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OT: Absolute insanity, a TV in a mailed advertisement

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  • OT: Absolute insanity, a TV in a mailed advertisement

    This seems totally insane to me. Two people I know have gotten these, now.

    Anyhow, the receiver of this got a piece of junk mail, a bit fatter than some. He opened it up, and in his words "It was a damn television, it has a magnetic switch, and when you open it, it starts playing their sales pitch".

    I do not know what they were selling, it was just the whole thing that was crazy to me. How can it be worth the costs? Maybe for some "hilariously expensive product or service" as another person who got one said. You don't get a great response even with tightly targeted advertising, and they just cannot be cheap..

    Here is the thing, first as you see it, then the front side guts, and the back side guts. Special purpose ICs a battery, little speaker, switch, and screen. And some play buttons to replay the pitch, etc. Again, clearly not cheap. The other guy got one that had just one IC that did everything, this one is a little more complicated.





    Last edited by J Tiers; 03-28-2021, 10:02 PM.
    CNC machines only go through the motions

  • #2
    Actually pretty sad, all that just to hit the dumpster --- there really outta be a law.

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    • #3
      Would be interesting to see what product or service was being sold. There has to be a significant return on investment in order to deploy such a scheme.
      These "TVs" have got to be aimed at a target market. Not Porn Hub was it? Just kidding!!!
      Pretty bizarre to say the least.
      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

      Location: British Columbia

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      • #4
        Actually, they are cheap. I can't say for sure, but I'd bet one of those things cost whoever sent it, less than $5 in bulk.

        No, I'm not kidding. LiPo battery packs like that can be had commercial retail for about a dollar. I'm sure that if bought in containerloads could be had for even less. The screen might take up half the cost of the whole unit, but I'd bet even that cost less than $3 each in bulk. Little screens like that are in everything these days, from alarm clocks to kid's toys.

        And, it's entirely possible that those screens were a special buy- like a containerload of factory-rejects sold for basically scrap value, or the leftovers after a factory gets shut down, you name it.

        AND... the sheer novelty of it assures that whatever it's pitching will get worldwide attention, at least for a few days. They're expecting things exactly like this post- that someone will snap a pic and post it to their Facebook feed, their favorite forum, their Instagram feed, their YouTube channel, you name it. It's wild enough that it gets people to advertise FOR them.

        Any moderately-sized company today with a product or popular service to sell, will spend millions each year in advertising. Even if those things are $10 each (and I'll virtually guarantee you they're not) a mere million dollars buys a hundred thousand of those. If you get just ten percent of the recipients to post them to "social media", and 'voila, you've reached 20 million people.

        Doc.
        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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        • #5
          That's crazy. I can't believe the postal service isn't going ape$h!t over that one. Lithium batteries going through the mail sorting machines and then massed in a mail truck seems like a real bad idea.

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          • #6
            Well, if they expect to get any benefit from this thread, they are sadly wrong, as there is no mention of any company or product. And if there had been, I'd have obscured it pretty much for that reason.

            Even so, "cheap" at $5 is a far cry from "cheap" at postage (bulk, presorted) plus printing cost (very little), which is for the usual advertising flyer. You either have to have a really good hit rate to make it work, and that means a really good list that is targeted well, or you have to have the "hilariously expensive" product, with a huge mark, so that even a lousy hit rate pays back..

            I can see it for a product that is high end, but the visible presentation is not high end here. A "reject" screen would be even less high end, you'd likely not want to show off your defective screen..... since the main event here is the fact of seeing the moving picture to explain and demonstrate a product or service better than any paper blurb can.

            It occurs to me that the "product" may be the advertising medium itself, i.e. they are pitching the ad method, and not an actual product. Looking for folks who might want to actually send these things out. I'll have to ask if that was the case.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

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            • #7
              Hello Members,
              I will agree it is wasteful for an advertising but it is totally cool and amazing.. I wonder are we becoming jaded by today's technology. Just think what a sensation something like this would have been in the 1980's, that's not long ago for many of us,
              Cheers Karel

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              • #8
                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                It occurs to me that the "product" may be the advertising medium itself, i.e. they are pitching the ad method, and not an actual product. Looking for folks who might want to actually send these things out.
                -That's not the least bit implausible. Depending on what the TV is actually hawking, I would not be surprised if that was the case.

                A quick Google brings up a Reddit thread on what's presumably a similar unit- from two years ago. My connection is apparently too slow to watch the actual video, but the comments suggest it's a BMW advertisement.

                Perhaps it was a "rich guy's" ad medium a few years ago, but the prices have come down to the point people are trying it on less luxury goods.

                Doc.

                Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  It would be cool if the "TV" could accept a micro SIM card with user-supplied images and other media, even if the advertiser's sales pitch would still be retained and played upon start-up. I would assume that the mailing list for this is highly targeted to professionals with a reasonable likelihood of benefiting from the product or service being promoted. I remember years ago when advertisers would include a flexible phonograph record in a magazine, and then it was floppy disks with introductory software (remember the "Brown Bag Word Processor" ?). And then I have also gotten VHS cassettes with sales ads, and of course CDs, DVDs, and thumb drives with product information. Trade shows had all sorts of "bling" being given away. Who knows what will be next? Maybe nano-scale devices that will be released and inhaled when the envelope is opened, and they will attach to neurons in your brain to inject subliminal images and suggestions? There was something like that in a recent stupid "MacGyver" episode.
                  http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030

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                  • #10
                    I am already wondering just how easy/hard it would be to hack it. I mean, just the display is worth reusing. But if you could put a USB or a HDMI port on it .........

                    If this keeps up, I predict it won't be long before there are YouTube videos on just that.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                      I am already wondering just how easy/hard it would be to hack it. I mean, just the display is worth reusing. But if you could put a USB or a HDMI port on it
                      -Looks like it's got a USB port up at the top edge. Probably for both charging just before shipment, and uploading the video file.

                      Doc.
                      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have bought a couple sets that include an Arduino Uno, a 2.4" LCD touchscreen display and a 2.8" LCD touchscreen display as a package for about $14 retail. Buying in bulk should cut the cost tremendously. Both units included a SD card interface. How much does it cost for an oversize full color advertisement on heavy card stock. These little displays could be cost competitive, especially if they were targeted and contained ads for more than one company which would be pretty easy to do. Check out the cost of the controller that could run one, an Arduino Nano or an ESP32.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                          I am already wondering just how easy/hard it would be to hack it. I mean, just the display is worth reusing. But if you could put a USB or a HDMI port on it .........

                          If this keeps up, I predict it won't be long before there are YouTube videos on just that.
                          That was my first thought as well, I can think of a few things where having a small display would be handy. Not necessarily as a TV.

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                          • #14
                            Maybe you could repurpose it to be an XYZ DRO screen for a small lathe or mill?
                            Kansas City area

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                            • #15
                              It make me think of how many reply posts start with "I'm not reading that wall of words...". So many in today's society can't get beyond a tweet or a text. So we have the visual ad now.

                              lg
                              no neat sig line
                              near Salem OR

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