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The enchanting Tesla ad that wasn't made by Tesla

You'll see quite a few Teslas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

They're like plaid shirts for the affluent. They say: "I'm cool, but I care."

The greatest joy of the Tesla isn't that it's electric, or that you can talk to other cool, caring people as you stand at the charging station at your local organic supermarket.

It's that it's a genuinely beautiful car. It's almost a pity that it's so socially and politically correct.

Like the most beautiful products, the car is the best advertisement of all. … Read more

Kaiju monsters go high-fashion for 'ultra' shopping center debut

The ultimate superheroine Mother of Ultra is the perfect supermodel for an ad campaign to celebrate the "ultra renewal" of 97 stores in the Amu Plaza Hakata shopping center in Japan.

Mother of Ultra, as well as kaiju monsters Alien Baltan, Dada, and Pigumon strut their stuff on the catwalk. In other videos, Mother of Ultra invades the city of Fukuoka itself, modeling the latest fashions most likely found in the newly updated shopping center. … Read more

Yahoo testing app-install ads similar to Facebook's

It looks like Yahoo is taking a page from Facebook's advertising playbook.

The Sunyvale, Calif.-based company is testing ads on its mobile properties that prompt users to download apps onto their devices from third party developers. It's the same idea as Facebook has with its app-install ads, which appear in its own content feeds.

"We're testing in-stream ad opportunities with an initial group of advertisers who have mobile apps and want to connect directly with audiences across Yahoo mobile apps and sites. The purpose of these native ads is to help brands drive downloads of … Read more

Comcast to buy video-ad platform FreeWheel for about $320M

Comcast is buying FreeWheel -- whose service is designed to help TV networks, film studios, and other content companies sell and manage in-video ads across numerous Web sites and devices -- for about $320 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.

FreeWheel's setup automatically allocates ad inventory, keeps track of ad revenue, and accounts for revenue splits between Web sites and content owners. It's also designed to help marketers place their ads more easily. It was founded by former executives of Internet-display-ad company DoubleClick, which was purchased by Google in 2007 for $3.1 billion.

FreeWheel's … Read more

Opera: watch an ad, get free mobile Net access

Opera Software announced a variation of its Web Pass service, adding a new ad-sponsored option to the technology that lets carriers grant people free access to the Net.

Opera Web Pass already was available as a way to let people use the Net with some restrictions -- a limited time, or a limited number of services, for example. The idea was that people who might not have the money to sign up for a full-on subscription would be willing to pay an operator for short-term access.

The Sponsored Web Pass option means they could get that access in exchange for … Read more

Who is WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum?

WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum isn't what you'd call a bragger, but he has plenty to boast about.

In just five years, Koum and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton have created one of the world's largest messaging apps -- an app that Facebook just agreed to buy for $16 billion, plus an additional $3 billion in stock options that will vest over the next several years.

With the acquisition, Koum, 38, will join Facebook's board of directors, but WhatsApp will remain autonomous and independent from the social network, much like Instagram. Koum wrote in a blog postRead more

Mozilla to sell New Tab page ads in Firefox

Ads are coming to Firefox's New Tab page, browser maker Mozilla announced on Tuesday.

Revealed at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif., Mozilla said that the ads are part of an attempt to connect new browser users to sites that they might find relevant.

Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location, and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the … Read more

Want $10 off your mobile bill? Put ads on your lock screen

If you're not annoyed by seeing an ad for J. Crew, Adidas, Target, or Best Buy when you wake up your smartphone, a new app called Slidejoy could lop some money off your monthly phone bill.

The app, which is set to launch Monday, shows an ad from these and some other advertisers on an Android phone's lock screen, said Robert Seo, chief executive of the company. The app adapts to a person's preferences, locations, behaviors, and usage times to "curate a more profitable and relevant user experience," he said, and promises that the ads … Read more

Apple aims to target ads based on your mood

Tired of being inundated with irrelevant online ads? Apple has a new twist in mind, assuming you're in the mood.

"Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data," an Apple patent application published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a system that would try to gauge some of your physical and behavioral facets to serve up ads that may better appeal to you.

The ad delivery system would start by compiling a "baseline mood profile" against which it can compare your future moods. Information that might be captured would include … Read more

Safari support completes Adblock Plus five-browser sweep

Adblock Plus, a browser plug-in that wipes what it deems to be more intrusive advertisements off the Web, has completed its sweep of the top browsers on personal computers with the release of a version for Safari.

The Adblock Plus beta for Safari on OS X joins versions already available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer. The company doesn't support Safari on iOS devices, though it does have a version for Android phones.

"Our goal is to make the Internet better for everyone by empowering people to block obnoxious ads while simultaneously encouraging websites to run user-friendly, … Read more