuana lovers. Check out its website,, where you can see that its corporate logo is a hemp plant. Marijuana is, of course, legal in Holland... and PePtalk is a Dutch company, but the weird thing is that beyond that PePtalk doesn't seem to have any rational connection to marijuana. It's as if they just liked the idea of being a pot-lover's phone company... without offering pot lovers any benefit from choosing their service over another. As this article at Strand Reports notes: PePtalk do not actually seem to express any views on cannabis on their website - other than their name and logo. And although they offer many premium rate SMS services, none of them seem to have anything to do with daily cannabis prices - or where you can locate your nearest cannabis coffee shop!  But maybe that is in the pipeline?
Categories: Advertising, Technology
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 13, 2004
Comments (5)
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