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Advertising Week 2012: The Big, Unanswered Questions

To help industryfolk navigate this year’s Advertising Week, iconoclastic agency Colle+McVoy created the Advertising Week Question Generator, an app that delivers the hard-hitting, big questions you might not have known to ask. If you don’t like the question it suggests, just click the button again. And let me tell you, it is uncanny how the Question Generator’s algorithm identifies the big questions facing our industry.

Meanwhile a small band of twitter-based rabble-rousers — Mike Masnick, Shawn Sims and Jean Aw — challenged the team at ChasNote to answer a few of the biggest, toughest and most mystical. Here we go.

How are we going to get exclusive rights to the early nineties?

The key to this negotiation is anchoring. Make a strong offer for the eighties, demand first right of refusal, and before you know it you’ll have the nineties plus a ton of below-the-fold make-good impressions.

Enough about you, how do I hijack Gangnam Style?

Gingham has never really been out of style. (Um, Judy Garland?!) We say, hijack away.

How are we going to be athletic enough for bears?

Bring your alligator, and then take the fight to water.

Can you explain the need to multi-touch Banksy?

Banksy doesn’t really exist. We know they made a movie about him, but we’re not buying it. Eventually it will be revealed that he’s a guerrilla marketing stunt carried out by a rogue intern at the social-media agency for UK retailer Tesco.

Can I get mommy bloggers to reverse engineer daddy bloggers?

You bet.

Before bed do you capture dongles?

We don’t understand the question — we are pretty sure “dongle” suggests it’s already in a captured state.

How did you manage to rethink low hanging fruit?

Rethinking is what we do here at ChasNote. Next question!

A Picture Is Worth More Than 140 Characters?

The latest data from Comscore shows that Instagram now has more daily users in the US than Twitter. More at the Business Insider.

GE Continues Its Native Advertising Offensive

GE was an early brand to tell its story through an Instagram profile — with retro-filtered photos of airplane engines, locomotives, radiopharmaceuticals and cool pics from the labs at which it tests the quality of light emitting from concept light bulbs. It posted the images to a Tumblr and the comments suggest they struck a chord. Boring old GE had a social-media hit with the hipsters.

And even before Instagram, GE curated a channel of healthy-lifestyle stories (mostly stories written by publishers with no connection to GE) on Digg, following the healthy-living influencers among the Digg community and building a following of its own.

So it’s hardly a surprise that they’re at it again. Building on the popularity of nostalgia on BuzzFeed, GE is sponsoring “The BuzzFeed Time Machine” — lists that might have made the rounds had Buzzfeed been online in the days before the Internet. In an interview with Ad Age, BuzzFeed president Jon Sterinberg says:

BuzzFeed is focused on nostalgia because it’s one of the most popular types of content that people love to share. It’s some of the most shareable stuff because you send to your friends stuff that reminds you of being together in the nineties.”

Smart: Find out why your customers love BuzzFeed and give them more of the same, this time wrapped in your brand. And not only is GE underwriting the creation of BuzzFeed-y content — lists of retro silliness that you can’t help pushing to your high school friends via Facebook — the brand is dusting off its retro print ads to use as creative.

I’m not currently on the market for a dishwasher, but if I were I’d almost certainly consider the Potscrubber II. Keep it up, GE.

Dr Pepper Ad Implies People Evolved from Monkeys

When Dr Pepper posted this ad to its Facebook page, the creationists flocked to other beverages. More at Buzzfeed. Meanwhile, where does that leave those of us who come from the sea?!

The Breakfast of Swingers

When the sophisticated ad-targeting algorithms break down, as they sometimes do, we are usually subject to campaigns that test our tolerance for (unintended) tastelessness, such as life insurance ads next news of killed terrorists or cruise-liner ads next to stories of sinking ships.

Today’s installment, however, is much more fun: Bisquick’s “Unleash the Hidden Power” campaign is running on this women’s lifestyle site post exploring the rising popularity of wife-swapping. Meanwhile there is no reference to any of the above topics at the Fun and Games section of the brand’s website.

More from humans v bots file.

GOP Built the US National Debt!

Sometimes two powerful, on-message symbols bump into each other in a way that creates an entirely different message. The above photo, from last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, juxtaposes Mitt Romney’s rallying cry (“We built it”) with a digital display showing the ever-growing US national debt, which one is supposed to read as an inditement of Obama’s reckless, big-government spending. Taken together it seems to suggest the Republicans in fact built the ginormous US national debt. Oh dear!

A rare instance of accidental truth in advertising, apparently.