7 apps to help your business grow on Facebook

Image: Ellagrin/getty images

With over1.6 billion monthly active users, there is no doubt that Facebook is the place to be when it comes to looking for platforms to scale your growing business. But how can you leverage this dominant social media channel to make the most of your impressive business efforts?

Heres a list of seven apps that your company should consider if Facebook is a part of your growth strategy.

1. Yotpo

Image: yotpo

While Facebook has been known to be a brands go-to marketing channel, oftentimes your actual customers can generate enough hype around a product to drive sales. Indeed, leveraging user-generated content (UGC) such as customer reviews or user-uploaded images on Facebook can help your business immensely.

With Yotpos Dynamic Ads feature you can use tools to share customer reviews and photos organically, as well as incorporate them into paid adsa tool so valuable, Facebook used it as a casestudy.

2. ViralStyle

Facebook dwarfs all other social channels when it comes to active users, content sharing and referred click-throughs to websites. But the average Facebook users dont spend their time looking for business opportunitiestheyre there to see amusing content and keep upwith friends and loved ones. To effectively take advantage of Facebooks immense marketing potential for business, therefore, companies need to keep their messaging light and fun.

ViralStyle provides a solution for fan community monetization that takes the friction out of selling branded merchandise. This social ecommerce platform lets you offer t- shirts, hoodies, iPhone cases and other products with your own art, and because its all printed and shipped to order, theres zero hassle for inventory or fulfillment.

Using ViralStyles marketing tools, its easy to set up a campaign, which adds a ticker to product pages for a sense of purchase urgency. The platform also integrates with Facebook ads (soon with Shopify as well), to allow users to seamlessly promote creations to highly relevant and targeted buyers.

3. Desk

Image: Desk.com

Today, business owners and marketers are expected to always be reachable and ready to address customer inquiries. While this may seem overwhelming, there are great tools that help facilitate better and more frequent communication between prospective buyers and sellers.

For instance, Desk.com integrates with Facebook as a highly-effective engagement feature that will help address immediate customer questions and concerns. I personally use them for my payments support and it’s helped us manage our thousands of customer tickets each month, a large portion of which comes through Facebook.

4. GetResponse

With so many different marketing options on Facebook, sometimes it is difficult to get the most out of your campaigns. Thankfully, there are solutions such as GetResponses Facebook Web Form App that embeds sign-up forms on your Facebook company page. This allows prospective leads and/or interested page visitors to easily sign up for more information.

5. Cyfe

For businesses, being able to stay ahead of all the marketing tasks can be daunting, especially when data plays a major role in your scaling efforts (as it should). Visuals can help make sense of this mess.

Cyfes business dashboard, for example, displays various metrics that are often indicative of successful or poor marketing campaigns. With this information at hand, marketers can look to scale based on specific benchmarks.

More specifically, you can track your entire social media and Facebook data, to instantly assess your overall campaign performance, cost, CTR, impressions and more.

6. Shopial

Image: facebook

For ecommerce businesses, Facebook is often considered a second priority to your company’s online store. Being in the payments space, I’ve found that most business owners don’t even consider Facebook for ecommerce. Having just discussed the dominance of Facebook usage, you may need to reevaluate your relationship with this outlet.

The Shopial app is a timely one for ecommerce, as it essentially acts as a bridge between the store’s website and Facebook store, allowing you to easily add and advertise specific products to boost engagement and eventual conversion levels.

7. Leadfeeder

On Facebook, B2C engagement outshines B2B prospecting, but savvy business leaders know how to use the ubiquity of Facebook to their advantage. In the B2B space, the journey from curious website visitor to converted customer is complex and rarely predictable. As buyers transition from sales-driven product education to self-service content discovery and become more guarded with their contact details, it isnt always possible to capture email addresses and use prospects inboxes as hubs for lead nurture messaging.

Todays B2B marketers therefore employ a litany of tactics to track prospects across devices and marketing channels, engaging with potentially interested parties wherever possible. With Leadfeeder, you can circumvent the need for lead capture and instead see a dynamic list of anonymous visitors to your website, along with intelligence on the companies they work for and logs of pages they click on. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Because the system integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) and you can use it to export segmented lists of contacts, the B2B growth hackers out there can easily use Leadfeeder as en engine for creating hyper-targeted Custom Audience ads on Facebook.

Do you have suggestions for other apps that help grow your business on Facebook? Share them in the comments below.

John Rampton

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of online payment company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur …More

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/05/21/7-apps-grow-business-on-facebook/

Nope, the TV Business Isnt Dead Yet. Far From It, Really

Over the past few years, media analysts have bemoaned the Endof TV. Some have wondered, as ratings tumble year after year, why would advertisers continue to buy ads? Meanwhile, Facebook and Googles ad businesses have exploded, even though marketers arent spending drastically more than they have in the past. But the traditional TV industry is not dead just yet.

This month, CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warnerall reported advertising revenue growth. CNN and Fox acknowledgedthey’veseen higher ratings(and ad revenue) thanks in part to the election. And, sure, CBS had the Super Bowl this year. Even so, the company saysits ad revenue is “the strongest we’ve seen in a long, long time.”

“With these ratings, this schedule, and the ad market on fire, we are salivating,” CBS chief executive Les Moonves said as the company heads into the annual advertising sales hootenanny known as the Upfronts in the coming weeks.

The media business runs on ads. But since the birth of the web, the ad business has beenchanging. Analysts expect brands tospend $68.8 billion dollars this yearon digital advertising, according to eMarketer. Even so, TV has remained the single biggest recipient of marketers’ money. As more people abandon traditional TV for streaming services, YouTube, and social media, broadcasters will have to fight to keep advertisers coming back. But by then, the dichotomy between TV and digital may not mean much anyway.

Its definitely a complicated picture, says eMarketer’s senior analyst Paul Verna. But its not easy to say digital is killing TV.

Protecting the Business

In its own way, TV is still pretty unique. The internet dramatically changed thenewspaper, magazine, and radio industries. Many advertisers are no longer willing to pay top prices (or advertise at all) in those places as the audience shifted online.

Theres a lot more inertia in television than there was in the media that succumbed more quickly to disruption from the Internet, says Andrew Frank, a longtime analyst at Gartner who follows the marketing industry.

How have major broadcasters and cable networks held onto their dominant share of the public’s attention? Well, for one, people still watch a lot of TV on TV. Major sporting events, like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, draw millions of viewers. And yes, electoral politics still largely play out on television. TV still has massive scale, it has that cachet, Verna says. If its on TV, its important.” And advertisers want to bewhere they can reach the most people.

‘It’s not outlandish to think a billion dollars will come out of the linear television market and move to digital video.’

Even for thosewho dont watch TV in the old-fashioned way, many networks have developed their own websites, apps, and digital services. Advertisers consider ads on websites and apps digital spend. For networks, however, it’s all ad money coming their way.

Take Fox. Advertisers can buy slots during The Simpsons on its broadcast station or The Americans on basic cable. They can serveads during full episodes streaming on its website, streaming apps, and Hulu.(During last week’s earnings call, 21st Century Fox’s CEO James Murdoch called the going rate for ads for Fox’s shows on Hulu “very, very attractive.” Fox owns Hulu in a joint partnership with Disney-ABC and NBCUniversal.)

But when advertisers are spending money for ads attached to TV streaming on the internet, they don’t think of it as TV.

“Hulu, Roku, Apple TV. Is that television? No, its not. Its consumed on a big screen potentially in you living room, but we consider anything delivered by an IP device is not linear TV,” says David Cohen, the president of Magna Global in North America,a major ad-buyer that works with companies like Coca Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

In other words, networks are getting advertisers’ money both ways, which for the moment seems to have led to an overall bump. But Cohen predicts marketerswill begin to see more of the distinction blur.In theshort term, I think its not outlandish to think that a billion dollars will come out of the linear television market this year and move to digital video.

Time of Transition

And yet that doesnt mean that the future for broadcasters and cable networks isultimately secure. Analysts with eMarketer estimate that more money will be spent on digital advertising than TV by next year. Ad buyers and marketers are frustrated with the fact that TV ads continue to increase in cost even as ratings, for the most part, continue to fall. Why as marketers have we agreed to pay more for that decline in audience is exactly the question, Cohen says. Magna, for its part, said last week that it was moving $250 million from its TV budget to YouTube.

As the basic cable bundle comes apart and viewers get more options to pay for fewer channels in so-called “skinny bundles,” Frank believes that less popular channels may struggleas advertisers shift dollars to digital content people actually watch. But digital advertising is also complicated. Facebook and Google may dominate when it comes to competing in the digital space. But the ads still have to be shown to be effective, which is easier to demonstrate through “apples-to-apples” comparison. This is why YouTube, with its TV-like pre-roll ads, has thrived.

Over time, ad tech will get better at helping marketers understand who you are, where youre watching, and what you want, whether you’re on Facebook, YouTube, or just watching plain old TV. And that may help save traditional TV simply because advertisers will be able to show couch potatoes more ads for stuff they really do want. Television may be changing. But evolution is, if nothing else, a survival strategy.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/2016/05/nope-tv-business-isnt-dead-yet-far-really/

Psycho thrillers: five movies that teach us how the mind works

Power, violence, death and reality the movies can teach us plenty about lifes big issues. From the Godfather to Groundhog Day, five psychologists pick the films that tell us what makes humans tick

Ten days ago in London, the Hungarian director Lszl Nemes hosted a preview screening of his film, Son of Saul. He explained that if people didnt want to stay for the Q&A afterwards, that was fine; he wouldnt take personal offence. The audience giggled politely. Thats the last laugh youll have for a while, he told them.

Son
Son of Saul Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

He was right: Son of Saul out in the UK on Friday is what you might call a taxing watch. Set in Auschwitz in 1944, it shows a day in the life of a Sonderkommando, a Jewish prisoner forced to work in the gas chambers, disposing of dead bodies. Almost every frame is filled by the beyond brutalised face of a man doomed to die and already living in hell.

The film forces you to grapple with the most nightmarish moral choices imaginable. Should you deceive your fellow prisoners into thinking theyre just going for a shower? Can you square a duty to truth-telling with a responsibility not to cause further trauma? Son of Saul asks questions few dare to pose about the human condition. Many movies from the sacred to the profane do the same. Here, five leading psychologists look at the classic films that explore how human beings work.

Groundhog Day by Philippa Perry

Freud gave his patients the chance to re-edit their narratives

Andie
Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Photograph: Allstar/Columbia

In Groundhog Day, weatherman Phil Connors lives the same day over and over again. At one point, he has a chat in a bar with two drunks: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same and nothing you did mattered? That just sums it up for me, replies the drunk. Sums it up for a lot of us.

Freud encouraged patients to tell their stories and got them to free-associate around their narrative to find out how they thought and felt about themselves. This gave his patients the chance to relive, re-examine and possibly re-edit their narratives in terms of the way they conduct themselves in the present. Our earliest environment has a profound impact upon us and forms, to a great extent, how we see and interact with the world.

When we first meet Connors, played by Bill Murray, whatever happened to him in his past has made him grumpy, sarcastic, antisocial and rude. He is trapped in the narcissistic defence of assuming he is superior to everyone else and we see people being circumspect around him and not enjoying his company. In psychotherapy, we often talk about self-fulfilling prophecy if you expect everyone not to like you, you behave defensively and, hey presto, your prophecy comes true. Being trapped in the same day is a metaphor for how he is stuck in this pattern.

Groundhog day also illustrates object relations theory: the theory of how we find bad objects (a negative influence from our past) in objects that are around us in the present. To find our bad object we search for and find negative traits even when, in other peoples eyes, there would be none. For example, at the Groundhog Day festival that Phil reports on from the small town of Punxsutawney, he can only see hypocrisy and farce, whereas the TV producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell), sees the beauty of tradition and the enjoyment it brings to the people. In object relations theory, the idea is that the psychoanalyst becomes a good object for the patient, and with the analysts facilitation the patient finds good objects where hitherto they could not. Rita is Phils good object and the catalyst in Phils transformation. Her influence begins to rub off. He discovers the joys of educating himself in literature, art and music. He finds out about people, helping them and befriending them rather than writing them off and finds out that this has its own reward.

The tradition of Punxsutawney is that if the groundhog, also called Phil, can see its shadow on Groundhog Day, the town will get six more weeks of winter. It takes Phil the weatherman quite a long time to see his shadow too, but when at last he does, the day miraculously moves on. In Jungian theory, the shadow refers to negative aspects of your own personality that you disown and project on to others. There are also positive aspects to the shadow that remain hidden from consciousness. Jung said that everyone carries a shadow and that the less it is embodied in the individuals conscious life, the darker and more destructive it has the potential to be.

Although we dont have the luxury of living in the same day for as long as we need to in order to recognise how we sabotage ourselves, our mistakes do have a habit of happening often enough for us to become aware of them. What remains of our lifespan is time enough to do something about it.

Philippa Perry is a psychotherapist and the author of the graphic novel Couch Fiction.

The Godfather by Steven Pinker

It explains why the instinct for violence evolved to be a selective strategy

James
James Caan and Marlon Brando in The Godfather Photograph: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock

The Godfather is not an obvious choice for a psychological movie, but its stylised, witticised violence says much about human nature.

Except in war zones, people are extraordinarily unlikely to die from violence. Yet from the Iliad through video games, our species has always allocated time and resources to consuming simulations of violence.The brain seems to run on the adage: If you want peace, prepare for war. We are fascinated by the logic of bluff and threat, the psychology of alliance and betrayal, the vulnerabilities of the body and how they can be exploited or shielded. A likely explanation is that in our evolutionary history, violence was a significant enough threat to fitness that everyone had to understand how it works.

Among the many subgenres of violent entertainment, one with perennial appeal to brows both high and low is the Hobbesian thriller a story set in a circumscribed zone of anarchy that preserves the familiar trappings of our time, but in which the protagonists must live beyond the reach of the modern leviathan (the police and judiciary), with its monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Examples include westerns, spy thrillers, battlefield dramas, zombie apocalypses, space sagas and movies about organised crime. In a contraband economy, you cant sue your rivals or call the police, so the credible threat (and occasional use) of violence is your only protection.

The godfather of Mafia movies is, of course, Francis Ford Coppolas The Godfather trilogy. The screenplays are a goldmine for observations on the human condition in a state of nature, beyond the constraints of modern institutions. Four lines stand out: in the opening scene, Vito Corleone, having promised to mete out some rough justice on behalf of a victimised undertaker who had been forsaken by the American leviathan, demonstrates how reciprocity serves as the cement of traditional societies: Some day, and that day may never come, Ill call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughters wedding day.

The opening scene of The Godfather

Following the tragic death of his eldest son, Vito addresses the heads of the rival crime families and explains the strategic rationality of apparent irrationality: Im a superstitious man. And if some unlucky accident should befall my son, if my son is struck by a bolt of lightning, I will blame some of the people here. Elsewhere, he elaborates: Accidents dont happen to people who treat accidents as a personal insult.

A foot soldier of one of these rivals explains why the instinct for violence evolved to be a selective strategy, not an indiscriminate bloodlust or a hydraulic pressure: I dont like violence, Tom. Im a businessman. Blood is a big expense.

And for all our hotheaded urges, Michael explains the wisdom of controlling your emotions: Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.

Steven Pinker is Johnstone family professor of psychology at Harvard.

Rushmore by Dacher Keltner

It shows us that to unite in power, we must unite others

Jason
Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

All art, French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu argues, is an expression of social class, from the music you enjoy to the decorations you put on your walls. Few films, though, have tackled the class divide between the haves and have-nots as imaginatively as Wes Andersons 1998 film Rushmore.

The film unfolds at Rushmore Academy, a prep school in Houston, Texas, and tells the story of the friendship between schoolboy Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), the son of a barber, and rich industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray). They both fall for a recently bereaved teacher at the school (Olivia Williams), and resort to misguided tactics to win her affection. As this timeless rivalry unfolds, the film illustrates several principles of class and power uncovered in psychological science.

The first that wealth gives rise to unethical and socially disconnected behaviour is on display at a birthday party for Blumes sons, who attend Rushmore Academy with Max. The two sons greedily shred through a pile of presents (and are most delighted by a crossbow). Nearby, Blumes wife flirts blatantly with a young man, while Blume sits far away from the mayhem, languidly tossing golf balls into his dirty pool.

The pool scene in Rushmore

This scene captures recent studies showing that upper-class individuals are more disposed to impulsive and socially aloof behaviour, including misreading others emotions, swearing, lying in games to win prizes and violating the rules of the road.

Navigating power structures, such as prep schools, is a source of stress for lower-class individuals, and can elevate levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. To adapt to such social stresses, people from lower-class backgrounds reach out and connect to others a second principle of class and power. Studies find that it is people from lower-class backgrounds who share more, cooperate, attend to others carefully and do things that unite others, a means by which they can rise in power when lacking the advantages of lineage. With brilliant detail, Anderson brings this principle to life in Maxs defining social predilection: forming clubs. Max is at the head of every imaginable club, including the beekeepers society, the kung fu club and the astronomy club all touching, quaint activities that reveal a deeper principle at play: to rise in power, we must unite others in common cause.

Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley.

Altered States by Sue Blackmore

It plays with the question of what we mean by reality

William
William Hurt in Altered States. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock

Ken Russells Altered States is based on a wild time in the 1970s, when a whole lot of academics took hallucinogenic drugs. One of them, John Lilly, started working with isolation tanks where you float in saltwater in total silence, resulting in absolute sensory deprivation with resultant vivid imagery and bizarre sensations.

The films hero is a scientist called Eddie (William Hurt) who starts experimenting with psychedelic drugs to explore other states of consciousness and our notions of reality. At one point he emerges from his isolation tank having been transformed into an ape but Im not so interested in this kind of impossible fantasy. What interests me is how the film handles the altered states of consciousness. We know that when you take hallucinogenic drugs of this kind, the earliest hallucinations are simple, colourful, geometric patterns. Tunnels and spirals are common, as they are in out-of-body and near-death experiences. The film has plenty of tunnels, and a wonderful whirlpool near the end, where Eddie is being sucked away into oblivion. That is all fanciful film stuff, but the whirlpool gives a good feel of hallucinatory experiences, and is rather well done.

Lilly was trying to understand the nature of reality, and thats what this film plays with. What do we mean by reality, anyway? You might say that what we know, and what Eddie in the film assumed, is that there is a physical reality and our brain interprets it, and that hallucinations are not real. But if you put a hallucinogenic drug into most peoples brains, they get remarkably similar experiences.

A lovely detail in the film is where Eddie goes for a ceremony with an indigenous tribe in Mexico. He is given a potion, goes into an extreme altered state and sees streams of stars coming out of his body. The stars are not real in the sense that there are no white lights flowing from us, but lots of people who take those same drugs see the same thing so there is a kind of reality here, a kind of shared experience.

In consciousness studies, we struggle with the hard problem of consciousness. It is a deep mystery how do subjective experiences arise from objective brain activity? We dont know. Many people, myself included, say there isnt really a hard problem. We become dualists in childhood we think that mind and brain are separate and thats why we have a problem: how can the mind arise from the brain? Somehow, we have to see how the two are the same thing. Many people have these hallucinatory experiences, or go through intense rituals, and claim to have achieved non-duality. We dont get that answer in this film, but it would be amazing if we did.

Sue Blackmore is a writer, lecturer and visiting professor at Plymouth University.

The Seventh Seal by Susan Greenfield

Its about the psychology of people the hope you are going to be better

Ingmar Bergmans film is so stark and uncompromising, unlike most movies nowadays. A knight, returning from the Crusades to plague-ridden Sweden, is visited by Death, a pale-faced, black-cloaked character. They play out a chess match which, if the knight wins, will stave off his demise.

The Seventh Seal

The fact The Seventh Seal is in black and white and was made in the 1950s is evidence of its enduring appeal, in the same way Greek tragedy endures it is something that speaks of eternal values, peoples hopes and fears, and is not dependent on current culture. It has been satirised, most famously by Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life, in a sketch in which Death turns up at a middle-class dinner party. Its funny, but it doesnt detract from the original, where everyone is doomed at the end. It is the opposite of the happy endings of films we have now.

The film has a very dark, nihilistic feel to it in an age when people are soft and easy. There is one scene where one of the characters, an actor, is up a tree, and Death comes to saw through it. He asks him who he is, and Death says he has come for him. The man says its not his time, he has his performance to do. Death says: Its cancelled. Because of death. All the dreams and hopes you have are annulled because of death.

Im not aware that Bergman was necessarily expounding any particular psychological theory, but he does talks about the silence of God, which perhaps for many people rings true. I think it is about the psychology of people the hope that you are going to be better and different, to think that you can get away with things.

The knight goes to confession and starts to tell the priest about the chess move he is going make and, of course, the priest is Death. You cant beat death and all of us are playing chess with death, in a way hoping well be the one who wont get cancer, wont have a heart attack, that this happens to other people, not us. I think there is that mentality in many people, and this film brings it home to you. I am an optimistic person, and it makes me appreciate life because of its highly transient and arbitrary nature.

Susan Greenfield is a scientist, writer, broadcaster and a member of the House of Lords.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/apr/24/psycho-thrillers-five-movies-how-mind-works-psychologists

Professional artists re-created children’s monster doodles. They’re hideously cool.

 

Artist and designer Katie Johnson has a thing for monsters.

Not those of the morbid variety, but the cutesy, kid-friendly kind.

GIF from “Monsters, Inc.”

She’s always loved the wide-open creative process of dreaming up a new monster and putting it on paper. “It’s a fun creative dump,” she said. “You can make a monster out of anything. So when I was younger, that was my go-to when I felt like drawing.”

Katie Johnson (right) ponders her next monster. Photo used with permission.

Little did she know, monsters would come to dominate her free time as a young adult, too. After college, Johnson started working as a designer with an advertising firm in Austin, Texas. But as a creative at heart, she also wanted to pursue her own projects.

An idea came to her after seeing a photo series called “Wonderland” by artist Yeondoo Jung, who re-created children’s drawings as staged, dream-like photographs.

Johnson combined her love of monsters with Jung’s idea of building on children’s creativity to launch The Monster Project.

Through The Monster Project, Johnson invites elementary students to draw their own monsters. Then professional artists bring their monsters to life.

Getting started wasn’t easy because she was the only artist on call. “I did 20 drawings by myself,” Johnson said. “It was way too much.”

She also wasn’t meeting one of her most important objectives: “It was missing multiple artistic perspectives. I wanted the kids to see different ways to be creative.”

Here’s a sampling from the project’s more than 100 re-created drawings:

Re-created by Gianluca Maruotti.

Re-created by Marija Tiurina.

Re-created by Muti.

Re-created by Milan Vasek.

Re-created by Marie Bergeron.

Re-created by JeanPierre Le Roux.

Re-created by Jake Armstrong.

Re-created by Charles Santoso.

Re-created by Eric Orange.

Re-created by Aaron Zenz.

The website explains: “With a decreasing emphasis on arts in schools, many children dont have the opportunity for creative exploration they deserve. Thats a monstrous trend we would like to destroy.”

 

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/professional-artists-re-created-childrens-monster-doodles-theyre-hideously-cool?c=tpstream

5 Obvious Marketing Lies We’re All Weirdly Cool With

In the good old days when I still watched normal TV, my brain got to the point where it could filter the ads out. Sure, my eyes were still on the screen, but the people begging me to buy gum or finance a car became just a casserole of colors and sounds that threw off the pacing of The Simpsons. But after college, I spent a couple years watching Netflix or Hulu or YouTube, where you don’t see a lot of ads, and that skill atrophied. Then I went to visit my mother, and when we watched TV, I was unprepared to process … this.

Somewhere along the lines, ad companies realized that they could get away with literally whatever they want. That’s why nobody complains when they tell us a bold-faced lie about …

#5. How Much Your Monthly Bill Will Be

Monthly bills are my enemy. And because they’re paid automatically, on my credit card, they’re a largely invisible enemy, like cholera or David Christopher Bell. So whenever I sign up for something that I’m going to pay for forever, like a new cellphone line or internet service or monthly deliveries of fresh buffalo meat, I carefully negotiate. I do math. I stick that number into my budget. And then, when I get my bill, it is always, every single time, several dollars more than we agreed.

Even worse, they are the very same dollars that I had planned to spend on drugs.

This is by design. Cellphone companies intentionally make their bills so confusing that you don’t know what you’re paying for. Which is why your $69.99 plan ends up costing $86.73 every month. And, sure, if you click that link you’ll discover that AT&T eventually got sued for that shit, but don’t worry: Phone companies figured out other ways to lie to us. Like that time Verizon intentionally overcharged all their customers for years, and no one cared. Or that time the government gave them $2.1 billion in tax breaks to install fiber optics in Pennsylvania, and they didn’t do it. What was their excuse? Haha, it’s adorable that you think they bothered to offer an excuse.

Why This Will Never Change

Getting mad is hard. Reading fine print is also hard. And the whole reason we have cellphones and internet service in the first place is convenience, so putting effort into improving the experience would be, ya know, paradoxical. So instead, we just shake our fists at the heavens and mutter, “Ahh, they got me!” every time we read our bill. “Can you believe this shit?” we ask, perhaps. Or, in extreme cases, all we can muster is a long, raspy, “Ehhhhhhhhhhh …”

#4. How Long Something Will Last

Consumer electronics and prescription medication have exactly two things in common: I use them recreationally even when I’m not supposed to, and they will lie to you about how long they last. Whether it’s a bottle of Tylenol promising “relief for four to six hours” or a laptop battery that’s supposed to last “for your entire road trip,” these are promises that were never even intended to be kept. Listen, label-writers: You can’t lie to me with numbers. The whole reason we invented them was to get around the tricky subversiveness of words. They have an inherent power and must be respected.

Also, I’m pretty sure there are more of them than there are of us.

Now, I know the excuses that some of you are offering. “Those numbers are estimations,” you squawk, “there are a lot of variables here, and it’s hard to measure this stuff accurately.” Really? Is it harder than making a tiny white pill that cures my head pain? Is it harder than building a talking pocket computer that is also a phone, a camera, a GPS, and a sex toy? You’re telling me that scientists built a machine that can take a high-definition photograph of my penis and then use satellites to beam that picture anywhere in the world, from the snowy mountains of Japan to the bustling metropolises of Africa, but they can’t accurately tell me how many times I can do that before I need to plug that phone in? Bullshit, scientists. Bullshit.

When it comes to batteries, there is one explanation I always hear: When they’re measuring the estimated battery life of, say, a laptop, they’re doing it with the screen dimmed and all the apps turned off. OK, fine, but listen: Why? No, seriously, look at me. Look right at me. Stop doing that. Stop it.

Stop.

Why This Will Never Change

I don’t think anyone important reads my column.

Aside from you, obviously. You’re really important to me.

#3. Whether Something Is “Special Edition,” “Collector’s Edition,” Or No Notable Edition At All

Remember when DVDs first came out and some of them weren’t special editions? The first DVD I ever bought was Shrek — not Shrek: Ogreific Edition or Shrek: R-Rated Director’s Cut; it was just Shrek. With a picture of CGI Scottish Mike Myers on the cover. Back then, the idea of a special edition meant specialness. It meant extra features. Now, it means nothing. It’s gotten so bad that there are some special edition DVDs out there that list “interactive menus” as one of the special features. I’ve seen it. With my own eyes.

Then there’s collector’s editions, which I can’t even begin to decipher. What’s the difference between someone who wants to own movies to watch them, and a “collector”? Am I too much of a peasant to own a collector’s edition because I remove my movies from their plastic wrap? Are there people out there who see the words “collector’s edition” on a DVD and say to themselves, “Finally, the film Gods have deemed it necessary to make a special version specifically for me, The Collector.”

My bidding be done.

It gets to the point where there are so many versions that you don’t even know what you’re buying. Say that you, like any red-blooded American, want to buy a Terminator DVD. Good fucking luck.

There’s twice that many. I ran out of space.

The reviews are full of people complaining about how the version they got has fewer features than earlier versions, but it’s never clear which version they’re talking about. And none of them look like the “special edition” I have:

I bet I got my copy of Terminator for less than you!

Even if you put in the research to figure out which version is for you (and if you look in the Amazon reviews, you’ll see that lots of people have done just that) you may quickly discover that you’re wasting your time, because they’re all the same fucking thing. The 10th Anniversary Edition of Titanic is just the first two discs from the four-disc Collector’s Edition that had come out years earlier. The 30th Anniversary Edition of Bob Marley’s Exodus is just the normal edition of Exodus. Then there’s my 50th Anniversary Edition of Ben-Hur, which offers … a single commentary track. Who do you bridge trolls think you’re trying to fool? We’re the internet. We have eternal eyes and infinite opinions. We see all.

Then we get distracted and don’t do anything about it. That’s kind of our jam.

Why This Will Never Change

Because even though we’re all catching on to this, they’ll soon figure out something else. There are two different versions of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight — a 70mm cut, and a digital projection cut, with the former having six minutes of extra footage as well as an overture and an intermission. But he couldn’t call it a special edition, because “special edition” is tainted language. So he had to call it a 70mm version, which alienates everybody except the kind of people who like to talk about how they’re the kind of people who go to see movies in whatever the hell 70mm is (aside from the length of my penis).

Is that … is that impressive? I genuinely don’t know.

And now Batman V Superman is going to release an R-rated extended cut, which people are going to want to see, because what the fuck does an R-rated Batman movie look like? Though they’d probably get a more enthusiastic reaction if they called it Batman V Superman: The Version That Makes Sense. The point is, we can’t help but fall for extra versions of stuff. Even when they’re stupid riffs on foolish things.

#2. Cover Art Is Always Horse Shit

Behold, the poster for the original Star Wars.

Behold it.

Look at Luke’s chest. These are the pecs of a man who can rip a can of peaches open barehanded.

Also, Leia is clearly Asian.

I’m not going to show you a picture of Mark Hamill’s actual pecs, but rest assured they are not quite so boner-inducing. Also, check this out:

There aren’t that many X-Wings in all seven movies, let alone that first one that was shot on a budget of about $500. This poster is selling a far bigger and more insane story than what we get. I understand it’s a shoutout to a classic style of poster that also lies, but I don’t know why that makes it better. The fact remains that movie posters are a scam that we all agreed to fall for. It’s not technically a problem with Star Wars, since everyone knows what actually happens in Star Wars, and it’s pretty bitchin’. But what about the movies you’ve never heard of?

If you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice that nobody wins here: People looking for a cheerful Sally Field movie get a serious political drama, and people looking for a serious political drama end up buying A Bronx Tale

… which is actually a coming-of-age story involving no explosions that I can remember. Then there’s that time where every version of Layer Cake released after Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond tries to make it look like a James Bond movie, when in reality Craig only adopts the James Bond pose as a joke, in one scene.

I can go all night. There’s also this Secret Of NIMH poster, which deceitfully implies it isn’t going to give your kids every nightmare, for the rest of their lives:

For comparison, here’s a totally normal scene from The Secret Of NIMH that is 100 percent indicative of what the movie is like.

Why This Will Never Change

Because who gives a shit.

#1. Anything (As Long As They Say It Cleverly Enough)

Caveat emptor” is Latin for “buyer beware” and frequently appears in actual law to describe what lies the purveyors are legally allowed to tell the consumer. Basically, any time you’re reading the back of a can of soup or talking face-to-face with a salesman, there are a certain amount of things they’re saying that you’re supposed to know aren’t true. And they know you know they aren’t true. But they still have to say it, and you still have to pretend to believe them.

Nothing says “honesty” like white dudes in business suits.

I’ve mentioned before how when Apple advertised one of their new iPhones, they said it was “twice as fast for half the price.” Which was a lie. But when they were called out about that, they just explained that this “wasn’t meant to be taken as a statement of fact.” I mocked that as bullshit, but really that was a genuine legal defense for what they were doing: They thought that the consumer was in on their ridiculous bullshit.

“Oh, but that’s the game! That’s how negotiations work; only a total sucker would fall for this stuff!” Well, aren’t you lucky that you aren’t a sucker and somebody taught you the rules. Let me know how “totally fine” this system is next time you take a vacation day to go to a used-car dealership and spend the entire time trying to get a straight answer from the guy before giving up and paying just to end the interaction, because you’re tired and angry and monthly payments are something future you will have to deal with. Don’t pretend you’ve never been there.

Why This Will Never Change

Because this is really only a problem for people like me, who find meeting and talking to new people exhausting. We’re automatically at a disadvantage in any negotiation. And there’s nothing we can do about it, because we don’t know how to bring up our feelings without making it weird.

What do Chuck Norris, Liam Neeson in Taken, and the Dos Equis guy have in common? They’re all losers compared to some of the actual badasses from history whom you know nothing about. Come out to the UCB Sunset for another LIVE podcast, April 9 at 7 p.m., where Jack O’Brien, Michael Swaim, and more will get together for an epic competition to find out who was the most hardcore tough guy or tough gal unfairly relegated to the footnotes of history. Get your tickets here!

See how we’ll let companies get away with anything in The 6 Most Baffling Marketing Disasters By Famous Companies, and find out about the time Nike essentially endorsed murder in The 5 Biggest Disasters In The History Of Marketing (Pt. 4).

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see how ads won’t shy away from sexually exploiting prepubescent girls in 7 Racist And Sexist Ads That Are Shockingly Recent – The Spit Take, and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

Also follow us on Facebook, because we’re one more like away from winning a free sandwich (and we’ve been known to share).

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-obvious-marketing-lies-were-all-weirdly-cool-with/

What if there was no advertising? | George Nimeh | TEDxVienna

Every month, over 200 million people are forcefully telling the world that they hate online advertising. Is anyone listening? And more importantly, is anyone doing anything about it?

More information on http://www.tedxvienna.at

George is a digital entrepreneur and an award-winning innovator in advertising and communications. He has worked with top brands, global agencies and startups for 20 years. And probably like you, he doesn’t like most advertising he sees online.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
Video Rating: / 5

All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All Reviews

All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All

All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All

Seth Godin’s three essential questions for every marketer:
“What’s your story?”
“Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?”
“Is it true?”
All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a glass than a glass. We believe that an ,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a ,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that 5 sneakers make our feet feel better—and look coo

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