The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'monetisation'
The world's oldest multinational corporation, the Catholic Church, is joining the intellectual-property age; the Vatican has declared it intends to claim copyright on the current and previous Popes' words, and require any publications carrying those words to license them for a royalty equivalent to 3-5% of the cover price. Newspapers are exempted from the royalty, but only by "prior agreement" (i.e., giving the Vatican the power of veto over unflattering uses of the Pope's words). This has raised the ire of those who object to a price being put on the "word of the Lord" and its official interpretation.
(via bOING bOING)
"Cyborg researcher" Steve Mann has produced a prototype user-pays chair. The chair is fitted with spikes which retract when a seating licence is purchased by swiping a credit card; a buzzer sounds when the licence is about to expire. A CCTV camera is used to prevent the smuggling in of licence-circumvention devices such as boards and cushions. (Apparently the seat was exhibited in San Francisco in 2001, but bOING bOING only mentioned it now.)
The hottest children's toy this Crassmas is the Youniverse ATM Machine, a piggy bank/toy cash machine.
Tweens and beyond can insert the supplied ATM card into the silver machine, punch in their PIN, be greeted by name on the electronic display, peer into the pretend security camera and wait for that seminal capitalistic moment -- when crisp bills miraculously appear, ripe for the plucking.
The marketers have a term for it: KGOY -- "Kids growing older younger." The ATM is a real KGOY toy, says Juliet B. Schor, a Boston University professor who wrote "Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture."
The ATM, marked for ages 8 and up, "is symbolically significant and highly valued -- the money machine! It must have a very strong aspirational pull. Using an ATM is one of the things that grown-ups do in full view of kids that the kids have very little access to," says Schor. "It's one part of consuming that kids aren't in on. They are full-fledged consumers, buying clothing, picking groceries, selecting toys. They go to the spa and get their nails done. But they don't have entry into the real ATM."
Well, it's probably less harmful than selling them candy cigarettes. Other than that, opinion seems divided on whether it indoctrinates kids into becoming materialistic consumer zombies or teaches sensible money management habits.
Rock over London, rock on Chicago: Frank Chu has become famous for wandering around San Francisco with a sign accusing the President of treason against "12 GALAXIES GUILTIED TO a ZEGNATRONIC ROCKET SOCIETY". But now, in this monetised age, he has succumbed to the lure of capitalism and started selling advertising space on his sign. The back of the sign now advertises a sandwich shop as selling "the galaxy's best sandwich", for which the shop pays him US$25 per week. Perhaps this is the sign of a new trend: commercial psychoceramic marketing. (Via Portal of Evil)
The Branded Life: Two American teenagers, whose respective parents apparently didn't begin putting money away for their college education when they were born, have come up with a clever way of putting themselves through college: by renting themselves out as walking advertisements. If you give them money, they will not only walk around with your logo plastered all over their clothes but eat your food, read your magazines in public (regardless of subject matter), fly on your airline, and generally turn their lives into advertisements for your brand.
This leads to a lot of speculation. What sorts of constraints would their sponsors put on their lifestyles/behaviour? Given how rigidly controlled the lifestyles and images of inanimate brand mascots are, you can bet that corporations won't want their walking billboards doing anything that does not suit their image. If their fellow students, wary of being advertised at whenever in their present, begin to avoid the two, will the sponsors dump them? Would such an experiment end in corporate-image catastrophe or could such corporate sponsorship be the future of education for the underprivileged and mediagenic?