Mad Men Revives Vintage Ad Campaigns

The award-winning drama series Mad Men, now in its third season on AMC, follows the lives of advertising executives in the 1960’s. It is safe to say that no other television program glorifies the excitement and challenges of the advertising world quite like it.

Although the characters and storylines of
Mad Men are fabricated, the campaigns pitched throughout the series are not. Creators of the show have brought authenticity to Sterling Cooper ad agency by resurrecting actual campaigns from that era - forming parallels between the real world and 'Mad' world.

Popular examples of these vintage marketing campaigns include
Kodak’s Carousel slide projector, which Don Draper (played by John Hamm) pitches as a wheel of memories, and the famous print ad for the Volkswagen Beatle with a caption reading “Lemon”.

Not only is it refreshing to see art imitating life, but it is just as awe-inspiring to see how far the ad world has come since the days of typewriters and hand-drawn storyboards.


Neuromarketing: How the Brain Makes Decisions

For centuries, marketers have employed scientific techniques in an attempt to determine precisely what it is consumers desire. However, in more recent years, industry experts have been forgoing tedious qualitative research methods and are delving into the human brain – literally.

is an emerging field whereby scientists use brain imaging, skin-moisture levels, heart rate, depth/pace of breathing, and posture to determine the human brain’s instantaneous reaction to stimuli.

Using these tests, neuroscientists have determined the exact cluster of the brain responsible for decision-making, the reptilian brain. Buried deep within the prefrontal cortex, the reptilian brain is believed to be one of the most primitive cranial structures. Though the reptilian complex seems basic, its role in logical reasoning is far from it.

According to author of “How We Decide”, John Lehrer, the neocortex surrounding the reptilian brain can only process approximately seven pieces of information at one time. Therefore, when someone is faced with a multitude of options, like which ice cream to buy, their neocortexes may become overwhelmed. This internal tug-of-war is exactly the dilemma marketers and advertisers are attempting to avoid by presenting their product as the easy choice.

Experts also emphasize the role that emotions and feelings play in a consumer’s decision-making process. For instance, when someone feels comforted by an ad for hot chocolate, the brain releases the “happy” neurotransmitter, dopamine. The release of this chemical is a predictor of a consumer’s compliance to buy.

As Carl Marci, founder of Innerscope Research Inc., elaborates, “Typically, consumers show simultaneous blips in most of their biological metrics when they decide to buy something. These indicate the emotional reward they feel for making a choice and may help drive future purchases”.

Campbell’s Soup Co. is the latest brand to take advantage of neuromarketing research. By exploiting the aforementioned techniques, scientists uncovered that emotions experienced by consumers at home were inconsistent with the feelings experienced by them in the soup aisle of the grocery store. The data sparked an entirely new design effort and marketing strategy.

This revolutionary research demonstrates the invasive measures marketers/advertisers are having to go to in the hopes of breaking through the clutter, while also demonstrating the effect such clutter has on the human brain.



Green Touch: Shrinking the Internet's Footprint (by a lot)

As the threat of climate change continues to loom, and our energy consumption increasingly examined, the world is starting to pull up their socks.

Individuals around the world are building a collective conscience to live more efficiently. We idle less, recycle more, buy better light bulbs, and produce less waste. And as important as these personal changes are, we are also seeing entire industries make larger-scale changes that are having unprecedented effects on how the world consumes energy.

Companies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry are launching numerous initiatives to achieve more sustainable development. ICT usage is expected to expand rapidly over the coming decade, especially in developing countries. If nothing is done, the ICT contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is projected to nearly double by 2020.

Enter the Green Touch Initiative.

"Green Touch is a consortium of leading ICT academic and non-governmental research experts dedicated to fundamentally transforming communications and data networks, including the Internet, and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of ICT devices, platforms, and networks."

Launched by Alcatel Lucent Bell Labs, the Consortium is working to address the current and considerable inefficiencies of the ICT sector, examine insights drawn from fundamental theories of communication, and subsequently develop the technology needed for a new generation of high capacity, super low-energy networks.

But Green Touch isn't just looking to change a little. They've got a vision to change a LOT. By 2015, the Consortium has a goal to reduce energy consumption within the ICT sector by a factor of 1000. In other words, Green Touch tells us this: In five years, it will be possible for the global ICT industry to operate for three years, using the amount of energy we currently use to power it for one day.

For this vision to become a reality, leading experts from around the world are collaborating within Green Touch to deliver innovative new ideas, products, and solutions to the market, contributing to the inevitable reinvention of today's communication networks.

To learn more about the ICT carbon footprint, and how Green Touch is working right now to make a change, visit their website (designed and developed by BSL).