Mozilla to Remove Ads From Firefox (Eventually)

Over the last year, Mozilla has been experimenting with integrating ads into its popular browser, Firefox, in an attempt to integrate them into the tiles on new tab page (and presumably earn more revenue). But now, Mozilla’s VP of content services, Darren Herman has released a blog post revealing plans for the advancement of content in Firefox, and this future will no longer include ads.

According to Herman, the decision to move away from providing advertisement is the result of a learning process within the Content Services Team, about what users want from their products and the web. Users wish to experience content that is “relevant, exciting and engaging” and the removal of ads will both allow the space to be used to provide such content, as well as letting the team focus on getting the new systems for content discovery right. This may not be the end of advertisement in Firefox for good, however, with Herman feeling that “Advertising in Firefox could be a great business, but it isn’t the right business for us at this time”.

The ads won’t be gone immediately either, as Mozilla will still honour their commitments and obligations to their existing advertisement partners, with the presence of ads winding down over the coming months.

GCHQ Could Be Fined For Latest Series Of Job Adverts

GCHQ are known for their presence within the UK as the cyber spies, the first and last defence against digital threats within the UK. In recent years though they have not had the best image, with incidents like being given permission to spy on politicians, recommending users store their passwords in software and do away with remembering them and breaching human rights with their internet surveillance. Their latest issue may be something a little more low-tech, with their latest job adverts possibly resulting in them being fined.

Hackney council has stated that they will fine and ask that GCHQ clean up their advertisements as they didn’t have permission to create the advert in Shoreditch.

https://twitter.com/JamesLiamCook/status/664064611642163200/photo/1

Featuring a pun on their name, combined with a web address, the adverts were created by using a technique called reverse graffiti. This means that instead of applying paint or another material atop the surface, you use a stencil and a power washer to remove and clean off the top layer of dirt, resulting in a white depiction of your stencil.

The adverts have also been spotted in Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leeds.  GCHQ claim that they were led to believe that Hackney Borough Council had an issue with clean graffiti on street furniture, not pavements.

If only they had a copy of the email that people sent with this information…

Leading PC Vendors Launch Embarrassing Advertising Campaign

Apple has had a strong foothold on mainstream television for a considerable time due to a rigorous advertising campaign. The company showcases each product with stylish, slow-moving camera angles to evoke a “cool factor”. In the PC market, vendor sales are dwindling due to people building custom-PCs or simply upgrading their current setup. To try and reverse this long-standing trend, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Lenovo have joined forces to create a marketing campaign and outline the major benefits of PCs.

According to the AP, the advertising will cost upwards of $70 million (£45 million) and focuses on the “PC Does What?” slogan. Throughout the advert, we can see various extreme situations and actors reiterating, “PC does what?”. The video showcases benefits such as excellent sound and an 18-hour battery life. However, hearing an air-traffic controller screeching PC does what? is nothing short of cringe worthy.

Over the years, I’ve seen some terrible adverts from Apple including ones which contain Jonathan Ive’s voiceover. Whatever you think of Apple, their advertising campaign is very effective and still manages to create a sense of being alternative. Every Microsoft advert I’ve seen in the past 5 years has been quite embarrassing. The PC does what? feels similar and I doubt it’s going to make consumers rush out to buy devices from main vendors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjRluOmCD8

Vizio Makes Fun of Curved Screens in New Video Ad

Vizio is one of the US’ biggest TV manufacturer and they make some amazing screens, but it seems they don’t believe in the new curved screens. Not only are they not producing any TVs with the new “thing”, they are taking quite a poke at it with their latest advertising video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHjsKHKKnw0

The advertisement “Introduces the revolutionary Anti-Curved Glasses, a remarkable and radical piece of technology that will blow your mind and change the way you see technology forever.” The new Anti-Curved glasses are unisex and age independent; they even work for your pets and come in various colours. While these glasses are fake, of course, the advertisement is in my personal opinion both hilarious and spot-on.

Thanks to Vizio for providing us with this information

Image and Video courtesy of Vizio

iPhone 6 Plus Hammered by new Samsung Advertisements

[youtube width=”854″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxhSnNZH3Rk[/youtube]

Samsung have come out of the blocks with both arms swinging – producing a series of advertisements targetting competitor Apple’s latest technology.

Samsung has a long standing battle with Apple. Not only are they the main competitors on the telecommunications market, but Apple and Samsung have a legal history to boot.

What better way to get back at Apple than a funny ad campaign targeting their champion product? This advertisement takes no time in pointing out the similarities between Apple’s new iPhone 6 plus and Samsung’s long-standing Galaxy Note series, alongside showing that the note was ridiculed for its size and proudly displaying negative initial reviews of the series. One quote had us chuckling – “you’ll look like you’re talking into a piece of toast”.

The message of the video as a whole conveys the fact that Apple have “followed” or “copied” Samsung in making a bigger device to try and keep up with their developing technologies. All of this is backed up by supplying a few Apple skeptic tweets from the public, further reinforcing their innovative Samsung technology and then finally promoting their “next big thing”; the Galaxy Note 4.

It doesn’t quite matter which side of the fence you sit on, it’s always quite funny to watch two heavyweight companies battle it out in an ad campaign.

How will Apple reply? Will Apple reply? Here’s hoping that it all goes to plan.

Featured image courtesy of Phandroid

Buy My Barina – Well Made Ad for a 1999 Holden Barina

David Johns is presented with a problem – who wants to buy my crappy second-hand 1999 Holden Barina? Luckily for him, he’s the digital director for Chimney.

What’s his solution? Make an amazing, factory production quality advertisement, set up a social hub (#buymybarina) and a witty accompanying website. Unfortunately for those interested in viewing this platform, thanks to the popularity of Johns’ promotion, it seems that his website has currently been ‘hugged to death’ due to an onslaught of traffic.

[youtube width=”1280″ height=”720″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJj7Km7Raks[/youtube]

Currently sitting at 20,000 views, the above video seems to have done its job – even if it does portray this Australian timeless classic as a top of the range luxury sedan. The promotion goes on to list the obvious luxury items contained in the Barina, including its futuristic tape player, AM/FM radio and cool fan all included with an amazing 10 months of registration.

All of these points are tied in by the website, with it claiming:

“This Holden Barina will make any other journey seem uneventful” BuyMyBarina

When Johns was asked why he decided to make this video, he replied:

“Why would I spend $8,000 doing work to sell a car worth $1,000 to $2,000? Honestly, because I had the time and I just wanted to show off my skills.” 

“There’s so much competition for selling used cars, I wanted to do something clever.” News.com.au

A quick search on twitter for #buymybarina proves that this advertisement is a raging success and a solid marketing experience for his company.

We haven’t found any reports claiming if this fine piece of machinery has changed hands as of yet, but we’re on standby for the announcement. Will someone buy this Barina out of pure novelty? Let’s wait and see.

Maxthon Releases Windows PC Browser Designed for Faster Video Playback

Maxthon is a web browser for Windows, OS X and Linux, developed in China by the company Maxthon Ltd. Latest news point to the browser receiving an update aimed towards video playback, having features such as “AdSkipper” providing support for skipping through advertisements without slowing the video downloads.

The company has recently struck a deal with MediaTek to pre-load the browser onto more than 100 million handsets this year, having its strategy focused on mobile handset. However, PC users will still receive a lot of support from the company, having the browser include Linux support this March and the new Windows PC desktop version.

With over 100 million unique devices per month using the browser, Pew Research has made a study and came up with some interesting results. The study is said to show that 78% of adults watch or download videos online, having Maxthon using the provided information in order to add video-optimisation to the new version of its browser.

It is also said that the company claims its browser uses memory and CPU usage more efficiently, having video play much faster and with fewer stops and lags. The browser allows users to even drag videos out of the browser screen as well as use the “boss key” to add a “very boring, work-like-looking spreadsheet”over the video you are watching.

Maxthon’s vice president, Karl Mattson, states that the video-optimisation feature was first introduced earlier this year in China, where the ad-skip feature proved to be extremely useful, having users previously dealing with a “flood” of advertisements when attempting to watch videos. It is said that users watching videos on the Maxthon browser, regardless of internet speed, will notice almost no lag, stability over time and video fast-forwarding.

Flash videos are said to work best with the browser at hand, having HTML5 formats currently being worked on. This means that users should get the best results when attempting to watch Netflix and Hulu on Maxthon, having YouTube performance depending on the user agent set in the browser’s settings.

The company has also stated that Windows PC users will not be the only ones receiving the video-optimisation feature, having the other platforms, such as Android, iOS, OS X, Windows Phone and Linux scheduled to receive the feature later on.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Auto-Playing Facebook Video Ads Could Launch Thursday

According to a report on the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will begin the rollout of their auto-playing video advertisements on user timelines. This has of course been a long time coming and it was only a few months ago that Facebook delayed the launch as they wanted to find out the best ways to run the advertisements without upsetting too many users.

The videos can be up to 15 seconds long, will auto play and do not need to be clicked. Of course many people will not like these advertisements and will be spouting things like “oh my god, I’m closing my account”, but I wonder how many actually will. I’m often quick to remind people that while we may rely on Facebook for connecting with friends, it is after all a free service and completely optional to use, don’t act too surprised at a company trying to earn a bigger profit. Although admittedly I can’t say I’m keen on the video ads either.

What’s not known at this time is if Adblocking software will stop or prevent the ads showing, of course I’m sure it won’t be long before there is a plug-in the will.

Thank you Pocket Link for providing us with this information.

Face Scanning & Targets Ads To Be Served At Tesco

Supermarket petrol stations are nothing new here in the UK, many of which are unmanned drive through style stations where you just pop your credit card in before you use the pump. Adverts at the pump are nothing new, nor are cameras in petrol stations, but it is how they’ve going to combine all these aspects that caught our attention.

Face scanning technology will be put into place at the petrol stations to check if you are male or female, even make a guess at how old you are. It does this so it can then serve you up targeted advertisements on a nearby display. It all sounds a little futuristic and a little creepy, but a Tesco spokesperson assures us that the tech will not be used to record data, identify customers in any way, will not have facial recognition or eyeball scanners, it simply estimates age and gender.

People will no doubt think this is an out rage, but that kind of thing happens already. Just take your internet browsing for example, targeted ads are common place there, as well as on TV.

Personally I really don’t mind, I welcome these modern changes, I’d rather see an advert that interests me than one that doesn’t.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of 192.

Microsoft Trialling Full-Screen “Hero Ads” In Windows 8.1 Modern UI Web Search

Microsoft is trialling a new concept called “Hero Ads” for its Windows 8.1 advertising arsenal. The Hero Ads are essentially close to full screen advertisements that are delivered in the modern UI’s web search function. These adverts are designed to be related to your web search and they encourage interaction with the advertised product. As you can see from Microsoft’s example above the Hero Ad allows you to request a quote, schedule a test drive, locate a retailer or build & price a Land Rover all from the Windows 8.1 web search page.

Microsoft says the new advertising method is currently only being trialled in the USA with a number of their key brand partners like Land Rover, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, Radio Shack, Hertz, Volkswagen and others. Microsoft wants to stress that it will listen to general feedback on the issue before making any decisions:

“We will continue to solicit feedback from both users and marketers during this pilot and will use those learnings to create an experience that works best for advertisers and Windows 8.1 users.”

My opinion is that what Microsoft is doing is totally unacceptable and over-stepping the mark of “acceptable advertising”. If Windows 8.1 was a free operating system, like Android or Ubuntu, I could perhaps accept that this kind of advertising is required for profitability. However, considering Microsoft charges a hefty premium to buy and use Windows 8.1 I certainly wouldn’t want to then have to face in operating system adverts for something I have paid for.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s Hero Ads?

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Google Want To Use Your Face And Name For Adverts, Here’s How To Stop Them

Recent plans were set in motion by Google that would see them able to use your name and face for advertisements, a sort of endorsement from online reviews and all in all, it is pretty harmless. Naturally not everyone will be happy with sharing this information and since Google are such good sports about it all, it is in fact very simple to opt out of this one.

Three super easy steps for you to follow:

It really is that simple, of course you may already find that the checkbox is already clear, in which case you don’t have to change a thing! Many users are reporting that they’ve not had to change it, while some have.

Quick and simple, unless Google decide to make it more complicated in the near future of course.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Heineken Removes Man From Technology, Drops Him In Alaska

Heineken lager beer producer in Amsterdam, Holland tends to bring us some fairly obscure advertising. Recently they seem to be hitting online users with a sort of reality commercial on YouTube. Though, I have some doubts on its authenticity since the video doesn’t seem to have come out on the main Heineken YouTube page.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSlZtxy5Pek[/youtube]

Dropped, just under 2 minute episode we hear from Rikar. If Rikar is selected he would like to go to a nice warm place where he wouldn’t need “Not too much clothes”. Instead Heineken seems to have a sense of humor, and decide to drop him in Alaska, “The only way is down” being dropped on a mountain in Alaska.

It appears that Heineken will drop people in random places around the world, with some simple tasks. In Rikar’s experience, he was dropped in Alaska by a helicopter with only a simple sign with an arrow pointing the way he needs to go. At the end of the episode we get to see Rikar fall flat on his face while trying to reach a phone that has been placed in the middle of nowhere.

It’s another interesting example of how companies are using technology to promote their products, viral videos have proven a popular marketing tool in the past and the concept of trolling fans of the beer by dropping them on mountains is certain to grab them some attention, not sure if it will sell more beer, but at least it’s entertaining.

So eTeknix fans, what would you do for a Heineken? More importantly where would you want them to drop you off?

Source

Microsoft Unleash A Wave Of Awkward, Funny & Silly Advertisements

 

Microsoft is a funny lot, they have a multimillion budget for advertising yet they haven’t lost the ability to make a cringe worthy advertising clip or two. Sure it’s nothing on par with the legend that was Windows 95 and two of the cast from Friends that may go down as one of the worst infomercial videos of all time, or is that best and worst at the same time, who knows.

Below we have five of the latest Microsoft videos that will make you raise an eyebrow or two, but not before Microsoft takes several pop shots at their Google rivals, adding insult to injury by hosting said “anti-google” jibes directly on a Google service (YouTube)… well played Microsoft, well played.

Someone gambling their promotion, a strange basketball game, someone fingering a watermelon and well, you’ll just have to watch and see the other madness within… why not just grab a drink, sit back and enjoy, but there is one rule to this game, we want you to sound off in the comments and let us know what you thought of these adverts.

Of course I will point out the irony that these advertisements are doing a great PR job, since everyone is dying to talk about them, not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing for Microsoft though.

Google are going to be furious at these, they’re not just suggesting Google are all but useless, but they’re flat out acting it out in front of your face, I can’t wait to see the comeback on this one.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/qK2T3GVJafM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/m9KMIqO2RbI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/dTUsar_KNDM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eHhl78ximng[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/leaPZezW5u0[/youtube]

Taiwan Investigating Samsung’s Malicious Comments Attack Against HTC

The authorities in Taiwan have launched an investigation after received complaints that Korean Electronics giant Samsung apparently hired students to post hateful comments about the products made by Taiwan based company HTC.

Complaints started coming in from this month from online users who alleged that Samsung Taiwan hired students through a local ad agent to write online articles against HTC and recommending Samsung phones. However, Samsung Taiwan says that they have not been contacted about the investigation by the Fair Trade Commission. Currently Samsung Taiwan has announced in their Facebook page that they’ve stopped all their internet marketing and posting contents on their website.

The authorities will also be probing into complaints that Samsung’s involvement in false advertising. If these allegations are true, Samsung and its local advertising agent will be found guilt and will have to pay a fine of $809,000.

FTC’s spokesman Sun Lih-Chyun said,”The case was set up last week after we received complaints.”

To note, Samsung was fined by the FTC for about of approximately $ 10,023 earlier this year for misleading advertising about the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102 camera functions. This could turn out to be a bigger trouble if Samsung is found guilty of such activities, possibility even buyers would think twice before reading Pro-Samsung user reviews/ articles.

As of now, Samsung is holding 30.3% share in global smartphone market, followed by Apple with 19.1% and HTC with 4.6%.

Source: The Inquirer