Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ineffective Online Ads

I've grown to hate smileys, at least online. They get in the way and they're rarely appealing. For instance, you're talking over Instant Messenger, and you happen to type an emoticon, and suddenly, there's a giant, yellow smiley face taking up three quarters of the IM window. I don't know how we ever let it get this far out of hand. Colon, parentheses, that's all we ever needed to express happiness or sadness. Maybe including a semicolon or a colon with a "D" or a "p" to further convey mood. Now we have to resort to an equals sign instead of a colon because most programs automatically convert a colon with another form of punctuation into a giant, looming yellow face to take up space.

Okay, it's really not that entirely bad. I avoid them like the plague, so it doesn't necessarily really bother me. However, the people who decide to capitalize on Internet phenomena about ten years after the fads have fizzled out just don't take mere avoidance lightly. No, they have to continue shoving their junk in your face until you have no choice but to either suckle or lop it off with gardening sheers. Much like the "
Crazy Frog," smileys have invaded our lives with ferocious tenacity, only unlike the "Crazy Frog," they have so far had little chance of exploding in a brilliant supernova of stupidity and annoyance. Until now.

I don't know what company makes these. I have yet to click on the button to open the website. I can't click on the button to open the website because every time my mouse so much as accidentally scrolls over the advertisement, it screams at me with a Valley Girl accent in a male's voice: "HellOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" Obviously, no one in the research and design section of the company's marketing department were able to come to the realization that the best way to positively sell your product is to not make it the most annoying thing ever on the Internet. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson with the "Crazy Frog," but apparently not.

Every one of these things looks retarded, and I'm not just talking the stereotypical retarded as in "so stupid that only a person with the mentality of a child of four would find them amusing." No, every one of these looks like it's missing a few chromosomes. I don't know what artist drew these things, but it's like he was specifically trying to make the ugliest smileys on the Internet just as a joke on whatever poor fool decided to purchase them. Especially the ones with the giant overbite, like the one on the computer or the one saying "Awesome Bob!" They look like the product of a consumation between Owen Wilson and his first cousin. What's up with
this one? Is it flashing a gang sign?

I can only imagine what the website actually looks like. It's probably a wholly unnavigable land of random Flash animation and noises specifically designed to appeal to people who will still think fart noises are funny when they're forty-five. I'm naturally assuming that you'd have to purchase these things, which boggles my mind, because they make even the most casual of Internet user want to gouge their eyeballs out with their own thumbs. I suppose they would be helpful for some sort of online psychological warfare. For instance, you could buy some of the talking ones and when some random sleezy guy IMs you to cyber with him, you could accept the proposal and start writing some really steamy stuff to get him in the mood, then about halfway through, start ending every sentence with the thing that screams "HellOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" in a midget's voice. I'm sure after a few times the pervert would turn his speakers off, so you could start shooting him the one that says "Awesome Bob!" in a giant caption to make sure he has a hard time reading the text.

Next, this ad is atrocious enough to almost make me want to stop using OKCupid, if it wasn't one of
the best dating sites online and completely free, as well as a good source of easily-accessible profiles and pictures to make fun of.

The first picture in this animation states that it's "free for y'all," which automatically grates on my last nerve, not because it's the catchphrase of rednecks, but because these day's it's indicative of the broken English ghetto talk of people with absolutely no self-esteem or self-worth. It continues on to further prove my suspicions of the marketers talking down to their intended market on the next frame, where it lists "party" as a zip code and "central" as a world city. Now, there might actually be a city named "Central," but "party" is not a zip code!! Zip codes are numeric, and everyone with an IQ higher than the average first grader knows that.

On the first frame, it states that the hypothetical user is a "nerd" in search of "babes." Granted, there are a lot of people on the site who are self-professed "nerds," but given the academic passion of the average nerd, even if they were to ignore the "y'all" on the first frame, they would be diametrically opposed to putting "party central" as their location, particularly with "party" as the numeric zip code. The third frame seals the deal, though, by asking "What have you got to lose besides your rank in the guild server?" So is it saying that you can't rank as high in a MMORPG because you get laid every once in a while? Is it implying that one would have to choose between their entertainment and their social life? I'm sure some people would blindly accept the statement at face value or even consider it witty, but there are others who would see it as an offhanded insult to their social status, which is pretty much what it is, which is not the best way to sell your website to your intended target audience


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