Economy

Local mini-billboards take over the US … Irrationality becomes economic science … Nutrition offered in recycled food

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Local area marketing taking off in US

Small “personal” billboards carrying ads that are tailored for locality and interest are proliferating in the US, Inc.com reports.

The mini-billboards are popping up in gyms, cafes, lifts, in fact anywhere people stay in one place for a moment or two.

And they carry ads directly related to the billboard’s location and who is likely to be seeing it. For example, one Boston health food chain has bought mini-billboard space in gyms located close to its stores.

The mini-billboards are cheaper and more targeted than the traditional large, mass exposure billboards usually seen at busy intersections.

New mini-billboards are popping up every day. One advertising company already has 19,000 billboards up around the US, with more to come.

The economic science of irrationality

Capitalism assumes we are rational creatures, but we know that not all of us are rational all of the time. Salon.com writes that some economists believe they can explain why we make bad financial decisions. Should we be afraid?

“Neuroeconomics”, as defined by one economist, is “the study of how the embodied brain interacts with its external environment to produce economic behavior.” Or, more bluntly, the study of what is physically happening in a person’s brain when he or she makes a (potentially irrational) decision.

“…State-of-the-art neuroscience,” Salon writes, “via functional magnetic resonance imaging of live brains, suggests that two different parts of the brain are associated with making such decisions. A region associated with emotion takes over when presented with the prospect of immediate pleasure, while a different region is linked to the dispassionate contemplation of some future event or reward.”

Recycled food juice made from rejected produce

To re-use and recycle is fashionable – and efficient. Trendhunter reports on a Japanese manufacturer that has started selling juice made from rejected fruits and vegetables that are usually discarded by stores because they are deformed or bruised.

The concept is inspired by the Japanese word “mottainai”, which can be translated as “what a waste!”, and the eagerness to reduce waste food. Under the brand name Nepurée, the product includes juices, foods and desserts.

“The new shape of vegetables” is the message from the manufacturer, Vegetech and its partner Kanto Orto. Intense heat is applied to fruits and vegetable for a short period of time. No cutting instruments are used, to help preserve nutrition. Then the next step is to blend fruits and vegetables and make them into the purée.

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