Archive | February, 2010

High Concept Hardware

7 Feb

With all the hullabaloo about the iPad and tablet/slate hardware hitting the market, it’s already time to think ahead to what the next big thing will be in hardware design. Given Apple’s clear domination in the hardware “hype” market, any new device will need to combine functionality, portability, application support and aesthetics in a new way. I was sent this video of a concept called the Rolltop, made by German designer Evgeny Orkin. At first I thought it was a yoga mat. It aims to work as a laptop, tablet and monitor, with it’s own power source and camera. Personally, I don’t think something like this would catch on like a tablet – it’s difficult to envision hordes of people carrying around a roll-up computer. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting thought experiment to brainstorm about the post-iPad world. And please forgive the cheesy elevator music – it comes with the video.

Who Watches Jersey Shore?

2 Feb

This is a serious question. I’m a pop culture geek and I haven’t been on the Jersey Shore bandwagon, so I thought I would give it a try. I watched the first two episodes on MTV.com. With Hulu and the availability of full episodes on network sites (like LOST on abc.com), I have been watching more shows online. While I will keep (for now) my cable subscription and my DVR, which has hugely impacted my viewing habits, I like the online option of catching up on shows I’ve missed. It’s like free on demand (which I also use, love, and will keep for the time being).

Besides the obvious entertainment value of drunk 20-somethings trying to hook up while donning Ed Hardy, hair gel and fake tans, what was intriguing to me were the online ads. Specifically, ads for tdameritrade.com, an online stock trading and investing service. When these ads kept repeating during the 30-second commercial “breaks,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. If tdameritrade is spending ad dollars on MTV.com during Jersey Shore episodes, who really IS watching Jersey Shore? These ads are clearly geared towards adults with some degree of disposable income. Also, Sam Waterston (of LAW & ORDER fame) is tdameritrade’s spokesperson. Surely, many visitors to MTV.com don’t recognize or care who Sam Waterston is. I was prompted to go on tdameritrade’s website because of these ads, so yes, it did drive consumer traffic (though I won’t sign up for the service). I would be interested in understanding the social marketing research metrics and true demographics of Jersey Shore, because these ads definitely surprised me.

I wonder if they thought about doing some product placement integration – instead of working at at t-shirt shop, the group would have to use tdameritrade to manage their new influx of cash (at the tune of $10K per episode). And Sam Waterston could be a guest star! And stay in Snookie’s room! I would watch that in a heartbeat.

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