I was reading this article about my friend Scot who created a solar stove to combat indoor air pollution in rural China, when suddenly I was struck by the image and verbiage of an ad. Here it is:
I’m sure this is a compelling ad for many. I think it’s actually clever. I thought it was funny how they used the copy “one 1 weird old tip.” I like copy that reads like the person is speaking, but this reads more like a YouTube comment. This ad is like the politician that tells you, “I’m just like you, brother. I come from a middle class …”. They really know how to speak your language, you know.
So I clicked on the ad, which I often do because I love advertising, and it took me to this ridiculous landing page: http://www.tv9-news.com/Diet/lp3-16.php
The page is setup to look like the website of a real news agency, “Health News Channel 9.” It’s amazing. Most of the links on the page don’t actually work, but there are weather maps, youtube videos, the logos of all the major news networks. Check out the page source for another good laugh.
Click any of the links and you will likely be taken to one of two other landing pages where pictures of models in oversized jeans may convince you to buy, er, get a free sample of their product.
Today I tweeted about AppSumo‘s latest offer (which is free btw if you tweet), the “Hacker Monthly Startup Marketing Bundle”, most of the products in the bundle are related to A/B testing, creating good landing pages, and metrics. I look at these services and pray that the people using them are actually using them on their startups and not to convince less than savvy internet patrons to buy crap that, in all likelihood, is just a sugar pill.
If you know people who might fall for this type of advertising, please ask them to just check with you first before they buy something. Then tell to visit this site http://www.leanspaacai.info/ and that they should not trust any that looks similar — long, lots of text, and trying to sell something = scam. If you are friends with people who are involved with making these types of sites or selling this type of thing, please tell them they are making you look bad.