May 06, 2009

Announcing The First Ever Online Advertising Science Fair

Are you sick to death of bullshit masquerading as facts?

Are you tired of smarmy-young-things and their bounty of hyperbolic new-age marketing jive?

Then you, my friend, are ready for First Ever Online Advertising Science Fair.

Here's the deal.

The Editorial Board of The Ad Contrarian is looking for a few good facts. Not opinions, not bullshit, facts about contemporary advertising and marketing that are either interesting, not widely known, or misunderstood.

Here's what you need to do. Scour the net for interesting factual stories about advertising or marketing. No "expert" opinions; no tired "how to's", just the facts, ma'am.

Write a brief one-paragraph description and include a link. Send it to

We'll publish it with a nice byline for you that will make you famous among the jaundiced and cynical bastards who read this blog.

As an Advertising Science Fair winner, you will be entitled to several adult beverages next time you're in SF.

I will kick-off The Advertising Science Fair today with an interesting story courtesy of James Hipkin.

Want to sell french fries? Put salads on the menu.

Duke University conducted a study that showed that people with high levels of self-control normally avoided french fries in restaurants. But when a salad was added to the menu, they were far more likely to order fries.

They call this effect "vicarious goal fulfillment" -- if the person considers the salad, even if he doesn't order it, he feels free to order fries.

For a narrative version of this research, look here; for Duke's press release look here.

Okay, it's your turn. Be a part of the First Ever Online Advertising Science Fair.

Remember, you have to enter to win.

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