Computers

How Treating Consumers Like Partners Will Rescue Advertising From Itself

Unsubscribe is our favorite toggle in our inbox. Skip, our favorite prompt when viewing online videos. Block, our go-to option for internet browsing. Why? Because advertising's relationship with the consumer is fundamentally broken.

Asus Has Finally Created the Perfect Digital Device for Birds With Arms

Stop it, you're quilling me. Birds with tiny human arms and hands soar in sublimely silly style thanks to SuperHeroes's first global campaign for the Asus Transformer T100 2-in-1. This is the same Amsterdam-based agency that's perhaps best known for its prankvertising efforts on behalf of LG. In "Modern Birds," a freaky fingered flock demonstrates the features of the Asus laptop/tablet hybrid. The idea is that birds know how to get stuff done #OnTheFly. Savvy consumers of Internet culture will recognize that birds with arms are nothing new.  "We've always loved the birds-with-arms meme," agency ecd Rogier Vijverberg tells AdFreak. "And when looking for a spokesperson for Asus we saw the match. Birds are truly always on the move, plus they would allow us to have a great outside perspective on our modern human race."

How HP Turned 6-Second Vines Into a 30-Second TV Ad

Brands are constantly seeking creative methods to make their pricey campaigns pay off in more ways than one. But computer giant HP hit the jackpot by turning its Vine campaign for the HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop into a first-of-its-kind national TV commercial.

Lenovo Not Afraid to Make Fun of Itself in Native Content

Most computer tech companies don't want to damage their products, yet Lenovo is asking consumers to imagine creative ways to destroy its laptops. 

Toshiba Gets Sophomoric in Ads Aimed at College Crowd

Toshiba targets the college-guy demo with sophomoric humor in a trio of Canadian spots from Capital C. All of the action takes place in dorm rooms, and the ads seek to show how the client's computers can improve the school experience. "Chicken Prank" focuses on a dude who can't peck away with his fingers on a keyboard or touchscreen because he's been wrapped in plastic and tied to his bed. Oh, and the room's filled with clucking chickens, naturally. He wiggles his toe to operate an All-in-One desktop with gesture control. Presumably, he summons assistance. (Dude, why not just scream "help!" at the top of your lungs? Maybe someone's in the room next door. Clearly no Ivy Leaguer.) "Black Light" touts the ability of Satellite P-series laptops to power and charge USB devices even when the laptop is closed. Two roommates just moving in are horrified when a USB-powered black-light wand reveals unsavory streaks, smears and smudges soiling just about every inch of their walls and ceilings. (I guess the pervious occupants hosted some all-night, um, study sessions.) The third spot, "Math Notes," showcases the Excite Write tablet's ability to convert handwritten notes and sketches into sharable files. A guy asks his roommate for calculus notes, and looks extremely dismayed, almost repulsed, when he instead receives a drawing of himself reimagined by his roommate as a hunky centaur.  All three spots are cheeky, just a tad naughty and probably in tune with the teen and young-adult audience. I wonder, though, if some viewers won't find "Math Notes" borderline homophobic, since the punch line falls back on what Glaad has dubbed the "homo-queasy" ad cliché of showing a guy looking disgusted that another man might be attracted to him. "Toshiba would never intentionally set out to offend our customers," Sherry Lyons, vp of corporate and marketing communications at Toshiba of Canada, tells AdFreak. "We do not feel that the 'Math Notes' video is offensive or cliché."

Apple Needs a Fresh Marketing Vision, and We Have Some Ideas

It hasn’t been that long since Apple’s ads were considered as innovative and trend-setting as its devices. Every plucky exchange between pitchmen Justin Long and John Hodgman was greeted with bouquets. Every new iPhone spot earned praise for deftly fusing product functionality with consumer desire.

One in Four Teens Uses a Cellphone to Get Online

Teens have been the most voracious online users for years. What’s changed in the past year is that they’re increasingly accessing the Internet on the go (thank Apple for that).

For Mobile Marketing That Really Works, Just Look to Asia

Are we ever going to catch up to Asia? It’s a refrain heard far more frequently on our shores in recent years.

TV-Smartphone Combo Dominates Multiscreen Consumption

When consumers are watching TV, they’re most likely also checking email on their smartphones. That line’s become a fixture at industry conferences to the point of cliche, but it's true. When consumers are watching TV, 77 percent of the time they have another device in hand and 49 percent of that time it’s a smartphone.

Business Is Slow for PC Makers

Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the world’s two largest computer manufacturers, are reporting that their business has taken a hit from a slowdown in consumer sales in the first few months of the year.