Author Archive for Tracy Weise



T-Mobile and Boost Mobile have found a way to make their ads stand out in an oversaturated market. We thought we’d kick off the week with their refreshing bits of humor. Enjoy.


The Lottery That Will Save Your Life


I don’t know how I stumbled across this Web site but boy am I glad I did. The Institute for Human Continuity has initiated a lottery that “guarantees every citizen of this planet an equal chance of survival in 2012.”

OK, this is actually a promotional site for the upcoming movie, 2012, which plays out an end of the world scenario. For those of you who don’t know, the Mayan calendar either ends or rolls over (no one is sure) in 2012 and many believe the world will follow suit.

Regardless, this site is an amazing promotional piece. Not only do you get to enter the lottery that will “save your life” (read: keep you updated on the movie with some really cool promotional materials), but you also can play out many different scenarios and watch the earth be destroyed. You get to decide how close the comet will come, how hot the sun will get, and how much the planet will crack, and the simulation estimates casualties for you.

Play the disaster scenarios here.

Now, I know we don’t usually go into movie sites on The Side Note, but this is viral at its best and a fantastic promotion for the movie. There are videos and tons of extra information to keep you engaged and to build the movie into something I hope it can live up to. Enjoy.




Disney Places Product In Its Small World

Disney’s most famous attraction, It’s a Small World, has been retrofitted to include Disney characters throughout its different nations.

WalletPop posted an article yesterday and I have to say it shocked me. I went with my family to Disney World last summer and was amazed at how this ride, more than 20 years after I first went on it, was still able to humble me and make me think about the world’s different cultures. For ten minutes, I sat in silence and found myself in a Zen-like state.

Had I seen Pinocchio hanging from string inside one of Italy’s towers, I am sure the spell would have been broken.

Check out WalletPop’s full-length article, which includes a video of the updated ride. As for you, Disney, thanks for filling our small world with more of your product placement. Was the rest of the park just not big enough for you?


OpenZine Evolves the Blog

As social media continues to evolve, OpenZine has found a new way to present the blog. OpenZine creates “a blog that groups your posts with a magazine style cover you design.” This lets you build themes through the use of issues, allowing bloggers the luxury of posting more content less often.

picture-1While I am enthralled by this idea, and loving all the nifty covers, I did find some room for improvement for this forward-thinking site. For instance, I would like to see the content that bloggers create uploaded into a page-flipping book so that I can flip the pages of a virtual magazine or popular underground zine. Not only would this add yet another layer to what OpenZine is trying to accomplish, but it would enhance the experiences of both the producers and the readers.

Regardless, OpenZine has done a great job expanding the blog, and I suspect this is the first step of many. The presentation of blogs will continue to progress along with the ideas of the bloggers. Let’s take it to the next level.

Have any of you used a platform like this?

Tomorrow on The Side Note: Enter a lottery that may save your life


Yes, But Does Neuromarketing Work?

Even though it’s been around for a while now, neuromarketing is still very much in its early stages of research and application. But we all want to know, does it work? And how well?

Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of Neurofocus, is back to talk about predicting marketplace performance. Probably the most compelling point he makes is when he explains how a major insurance company brought him six ads to study with neuromarketing.

Neurofocus chose the one they deemed “most effective.” Other highly rated marketing research companies deemed that same ad as “most mediocre.” But the insurance company’s independent studies showed that the ad in question garnered the highest response rate among consumers. (Details at 1:20)

Yes. It works. And well. So get ready for it. Soon it will be everywhere.


The Ethics of Mind Control

Mind control? Really? That’s what I keep reading in reference to the ethics of neuromarketing. Just because someone knows how to push your buttons doesn’t make it mind control. But it’s definitely intimate.

There are also a lot of references to the movie “Minority Report” and how the technology recognized Tom Cruise’s character and showed ads that spoke directly to him (you know we’re going there). Surely neuromarketing is the beginning of our road to such a place, but I have to say that I’d be happy to never see another ad for a ladies’ razor or have to hear about those “not so fresh days.” I want ads that appeal to me and me alone. Otherwise they are an annoyance.

I’m crawling down off my soapbox now to admit that I’m focused purely on the silver lining of all things neuromarketing, and to ask for your opinion. There are no videos today. No links. No photos to entice you to read. Just a pure platform for your thoughts on the ethics of everything we’ve talked about this week.

So spill it. Or I’ll be forced to read your mind.

Tomorrow: Our last day of neuromarketing and the official word of whether or not it actually works.


How Did Neuromarketing Not Catch This?

The following video is supposed shows that warning labels on cigarettes make smokers want to smoke more. How do we know this? Neuromarketing! But you are supposed to buy the book, Buyology, written by Martin Lindstrom (featured in this morning’s post) to find out why this is.  Watch the vid and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it:

Why This Ad Makes Me Want To Smoke

I was a smoker for 11 years and have been smoke-free for three. And you don’t have to hook me up to a machine for me to be able to tell you that showing cigarette smoke in such a seductive manner makes me want a cigarette. Everyone I know who smokes would agree.

In college, I read “One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—a book chock full of smokes. This led to a discussion on the hypothesis that smokers enjoy seeing smoke from their lungs is because it puts them in touch with their own mortality. (Before any of you non-believers declare this as “stupid”, know that the same can be said for those who partake in extreme sports or even who enjoy driving fast.)

You Would Think They’d Catch This

After all, if reading the warning label compels smokers to smoke, why wouldn’t seeing the smoke itself? It’s all about how we play with our mortality and why danger can sometimes be so attractive.

I have done a lot of research on neuromarketing and have learned in past few days to respect Martin Lindstrom. However, this is a great chance for us to remember that neuromarketing is no substitute for knowing your market and common sense.

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