Tag Archives: advertising

Science Fiction Today – Privacy

This was a topic we almost covered during our A to Z Challenge posts on Science Fiction Today. However, it’s a big topic and probably not best in that shorter format. Also, we hit on Surveillance, so we somewhat hit on the topic. But government surveillance is only part of the topic.

My take on Privacy is that it is only somewhat a right – it is also something you have to fight for. We can have expectations of Privacy, but things like government surveillance remind us that we don’t always know when or where we’re being watched. But it can be simpler and lower-tech than that – when I am home I might have an expectation of Privacy, but if my blinds are wide open then someone may well be watching!

That’s what I mean as to fighting for Privacy – perhaps working on Privacy is a better term. Constant vigilance! Or maybe the blog is the best example. We have a right to free speech – we can write what we want here, and we’re not worried about getting dragged off to jail. However, we have been careful regarding our Privacy – like names, picture of us, things like that. Or of the Geek Baby. I know a number of bloggers who use a pen name, and plenty who splash their picture and such all over. It’s a personal decision, about how much Privacy we’re looking for. We’re not all looking for the exact same level! No matter what Facebook thinks…

I’m a librarian. I know Privacy is tough. I was working in a library when the Patriot Act was passed – when the FBI got the right to come in and request library records. When libraries around the US got paper shredders to destroy paper records. Got programs to erase browser history and downloaded files and such between computer users. It’s a fight. So let’s look at a couple of possible futures when it comes to Privacy.

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The Interesting Marketing of Sunset Overdrive

One of the first games to really be a big name exclusive to a single new console is Sunset Overdrive. This game looks ridiculous, it reminds us a little of Borderlands, and we’re intrigued. Not enough to get an X-Box One to play it, but if we end up with one, we’ll probably end up with this game, too.

However, what’s been interesting for us this week was seeing one way they’ve marketed this game: by paying YouTubers to figure out a way to drum up hype.

So the folks over at SourceFed Nerd went and caused some mayhem and explosions, with Microsoft footing the bill. That sounds fun, right? Videos below!

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The Hype Machine – X-Men Days of Future Past

Ah, X-Men: Days of Future Past. I think I actually want to open by saying I am really excited for this movie. This is the great X-Men story I grew up with, one of my first and main introductions into time travel (along with Back to the Future), between the comics, the novelization, the adaptation on the animated TV show, and then eventually to hoping it would come to pass as the movies took hold.

I have said before, and will say again, where I always wanted X-Men: The Last Stand to end was with a lead-in to Days of Future Past. It would have made sense, to, as trouble always seems to lurk for the X-Men whenever something happens to Professor Xavier, and it was definitely not his finest day in The Last Stand. But it didn’t happen, and they’ve put a lot more movies out there before finally getting to this story.

In many ways, this is the movie that they need to redeem and empower their franchise. And story wise especially this is true. However, it sounds like the cost on the movie is such that it may make or break their future plans – which are already spinning. This could be their Avengers – or their end. I’m excited to find out which it will be, and I am really hoping for the excellence that half of the X-Men films have shown – not the failure the others have been. 

To that end, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the fascinating marketing, advertising, hype, and social media that have swirled around this movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it – and I want to write this post before the movie comes out precisely to consider and speculate on this marketing, rather than to praise it or blame it.

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Misuse of Popular Culture or Wow Really?!

Poster for Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for volunteers

Poster for Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for volunteers

David showed me an interesting ad today and it got me thinking about how businesses will try and tap into something’s popularity even if they do not actually understand the underlying meaning of the media. In this specific ad Big Brothers / Big Sisters is using Katniss Everdeen to say that you should volunteer to be a big brother or big sister. They even used the scene where Katniss says “I volunteer!” as the image. It seems obvious that they understand that The Hunger Games is a hugely popular franchise and that there is a sisterly dynamic, but are completely missing the point.

I have not necessarily seen this sort of thing happen too many times, but I can understand why it happens. Why not use an already popular franchise to draw people in to your business or non-profit? It taps in to a market that already exists so that you can build off of an existing fan base instead of having to build from scratch. When you do not use the media appropriately it can come off as insulting and lazy. Continue reading