10 Futuristic Ads From the Past

There's nothing quite like old advertisements to give us a look-see at what the past thought the future would look like, taste like, talk like or sound like. Ads also act as a wonderful time capsule when it comes to fashion and technology. Here are 10 that either focus on predicting the future, or, alternately, remind us just how far we've come from the not-so-distant past. Most were culled from this wonderful site:

1. Bell Telephone, 1953

[In case you can't read the copy, it says: It's hard to say, young fellow, but you can be sure there are great things ahead. Today we telephone from moving automobiles, trains, airplanes and ships far out at sea. And radio microwaves beam telephone calls and television programs from tower to tower across the country. The day is coming when you'll be able to reach any telephone in the country simply by dialing a number. Perhaps some day in the future you may just speak the number into the transmitter and get your party automatically.] Vlingo, anyone, anyone?

2. National, 1960s


3. 1944


4. Philco, 1938

radio of future

5. Burlington Route's Zephyrs and steam trains, 1944


6. Western Air Lines, 1943


7. Admiral Radio, 1942


8. Cannon Electric Development Company, 1944


9. IBM, 1955


10. Extensys Corporation, 1977


How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience

If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

Why Subliminal Messaging Doesn't Work (Unless You Want It To)

Subliminal messages—hidden phrases in TV programs, movies, and ads—probably won't make you run out and join the Navy, appreciate a band's music, or start smoking. That's because these sneaky suggestions don't really change consumer behavior, even though many people believe otherwise, according to Sci Show Psych.

We say "don't really" because subliminal messages can sway the already motivated, research shows. For example, a 2002 study of 81 college students found that parched subjects drank more water after being subliminally primed with words like "dry" and "thirsty." (Participants who weren't already thirsty drank less.) A follow-up experiment involving 35 undergrads yielded similar results, with dehydrated students selecting sports drinks described as "thirst-quenching" over "electrolyte-restoring" after being primed for thirst. Experiments like these won't work on, say, chocolate-loving movie audiences who are subliminally instructed by advertisers to purchase popcorn instead.

Learn more about how subliminal messaging affects (or doesn't affect) our decision-making, and why you likely won't encounter ads with under-the-radar suggestions on the regular.


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