Tuesday, 30 April 2013

"Yes, it's a Flying Pig" or How it is to Unknowlingly Consume Ads

        How can one attract customers? With flying pigs, of course.
 Spotted in the middle of Stockholm.

I was amused by the idea of getting to know how much money I was encouraged to spend while watching an average program on Swedish TV - so I wrote down some simplified numbers and got the answer:

447,169 SEK during ONE HOUR.

As a Grey's anatomy viewer, I was encouraged/suggested/tempted to buy items and other stuff for roughly 150,000 crowns per commercial break or roughly 4,000 SEK if I exclude the suggested purchase of cars*.

Out of totally 37 commercials, I found that 3 products were of interest to me (in a non-artistic way): the services of Netflix [the "legal Pirate Bay"] that offered a month of free membership, the campaign Panta Mera which encourages people to recycle more bottles and the service/product iZettle, that makes it possible to shop in stores with a phone or a tablet.

There figurated quite a few medications - Bafucin, Nicovel, Alvedon and Coldy [the other ads had rather diversed themes]. About eight ads targeted solely a female audience [like L'Oreal's new mascara (I am amazed each time a new name of this product is introduced. As a writer said, the only thing left to make an ad about is the sound the lashes make during one blink)]; the corresponding number for men was not as clear, but they were definetely fewer. The ads for Storck's Toffee and Nutella were the only ads that targeted the whole family; the Alvedon ad targeted the family too, but not as perfectly clear.

Let us assume that "Grey's anatomy" is a program that attracts more female viewers than say, Top Gear which is about cars [but Gosh I love that show, it is really entertaining]. Let us also assume that some ads are not targeting these specific groups depending on which program/show they accompany (usually, that costs extra money). Furthermore, let us assume that it does not matter which day these programs are mounted, or what time of the day, or if the viewer follow these programs on a regular basis or not. By this, we are making any day equally representative.

During one hour, a "Top Gear" viewer is encouraged/tempted/suggested to spend  366,903 SEK.

Then it hit me: I should find out how many ads I am exposed to during a DAY, no matter where I go.

The simple answer is: 2,564 SEK if I just go for a walk and take the subway to buy food - not counting in that I watched TV and read the newspaper.

It is of course hard to draw a line between what an ad is and what is not, and how much it is all actually worth. Is it an ad when a restaurant displays its menu outdoors, or just a time saving tool and information combined? The aeroplane that flew by with a floating banner attached to it was implicating that an event would happen soon - so is it only the ticket price of this event that I should be counting in? And how do I deal with invitations to visit a webpage - should I take the mean value of the most expensive item and the most cheap one combined on that page or call the company an ask for the standard figure of an average sale?

In this simplified study, I decided to ignore - for example - company names on buildings that are static (except for when  it is repeated muliple times and there also is a website address beneath), but not cars with company names that pass by. I really wanted to make a try to include all the ads I am exposed to, though - even subconsciously, but ended up forgetting many, many times that I was "hunting ads" when taking my usual route to the usual places. I am far too used to the exposure and usually ignore most of them. It is like trying to remember a specific tree when walking in a forest.

*[I estimated a mean value for the items which were not displayed with a price after having visited the products' site. I accounted for the discount that was offered, and counted the same ad that appeared several times during the commercial breaks as a new ad each time].

Notably, there is no doubt that there is a correlation between what I fancy at the moment and what the current fashion is, be it clothes or gadgets - and do I want something else, it is hard to find.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Bride Covers China Earthquake in Her Wedding Dress

Dedicated to her job as few! This bride was on the way to her wedding when there was an eartquake, so she started interviewing people instead. I hope she has an understanding fiancée...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Guided "Vegetarian" Tour

I have some lovely pictures from a guided tour at Bergianska trädgården, a botanic garden slightly north of Stockholm. More pictures will come thoughout the seasons; I like keep coming back here. This was actually a winter-season exhibition. More precisely: a Christmas exhibition...

 A coffee tree! If I remember it right, one medium-sized cup of coffee requires 42 coffee beans.
 More coffee! Please hold for a couple of months for a cup... We will just wait for the plant to grow some more... Process the beans... And ship them across the world!..
Botanics student can enter for free - just like technology students (only from the Royal School of Technology though, I believe) can enter the Museum of Technology, Tekniska museet.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Game That Should be Shared and Blogged About: "Herre på täppan"

The company that copyrighted this game is called - directly translated without any jokes - "Useful Little Company Ltd".

The gaming board obviously has many valuable properties. Here: artistic.
And this is how you can know if "Herre på täppan" is as a good game: there is almost as much malicious pleasure (7) as tactics (10). Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Today's outfit(s)

Outfit number two is the most warm one, but No. 1 and No. 3 have their obvious advantages as well. Hmm.

Friday, 12 April 2013

New Thought. But actually really old. Perhaps.

There is a saying in Russian about fashion: everything new is just something old that has fallen into oblivion. It is not necessarily true - but makes me doubt in a wider sense, namely when I have ideas or philosophical questions that seem new to me. I lit up, smile happily, and then think that somebody FOR SURE must have thougt about this before me. For example:

As a kid, 11 years of age or so, I saw a factory that was closed for the summer and I came up with the idea to use the empty office space for all the people that had nowhere to stay. There should of course be rules, such as that the homeless people could only stay in certain areas (the most open areas that had sofas, the 11-years-old me thought), and if some of the workers still were working at the factory and had not gone on vacation, then these people could come just for the night. Now, many years later, I realize that many people personalize their work space and, of course, this idea is not compatible for all offices, say banks. But:

Has somebody come up with this idea already? Where and when has it been put into action, do you know? How did it work out?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Pressure cooker - student style

There is a proverb that goes something like: "When in need, you get the best inventions". Suggestion for new proverb: something that has "student" in it...