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Advertising butterflies

  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

Point number one: there are companies who breed and sell butterflies in large numbers to be released at weddings, funerals and other festive occasions.

Point number two: the brightly-coloured scales on butterfly wings are extremely delicate, and can easily be rubbed off.

Point number three: the underlying, scaleless wing is flat.

Point number four: butterflies (of a given species) are pretty consistent in terms of size and shape.

Point number five: inkjet technology is advanced.

All in all, then, there is surely an advertising opportunity being missed here.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2014

Sarah Garzoni Creates Beautiful Printed Butterflies Using Inkjet Printer http://inhabitat.co...ing-inkjet-printer/
[Skewed, Jun 03 2014]

[link]






       Damn I thought for sure this was either one of [xenzag's] ideas, or one of mine. But not you, MB. I personally love it. An iridescence bun for you.
blissmiss, Jun 01 2014
  

       //there is surely an advertising opportunity being missed here.//   

       What could it be?   

       butterfly torture [-] You shall be reported to the ASPCB   

       EDIT: bone withdrawn, bun provided in recognition of proposal of new humane method
Voice, Jun 01 2014
  

       You didn't say *how* the advertising would be done. If you are implying running butterflies through an inkjet printer, then [Voice] is correct. So there is really no idea here or it's being missed.
xandram, Jun 02 2014
  

       I was awaiting the disclaimer that no butterflies would be flattened in this process, and since I have not heard that, I am making my bun fly away home :-(
blissmiss, Jun 02 2014
  

       //running butterflies through an inkjet printer//   

       //awaiting the disclaimer//   

       Allow me to set your minds at rest. Here's how it works. The printer bed consists of a large perforated sheet, on which the purpose-bred butterflies are allowed to alight entirely of their own free will.   

       Once they are happily sunning themselves (heat- lamps are provided), a modest vacuum is applied through the perforations in the table. This vacuum is sufficient to hold the butterflies flat on the table, but not to suck them through the holes (obviously).   

       Next, image recognition software maps out the positions and orientations of the butterflies, and drives the scale-washer.   

       The scale washer is simply a fine moderate- pressure water jet, moved in the X/Y plane by the software. It gently washes away the scales from the butterflies' wings, avoiding the bodies, antennae and any personal possessions.   

       A waft of warm air then dries the newly-erased butterfly wings, after which the inkjet head (mounted on the same X/Y gantry) applies the necessary graphics.   

       The vacuum is released as soon as the ink has had time to dry, and the butterflies are free to go about their normal business.   

       Of course, double-sided printing comes more expensive. For this, a second perforated slab is brought into close proximity with the first one, after the initial printing. Vacuum is applied to this second slab, and the vacuum is then released from the first slab. The butterflies are therefore transferred painlessly to the second slab, after which the erase/print cycle can be performed on their underwings.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014
  

       Now that the lethality has been fixed, I'll replace my brilliant bun once again, in it's place of honor atop the stack. Well done oh benevolent one.
blissmiss, Jun 02 2014
  

       Animal welfare has always been close to the top of my agenda - just after breakfast and immediately before elevenses.   

       Sadly, of course, these patterns will not be reproduced if the butterflies breed. This is a great pity - the Coke Zero Red Admiral and the Cheetos Monarch are, if I may say so, very fetching.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014
  

       How about a great many 3ft high butterfly suits, insert baboon into each one, release on unsuspecting wedding party...to be financed by jilted fiance ?
not_morrison_rm, Jun 02 2014
  

       Surely a better way to acheive this would be to just change the branding of large multinational organisations to the patterns commonly found on butterflies?
hippo, Jun 03 2014
  

       But then you couldn't have the all important website or other contact details [hippo].   

       Would magnifying glasses be distributed to wedding party so they could read these?
Skewed, Jun 03 2014
  

       //Would magnifying glasses be distributed//   

       We tried that - bad news in strong sunshine. Phoomph.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2014
  

       Hmm... have you considered combining it with a butterfly wrangler (with a tiny whip & a miniature chair perhaps)?   

       Print a little of each advert on each butterfly then the wrangler gets them all in the right position & you've got readable text.
Skewed, Jun 03 2014
  

       <stern look> You're not taking this seriously, [Skewed]. <\sl>
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2014
  

       Actually, I can see this one a) not only working, but b) actually happening, or at least if anyone at one of those extant companies you mention reads this I can see them having a bash at it (quick! get a patent!).   

       I still like the idea of a buterfly wrangler though, watching him chase them & try & get them to sit in appropriate order could be part of the wedding entertainment, he should wear a clown suit.
Skewed, Jun 03 2014
  

       Thing is, once you've wrangled a butterfly, it doesn't necessarily stay wrangled.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2014
  

       That of course is why it would be so entertaining to watch him try.
Skewed, Jun 03 2014
  

       If the job is an advert for FCUK, the wrangler is going to have to be pretty careful.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 03 2014
  

       Oh… sorry, but I just found this.   

       <Link>   

       That was 2011, I also found a spoof April 1st Virgin Airlines 2002 press release about laser tattooing their logo on butterflies for an advertising campaign, that would make it half-baked even if it hadn’t been baked since wouldn’t it?
Skewed, Jun 03 2014
  

       We humans are so strange:   

       Butterflies are beautiful insects! Let's plaster ads on them!   

       Mosquitos are annoying insects! Let's just kill them.   

       Chickens, pigs, & cows are mammals like us! They are delicious!
sophocles, Jun 03 2014
  

       Well, trees are a bit too chewy.   

       I blame the creator, making animals out of food was not the best idea ever..
not_morrison_rm, Jun 03 2014
  

       // <Link>   

       That was 2011,//   

       Good grief. Ah well - time to get a new patent lawyer.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2014
  

       Printing? On butterfly wings? This is pure and unadulterated Half Bake-ism! Seems rather cruel to me; Perhaps small banners can be flown behind the butterflies, such as the type that are towed behind small aircraft? Or, if you are truly dead set on running something through the printer, how about feral cats?   

       This idea is dubiously distinctive. I award one bun. [+]
Grogster, Jun 04 2014
  

       I, for one, love [Grogsters] idea about the banner behind the butterflies butt being blown in the breeze.
blissmiss, Jun 04 2014
  

       I picture it moth-eaten.
pertinax, Jun 04 2014
  

       //banner behind the butterflies butt being blown in the breeze//   

       We've tried that, but it seems to upset the aerodynamics. Hummingbirds, on the other hand...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2014
  

       Maybe using certain pheromone sprays it would be possible to cause butterflies of distinct colors to flock together as pixels.   

       I don't know if butterflies flock. A group of butterflies is known as a "fold" (as in sheep), but that doesn't necessarily clarify the verbal term. Incidentally, a group of moths is known as a "bother", but that is an entirely different bicker of eels.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 04 2014
  

       A fold eh?... guess that's my something new for the day.
Thanks!
I don't think they'll like being folded though. Tie-dyed maybe, but folded would be bad.
  

       <later edit>   

       Now moths are something to bother with. Since they are attracted to light you could, (using tracking software), light up individual moths with lasers of whatever color causing others to swarm to that location to be lit up when in position. Their colorless wings would be a bonus then.   

       Moth'r flockers!   

       I suppose you could try robotic buttetflies instead. Then you'd just kill the environment where the real ones land with the factory.
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2014
  

       I think robotic butterflies would be too costly. Besides, who would be won over by a Coke Zero paintjob on a robotic butterfly?   

       Actually, thinking about this, we could probably expand the project to breed butterflies with naturally-produced corporate logos.   

       Here's how:   

       First, you print and release huge numbers of identical advertising butterflies over a period of several years (I may mean millennia here).   

       Initially, there will be little mating with these printed butterflies, by either wild or printed individuals, since they will all be genetically hardwired to seek out mates with the natural colouration. However, any mutants which actually prefer the printed versions will have a huge advantage, number-wise, and will come to dominate.   

       So now you have a population of printed and natural butterflies, all of whom tend to seek out the printed versions as mates.   

       Over time, this sexual selection will ensure that any natural butterflies who, by dint of a small mutation, resemble the printed ones more closely, will have an advantage over the non- mutated natural butterflies.   

       Eventually, therefore, the natural population should evolve to perfectly mimic the printed butterflies, after which your work is pretty much done and your advertising has gone viral.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2014
  

       Bear in mind, a lot of the actual patterning on various butterfly species is invisible to our visual spectrum — there’s more going on at the ultraviolet end, which is where the insect eye has sensitivity. The insect class (Insecta) have receptors for UV, blue and green, with some (which includes butterflies) even having red receptors, and it is believed that butterflies may even be pentachromats. Some species of the Lycaena even have different distribution of tetrachomacy between sexes!
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2016
  

       Too weird to do anything but bun, despite prior art.
FlyingToaster, Feb 24 2016
  

       I thought butterflies required their scales to be able to fly. The zoo tells you not to touch the wings of the butterflies in the butterfly enclosure for this reason.
notexactly, Feb 24 2016
  
      
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