Calling Out the BS: Friday Signal

A still from “BS Detector,” just one of the videos produced for Adobe’s “Metrics Not Myths” campaign.

In today’s Signal: Adobe’s Ann Lewnes, provocateur; the ‘negative,’ so to speak, impact of FedEx’s logo; Levinsohn says Mayer needs time to finish the job; television: a dream come true’ for an authoritarian society; paid content on the rise; in Finland, better Internet access could result in a strange demographic side effect; and more.

To the links …

The Evolution of Display: Change Is Here, For Good (Searchblog) Part two of three on the state of the market from FMP’s Chair.

Why Ann Lewnes Likes Risks (Digiday) Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes embraces a very non-traditional, non-Adobe way of communicating in the company’s most recent campaign, “Metrics, Not Myths.” The campaign is using some edgy language and a provocative point of view to send the message that, for far too long, marketing has been misunderstood, maligned and undervalued.

The Story Behind The Famous FedEx Logo, And Why It Works (FastCoDesign) The use of white space in logos is all about impact. For that reason, the FedEx logo is legendary among designers. It has won over 40 design awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years in the 35th Anniversary American Icon issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Nearly every design school professor and graphic designer with a blog has at some point focused on the FedEx logo to discuss the use of negative space. Author Matthew May, with the help of Lindon Leader, the designer who created the mark in 1994, explains why.

Yahoo CEO Mayer ‘Will Need Years’ for Turnaround (Bloomberg) Ross Levinsohn, who was interim CEO of Yahoo! until Marissa Mayer took over in July, reminds readers that a company the size of Yahoo! can’t be turned around in six months or even a year. “You have to give Marissa and the team that’s there the time to finish the job,” he said.

Does TV Actually Brainwash Americans? (Salon) Bruce E. Levine reports on evidence that suggests the act of watching TV makes us more passive and accepting of authority. “TV keeps us indoors, and it keeps us from mixing it up in real life,” writes Levine. “People who are watching TV are isolated from other people, from the natural world—even from their own thoughts and senses. TV creates isolation, and because it also reduces our awareness of our own feelings, when we start to feel lonely we are tempted to watch more so as to dull the ache of isolation. Television is a ‘dream come true’ for an authoritarian society.”

As Paid Content Booms, Will Ad Opportunities Shrink? (Paid Content) Forrester forecasts that the number of people buying digital content will grow by eight to 12 percent by 2017 in western Europe. “The potential impact on marketers is huge,” Forrester analyst Darika Ahrens reported. “Successful online content providers no longer need to rely on ad spend. (There will be) fewer chances to reach consumers with ads.” She added that marketers should build their own content channels in response, sponsoring content packages within a paid content environment and otherwise start advertising as though it were creating content for end consumers.

Finland: Plan for Universal 100Mbps Service by 2015 on Track (arsTechnica) As part of the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe, Finnish government officials say they are well on the road to meeting the goal of providing (not paying for) a minimum service level of 100Mbps, served via a fixed connection or wireless, to all homes and companies by 2015. Sounds great, right? Maybe. Maybe not. In one town, there may be a downside to better access, at least demographically speaking — less births.

TWC’s Record-Breaking Day (Digiday) If you’re in the business of weather, you know that a storm such as hurricane Sandy, while devastating, packs a Superbowl-like payoff in terms of page views. The Weather Company had a record day across all of its properties on Monday: The Weather Channel, and its mobile and tablet apps saw nearly half a billion views in one day.

Survey: Young People Feel ‘Lost’ Without Internet (The Telegraph) An opinion poll of 1,000 adults conducted by the Science Museum to celebrate Web Lab, an exhibition it co-created with Google, shows how a generation that has grown up with the Web has become dependent upon it. Four out of five of respondents under 25 years of age feel ‘lost’ without the Internet, the survey found. The survey also revealed that over 40 per cent of people have taught themselves to cook using the Web, while a third use it to learn how to fix something.

Economist Editor Argues People Still Like to Read (The Economist Group) Why is Time magazine still successful when Newsweek failed? John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, and Stephen Shepard, former senior editor at Newsweek and BusinessWeek, discussed the difficulties most print publishers are experiencing in this digital age, and the future of news magazines.


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