Election ads have already begun. This is horrible news for the country. I love political ads because, while they’re full of lies, they’re among the most honest ads out there in that they show the marketers involved as sniveling, cutthroats who’ll do or say anything to gain or maintain power! But I don’t live in a swing state, so I’m not subjected to political ads from now until next November. NEXT November.
So, in my most recent column for Ad Age, I’m proposing Abigael’s Law, named after the little girl above, driven to tears by the last election.
The law I’m proposing is fairly simple. During the general election season, you can’t advertise on TV or radio at all until 60 days prior to the election. For primaries, it will be 30 days out from the election in that particular state.
We’re going to avoid all the confusing distinctions between candidate and party and advocacy advertising made by regulators in other countries, if for no other reason than to curtail cries that we’re violating First Amendment rights of faceless political groups bankrolled by downtrodden billionaires. Everyone can advertise! And everyone can spend as much as he or she wants!
But there are a few caveats — and a few more jokes — in the full piece. Go read it.
WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?!
In the course of getting married, Cara brought up the subject of wedding gifts for each other. I’m sure most men out there could spend a good half an hour ranting about this need women have to exchange gifts for every occasion, and often multiple times for the same occasion. This can get particularly crazy when the Wedding Industrial Complex is involved. Many a man might even think of saying, “Isn’t getting married to me gift enough?”
If you follow technology and marketing news, I have to question your life decisions. But if you do, you probably notice that the tech and marketing worlds are in love with the promises of Big Data — and small data and your data. Every time they make an announcement about an awesome new advancement in tracking consumers’ behavior, purchasing habits or favorite color and targeting ads and sales pitches to them, they always make sure to point out that there’s nothing to worry about, though, in terms of privacy and security, because the data’s been anonymized.
My latest column in Ad Age tackles the topic:
Data anonymization is a load of horseshit. Data anonymization is also a clever bit of technical and verbal misdirection used by marketers and tech people to keep regulators at bay.
What data anonymization decidedly isn’t, by any meaningful definition that has to do with reality, is making consumers and/or their data truly anonymous to marketers and tech people.
Read the rest here.
Or go back to dumping tons of personal information into Facebook and then whining about your privacy later.
If my calculations are correct, this past weekend I ran my 16th half marathon, the New York City Half, put on by New York Road Runners. This is different from the Manhattan Half, also put on by NYRR, which I was signed up to run back in January or February or whenever. But I skipped that one this year because I only run it if the temperature is below 20 degrees.
Anyway, the NYC Half is a great race, if you can get in. It’s a lottery system. I got in because I ran all of NYRR’s other major races last year. NYC Half does a loop in Central Park, then down through Times Square (which is cool) over to the West Side Highway and ends down in the Financial District. All the hard part — Cat Hill (totally overrated as a hill) and Harlem Hill (FUCK YOU HARLEM HILL) — is in the first four miles and it’s down hill and flat from there.
Last week, Apple officially revealed its watch. As an employee at a publication that does some tech coverage, we were all herded into a dungeon where we were forced to pay attention to this nonsense.
I’m typing this on an Apple product. I have an iPhone and owned a bunch of iPods. I like Apple! But, as I wrote in the wake of this watch wave:
Watching an Apple promotional video is enough to make me want to take a hammer to my Apple products and beat on them until I no longer feel shame.
One of the watch things we watched — or in this case re-watched — was a video released last year by Apple. I’m glad we watched. It was one of the funniest things I watched all week — and I watch “Archer.” So I wrote about it. You can watch the video and
watch read the rest of what I wrote right here.
Location, location, location, they say. Well, some folks are currently located on my lawn and need to move.
Also, this week, I moved from the interior pages of Advertising Age, where I reviewed ad campaigns, to the primo real estate on the back page, where I can write about a broader range of topics. (I also got a cover line.) This is both exciting (for me) and frightening (for everyone else involved).
The back page! I’m a back-pager. When I do pick up print magazines these days (yes, I’m part of the problem), the back page is the first page I turn to. It tells me a lot of things about a magazine — and it’s often where they’ll put the funny or weird or interesting stuff. Outdoor Life, for example, had Pat McManus there for decades (maybe they still do). EW puts its bulls-eye there. Runners World has been putting “Why I run” interviews with celebrities and politicians and interesting professionals (but lately seems to have decided on random person that a staffer in New York thought was cool). The Atlantic had a funny word column for a long time, then a funny advice column. Now it’s got an unfunny and mostly ridiculous “One Question” (What was the most important book of all time?) answered by luminaries and academics.
Simon “The Media Guy” Dumenco was nailing down that Ad Age page for the last few years but he got promoted right out of the job and into meetings 24 hours a day. So I get it.
My first topic? Millennials. I didn’t plan on that. God knows the world doesn’t need one more word on the topic. But it was also our 40 Under 40 issue, so I figured I’d do something about the yewts. And I came up with a point of view that anyone who reads me regularly might find surprising.
Millennials are getting older. They’re getting married, having babies and moving out of mommy’s house. And it turns out they’re just people.
Read it! Don’t read it! See if I care!