Ads for monkeys: sign of the end times?

June 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Monkey trades a coin for grapes, picking the better deal (two grapes) (credit: Laurie Santos/Yale University)

This is not an Onion story. No, really.

Turns out Laurie Santos gave a TED talk last year on “monkeynomics” — the realization that monkeys understood an abstract idea like currency. Unfortunately, two advertising executives happened to be in the audience, New Scientist reports today.

The result: a monkey ad campaign (shown at theĀ Cannes Lions Festival) to see if they can change the monkeys’ preference for Jell-O flavors. The ads were images hung outside the monkeys’ enclosure. One billboard shows a graphic shot of a female monkey with her genitals exposed, alongside the brand A logo. The other shows the alpha male of the capuchin troop associated with brand A.

I say give them access to an eTrade account and let ‘em go for the big bucks.

Amara D. Angelica is Editor of KurzweilAI