Banning Bikinis and Booze – Advertising, Censorship, and Sexism – Episode 21 – The Digital Dive Podcast

vintage-ketchup-ad-you-mean-a-woman-can-open-it

This week, Melanie and I focus on advertising, censorship, sexism, and the media. Where should we draw the line between free speech and offensive content? Does controversy and banning empower the content or spark an important dialogue? Enjoy our heated debate.

  1. Flickr announced in late May that every user will get a free terabyte of space
  2. Windows 8: Less talking, more doing commercial for Asus Vivo Tablet mocks the iPad using Siri’s voice. The Windows tablet at 64GB is $449 vs. $699 for a 64GB iPad. Windows jabs the iPad for not being able to multitask (in the desktop sense of the word) and lacking Powerpoint (which is a weak point).
  3. Censorship and Sexism in Advertising – At Home and Abroad:

3.1 Turkey to ban alcohol ads

  OOH advertising - bus shelter ad space "No Alcohol Ads Here"
  • The Turkish Parliament passed legislation on May 24, 2013 to ban advertising of alcohol and to outlaw sales of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except in tourist zones.
  • Sparked riots and protests in Istanbul and Ankura
  • Not unheard of: Los Angeles City Council considering a city-wide ban on alcohol advertising on municipal property; already prohibited on bus benches
  • Philadelphia already operates such a ban
  • San Francisco bans alcohol advertising on public transport
  • Alcohol ads are already mostly banned in Sweden, Malaysia, and Russia
  • US standard: alcohol ads can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age (21)
  • Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) has called for a review into existing rules – which ban alcohol ads from airing in shows that appeal to under-18s – after finding that between 2007 and 2011, number of alcohol commercials seen by children rose almost 19%

3.2 “Sexist and degrading” Pamela Anderson commercial for Crazy Domains banned in UK

Videograb of Pamela Anderson in Crazy Domains banned commercial (deemed sexist and degrading)

The Australian commercial was first broadcast in 2010 and was banned shortly thereafter. Much like the notoriously sexist GoDaddy Superbowl ads in the US, this ad for another web hosting company depicts females as sex objects to be consumed… but this time they are in a business setting. We’re not going to embed the video but you can view it at the Huff Post link below.

Australian Advertising Standards Board decided the bikini sequence was sexist, exploitative and had ‘no relevance to the product.’ –Huffington Post

Last week, the Crazy Domains commercial was allowed to air in the UK after 9PM. A few days later on 6/5/13, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it but with different reasoning:

We considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers. -ASA

“Crazy Domains’ parent company Dreamscape Networks insisted that the dream sequence was not “gratuitous or pornographic”, saying it portrayed the women as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people.'” Dreamscape Networks is based in Dubai…
We discuss censorship in advertising, the media’s portrayal of women, and argue over whether marketing and media inform culture and shape our minds, or gain their power from the attention society gives to controversial content.
  • Startling statistics about lack of female leaders (the US ranks 90th in terms of number of women in legislative positions, behind China, Iraq, Cuba and more). 67 nations have had female presidents or prime ministers. The US is not one.
  • Who is responsible for perpetuating stereotypes? Should we blame an ad for misrepresentation of women, or the society that makes the ad successful?
  • 2010 documentary film Miss Representation “exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.” Watch the full movie free here. Trailer:

Thanks Digital Divas Atlanta for the March 2013 Miss Representation screening.

TIPS ON TAP

  1. Sort Gmail inbox by sender: Go to your inbox and hover over the sender’s name. In a second or two a window will pop open. Now choose “emails” near the bottom. Your inbox will now be sorted by the sender you hovered over. You can now read, delete, or move all those emails at once. Quite a time saver!
  2. Tips to Keep Your Mac Running Like New:

    2a) Restart your computer somewhat frequently. Restart can help flush out some old gunk that’s slowing it down.

    2b) Keep desktop clean of files. Place them in folders and Finder will be faster.

    2c) Restart your browser and clear the cache.
  3. FrontFlip is a mobile loyalty and engagement app for businesses. Get customers to scan to win prizes and gifts from restaurants, shops, bars, salons, etc.

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Millennials Can’t Play Dodgeball – Episode 20 – The Digital Dive Podcast

Stream on YouTube here

Video playback slow? Stream audio only here.
who-are-the-millennials-social-media

The Digital Dive celebrates our 20th episode with a special video podcast. Millennials: scrutinized, fascinating, controversial. A bunch of overly coddled narcissists? Or the highly educated, tolerant, tech-savvy hope for our future? Our familiar voices can now be seen in action as we report on Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr and tackle the ever-controversial subject of the Millennial Generation.

I. In a bold move (that follows Google’s and Facebook’s acquisitions of startups in hopes of gaining an edge), Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion, Yahoo officially announced Monday, May 20, 2013. A popular social blogging hub for photos and funny gifs, and a major meme birthplace, six-year old Tumblr has ~900 posts a second with 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 sign-ups every day. It also does not have a revenue model, much like Instagram, which Facebook acquired in 2012 for about $1 billion in cash and stock. Tumblr is highly mobile and has a young user base, in contrast to Yahoo’s older users. Tumblr could help Yahoo compete with Facebook and Google in the social networking space.

II. The Millennial Generation: In the wake of the controversial Time magazine article Millennials: the Me Me Me Generation by Joel Stein, we discuss some of the most prevalent complaints and praises of the most talked about generation since the Baby Boomers, along with a few surprising statistics about work ethic, narcissism, and tattoos.

Referenced in this episode:

1. The Pew Research Center’s comprehensive 2010 report: Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. 2/4/10
2. David McCullough Jr.’s controversial “You Are Not Special” commencement speech 6/7/12

Tips on Tap:

I. Artsy iPad cover: GelaSkins. Wraps front and back of iPad with your chosen artist’s design. Get free matching wallpaper for your screen. $29.95

II. Houzz – Landscaping, decorating and home design app.

III. Custom Inspector Stamp and Card keychainCool alternative to a business card: Custom Inspector Stamp is a keychain stamp by Mikey Burton in collaboration with Cranky Pressman. The Salem, Ohio based online letterpress service was founded by its original owners in 1934. Read more about Cranky Pressman.

Infographic about Millennials (click on the image to view it in full): Caveat: we are also coddled narcissists who did not play enough dodgeball in gym class.

Millennials Infographic cropped preview

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Modern Music: The Money at the End of the Rainbow

“We should stop asking, ‘how do we make people pay for music?’ and start asking, ‘how do we let people pay for music?‘” -Amanda Palmer, TED Talk: The art of asking (February 2013). I don’t want to discuss Palmer’s controversial, record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, which asked for $100,000 and ended up generating $1.2M from 25,000 fans. What’s more interesting is the paradigm shift in the music industry that most markedly began with Radiohead’s 2007 free digital release of their newest album. Artists are asking and fans are giving. Sometimes.

Radiohead Thom Yorke cover of Rolling Stone issue 1045 February 2008

Palmer’s opposite of Metallica M.O. is more salient to the reality of music consumption today than the traditional pricing, touring, and record label model. In a vacuum of capitalism where the Internet didn’t allow such easy piracy, standard pricing and control over content would make sense like it used to. But we don’t have a vacuum, and smart artists adapt.

Radiohead Let Us Pay

Public Enemy (1999 – paid download), Smashing Pumpkins (2000 – free download), Radiohead (2007 – free download), Trent Reznor (2008), Amanda Palmer and others have released their music first online with varying price structures before iTunes Store opened on April 28, 2003. But in 2007, iTunes had just become the third largest music retailer in the U.S. and online music was exploding. Radiohead blazed the trail on October 10, 2007 in the first major album release in which consumers could name their own price. Radiohead’s contract with their label EMI ended after 2003’s Hail to the Thief. After four years of turning down offers from other labels, in October 2007 Radiohead took a bold step in releasing their next album independently and digitally with a pay-what-you-want model.

Thom Yorke told Time,

“I like the people at our record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say ‘F*** you’ to this decaying business model.”

Radiohead beat the album leakers to the punch by basically leaking their own album. Fans went to the band’s website inrainbows.com to download the 15-song MP3s. Big Radiohead fans, my college roommate and I were blown away and totally impressed when we clicked the download button and saw the prompt “It’s Up To You.” Click again and it refreshed with, “It’s Really Up To You.”

Including $0 payments, the average fan paid $2.26 per download, meaning Radiohead came out ahead compared with the ~15% they’d receive via the standard record company release model.

“People made their choice to actually pay money,” [Radiohead manager Chris] Hufford said. “It’s people saying, ‘We want to be part of this thing.’ If it’s good enough, people will put a penny in the pot.”

The CD release followed at the end of 2007. A year later, In Rainbows had sold more than 300 million copies worldwide in digital and physical formats.

Creative musicians will continue to find ways to circumvent the technology that has made it irresistably easy to pirate their music. But Amanda Palmer’s asking/giving/taking and Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want models aren’t new; they are a return to the organic way street musicians and entertainers exchanged their art with others, as Palmer points out in her TED Talk.

Now We Expect Free Music

Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails on stage singing 2009Following In Rainbows, in November 2008 Trent Reznor took a shot at a different online release model when he co-wrote and produced Saul Williams’s album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust. Fans could download it for free or pay $5 for a higher quality version. The results were disappointing. As of January 2, 2008, 154,449 people had downloaded NiggyTardust and 28,322 of them paid the $5.

… the way things are, I think music should be looked at as free. It basically is. The toothpaste is out of the tube and a whole generation of people is accustomed to music being that way. There’s a perception that you don’t pay for music when you hear it on the radio or MySpace. -Trent Reznor, cnet.com

Radiohead’s free offering compelled us to pay a $2.26 average, but Reznor’s tiered free/premium model had less lucrative results at first.

For artists to follow Radiohead’s model en masse with success, our entire culture of music consumption would need to resemble the one Amanda Palmer champions. Unlikely for now, and unfathomable for less famous bands without dedicated followings and years of successful marketing and albums behind them.

I haven’t bought a hard copy album in years. The last I can remember was Tool’s 10,000 Days in 2007. The unique hardcover album case with stereoscopic glasses and Alex Grey’s art was simply incredible (and it won the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package). I have dabbled in iTunes and Amazon MP3 purchases but the closed environment and lack of ownership always bothered me. You’re leasing, not buying. I have no need to illegally download music now. Spotify is revolutionary. And mind-bogglingly cheap for the universal multi-device access you get to nearly all recorded music. Spotify hardly pays the artists, but overall it’s a more reasonable solution to the problem at hand than expecting consumers who won’t pony up $5 for an album to keep paying 99 cents a song. Maybe the Spotify model will make fans more willing to pay in other ways. It’s certainly the most convenient and instant access I’ve ever had to music, especially brand new music. Plus, with the Copyright Alert System, who wants to risk illegal downloads anyway? Instead, I’ll attend concerts and — after our Digital Dive Podcast interview with Zoroaster’s Dan Scanlan — I’ll buy plenty of merch.

 

Sources

Radiohead Says: Pay What You Want. Time, 10/1/2007

Public Enemy Makes Friends Online. EW, 5/14/1999

Pay What You Want for this Article. NY Times, 12/9/2007

Google Now for iOS, Amazon vs. Netflix, & Surprising Twitter Study – Episode 19

Netflix vs. Amazon punching bagsTopics

  1. In response to Netflix‘s exclusive programming featuring their hit series House of Cards, Amazon announced in March 2013 that they were creating a Zombieland pilot. On April 19, 2013 they released Amazon Original Series as fourteen original pilots available free to Amazon Prime members. Users vote on their favorites and Amazon will likely produce two winners as full series. I share my thoughts on House of Cards and two of the Amazon pilots: Those Who Can’t and Betas. Follow-up from Episode 14. P.S. Downton Abbey fans, by the end of 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the only paid streaming service to offer Downton Abbey. Hulu Plus and Netflix are out.Google_Now_iPad_and_iPhone_610x414
  2. Google Now comes to iOS. Available since July 2012 for some Android users, Apple device owners now have access to the clairvoyant Google Now by signing into one’s Google account in the free Google app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
    The nascent Google Now is a more predictive digital assistant in ways that Siri can’t compete. Because Google records its users’ actions in all of its products (from web search to Maps to Gmail to Google+ and more) it has access to massive amounts of data and can triangulate personal information, behavior patterns, calendar events, contacts and more. There is major potential for Google Now. Some users have concerns over privacy issues. But personally, I’m happy to benefit from the data I’m already sharing with Google in exchange for predictive, personalized assistance. How will Apple and Facebook compete?
  3. Instagram app update: 5/3/13: Now you can tag other Instagram users in photos like you tag friends in Facebook photos. Tags must be approved.
  4. Best Brands on Twitter: Social Media startup Nestivity released their list of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter – we look at the top 10 and why they are successful.

About the List:

  • Brands were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter.
  • Primarily using push marketing on Twitter doesn’t work (obviously)
  • Conducted by Evolve Capital Inc. (private equity firm) and UCLA Anderson School of Management, the study looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter, analyzing over 739,000 tweets over one month.
  • Significant: study was backed by a private equity/venture capital fund. Investors are paying attention and putting money into researching the success of brands on Twitter. Investor attention is often a barometer of the times; the players who have a major say in the lifespan and ultimate success of companies and industries are making a real connection between brand engagement on Twitter and a company’s bottom line.
  • High follower count also did not necessarily equate with an engaged audience: “While all of the 25 most engaged Twitter accounts had over a million followers, so did the bottom 70% of the same.”
  • 76% of content that was shared (RT’d) had a photo attached, and 18% had a video.

Top 10 Brands on Twitter:

  1. Notebook of Love
  2. Disneywords
  3. ESPN
  4. Playstation
  5. Disney
  6. Chelsea Football Club
  7. BBC Breaking News
  8. NASA
  9. CNN Breaking News
  10. Instagram

Tips on Tap:

  1. Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts:
    M = new direct message
    N= new tweet
    R = reply
    T = retweet
    GR = Mentions
    GH = Home
    GM – Messages
    . = load new tweets
  2. Tips to resize and optimize layout of web images:
    A. Two free tools to resize web images: Picresize and Resize Your Image
    B. When resizing, c
    hoose small file sizes: Upload a PNG or JPG not too much larger than your desired image size. Choose PNG or JPG over BMP as the file format. Your site load times will benefit.
    B. Have subjects (people, animals, products, etc.) facing in toward the block of text instead of outward and away from the text.
  3. Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones
    Sex sells. This thermoplastic skin slips on and stretches to fit and protect your iPhone 4/4s/5 or Galaxy S3. Water-resistant plastic wraps retain touchscreen and call functionality and 98% camera clarity. Note that neither headphones nor cables can be used with Smartskin. Up to three uses per tab/pack. Smartskin from Firebox costs $18.50.

Show Notes:

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

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CYBER ATTACK! – Episode 18 – The Digital Dive Podcast

cyber attack

News reports of major corporations falling victim to cyber attacks flood the media. What does this mean for us as individuals? As consumers? As a society? How serious a threat are we facing, and how much of it is media hype?

I. Boston Marathon Bombing media coverage: Twitter’s integral role. From helping runners notify their loved ones amid the chaos, to hospitals communicating occupancy information, to the Boston Police Department announcing the capture of the suspect — Twitter played an important role in the devastating event. To find out ways to help the victims, click here.

II. Spamhaus and other recent/notable cyber attacks. The list of companies that have fallen victim to cyber attacks reads like a Fortune 50 list — Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, Sony, and even government entities such as the US Federal Reserve, South Korea, North Korea, etc. have reported major security breaches linked to hackers. Recently, the infamous Spamhaus attack caused a global Internet slow-down by what some experts are calling the biggest cyber attack in history. Click here to see the Cyberbunker building image referenced.

III. Portrait of a Hacker. So, who are the men and women behind cyber attacks? Melanie and Emily discuss hacking history, a common type of attack (denial-of-service attack, or DDoS), and three types of hackers: ethical hackers, hacktavists, and organized cyber crime groups. Is there a such thing as a good hacker?

DDOS

IV. What we’re doing about it. Governments and corporate executives are beginning to realize the severity of a potential cyber attack. We review the ways the EU, U.S., and others are taking protective initiatives.

Tips on Tap

I. FireMe! App – New app which tracks certain negative phrases about bosses and jobs in social media and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired.

II. Vine – My love/hate relationship with Vine, a sometimes bagbiter new Twitter-owned social media platform that allows users to create six-second looping video mash-ups. Less than three months after its January 2013 release, the video-sharing service topped the U.S. App Store’s list of free iPhone apps. I found one paragraph of John Constine’s 4/20/13 techcrunch article about Vine quite poignant about the general experience of using smartphones to memorialize moments in our lives:

It’s when Vines disintegrate that I get truly angry, though. It’s blatant violation of the implicit value exchange between a human and an app. Rather than live a moment, I recorded it. When I ended up with nothing to show for it, I feel cheated.

III. Shopping for Flights Online: When to Buy – Melanie offers tips on how and when to get the best deal on airfare online.

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. New to Stitcher? Please sign up with our link:

Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

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