Baby Boomers Have All the Money Now, and Forever

Hamilton Nolan · 09/17/13 11:37AM

Baby Boomers, "The Generation Where Each Individual Takes Personal Credit for Bob Dylan," are now entering retirement age. They have a lot of time on their hands, and all of America's disposable income. Now, the slavish catering to their every whim really begins.

Now You Have to Worry About Your Ugly Underarms

Hamilton Nolan · 03/30/11 10:08AM

Remember to include the Unilever corporation on your Christmas card list this year, ladies: without their groundbreaking research, you wouldn't know enough to be publicly concerned about the hideousness of your armpit region.

All Books Must Now Appeal to Cracker Barrel Patrons

Hamilton Nolan · 02/28/11 01:02PM

Now that Borders is dying, book publishers are collectively asking themselves, "Huh, where do we sell all these stupid books, now?" I mean Barnes & Noble is okay and all, but it's gonna take more shelf space than that to show off all those fancy attractive book covers designed to make people forget they could be buying this copy much cheaper used, on Ebay. The solution? Placing books in every kind of store, anywhere, that sells anything at all.

Everyone Wins in This Health Care Plan

Hamilton Nolan · 12/17/10 10:25AM

To entice donors to join a bone marrow registry, a company sent out "flirtatious models...who, for reasons that remain unclear, sometimes also wore electric-blue wigs." Then when dudes sign up, their insurance is billed $4,300. Now that's strategic. [NYT]

The TV Shows You Like Reveal Everything About You

Hamilton Nolan · 11/01/10 02:58PM

Do you watch various television shows? Then you'll be happy to know that thanks to "psychographics," marketing firms can determine your entire personality just by looking at your Tivo settings. For example: like Mad Men? You're a pinko Apple fanboy.

Those Twelve Billion Old Spice Ads Really Worked

Hamilton Nolan · 07/27/10 04:01PM

Though we would all like to think that saturation-style ad campaigns which blanket the media to the point that they begin to annoy even casual viewers would not lead to business success, alas, sometimes they do. Old Spice man. Yes.

Best Saleslady Ever Not Appreciated

Hamilton Nolan · 07/07/09 11:07AM

A popularity contest that pits snobby Saks Fifth Avenue against a lady who gave away free money? It's no contest! Saks is mad because this lady—who worked there—gave away $1.4 million of their money. Counterpoint: people like money!

The Best of Bad Realtor Ads

Hamilton Nolan · 06/18/09 02:53PM

If you're a realtor, it's hard to differentiate yourself, because realtors are all pretty much the same. Doesn't stop them from trying though! In honor of the housing bust, we bring you the best of America's worst realtor ads.

Science: You Love Commercials

Hamilton Nolan · 03/03/09 09:26AM

Pop culture scientists are now telling us that commercials actually make television more enjoyable. "The findings are simultaneously implausible and empirically coherent." That's what I'm saying! But we have detected some wackiness in this study:

"Hypnosis acts like a time machine"

Hamilton Nolan · 07/31/08 02:55PM

An alarming trend in market research has just come to our attention: Hypnosis focus groups. Regular focus groups are full of lying consumers who are scared to admit they only purchase whatever is cheapest, and they're always dominated by one loudmouth who argues until everyone else agree with them. But not if everyone in the focus group is hypnotized—then they're "compelled to tell the truth about their economic situation and their true feelings." This seems like an extreme length to go to to hear people's deep, dark opinions on fabric softener. And the outfit selling this service is just as odd(ly creepy) as you might expect: Time machines! Sexy time! Godzillllllaaaaaaa! From the website of Hypnosis Focus Groups, complete with disturbingly literal illustrations!

Google Demands Better Bar Codes

Hamilton Nolan · 04/16/08 04:45PM

Google is working with QVC on a REVOLUTIONARY advanced type of bar code that can be scanned with a mobile phone. Revolutionary in the sense of "Everything old is new again." These "QR codes" do face some obstacles, the most significant being the fact that less than 5% of people currently own phones compatible with the technology. A previous attempt at a similar product called CueCat was a big failure [Ad Age]. But Google, the company that's determined to scan all the world's books, is not giving up in its retro attachment to print-based technologies, even in the bar code sphere. Besides, these scannable QR codes have already proven their worth in trial campaigns by making the Case Western University campus "look like downtown Tokyo" and benefiting "the end user," say jargon-spouting engineers!