Skip to main content

Advertising pet peeves continue

It's not surprising that I have a complaint with the advertising industry. In fact, I have two complaints. Here's number one:

There are several amusing identity theft campaigns running for Citibank to which I'd like to take exception. The most recent, during the Michigan State/Notre Dame game, shows a guy in his garage/gym talking like a Valley Girl who's stolen his identity and uses the credit card to have a makeover and voice lessons.

Funny? Sure. Realistic? Hardly.

Most credit card fraud isn't the work of hillbillies looking to buy dirtbikes or teenage girls looking to pay for the aforementioned American Idolesque necessities. Admission: I've had my credit card number stolen. It happened through Paypal and the perpetrators used it to make a single $100 purchase from a company I'd never heard of (they sold generators and power supplies) and dump it into a hacked bank account and withdraw it. Consequently, several hundred other similar transactions occured as well and I ended up filling out an affidavit with the FBI. But I digress...

Fraud happens because there are people who get how to use technology to funnel money for illegal, illicit and unlawful purposes. They're not airheaded teenagers, and they're not slackjawed yokels -- it's very targeted, it's done here and overseas, and it's done to get a lot of money in a short period of timeout regard for legality and long term consequence.

Case in point: I had a student when I taught at a CC who told me that the internet cafes he visited in his home country were full of teenagers and 20-somethings trying to phish American credit cards. He even went as far as to ask me to review an .asp script he wrote to exploit Hotmail but he "couldn't quite get the personal information on someone's computer to send". Yikes.

So Citibank, and whomever their ad agency is -- show the reality. You could be showing a guy or two huddled around a computer trying to phish. You could show what happens with that money instead of making light of it or trying to make everyone feel as if it's a funny scenario -- because it's not. Speaking of virtual reality...

Pet peeve number two on advertising: Why use actors/actresses to give fake testimonials in commercials? I know that most customers don't look like Bradgelina, but how hard would it be to put actual customers in a commercial, giving a real testimonial? See, my clients believe in their products enough to trust them to give their honest feedback. Scoreboard?

Word of mouth 100,000,000 - Advertising 0.

Please, I'm begging all of the brand managers, ad agengy execs, even PR folks -- it's OK to lose control. You're still the king/queen of your domain. But people are going to do with your brand what they want - just accept it. Hell -- embrace it. These are people taking the time to make videos about your brand, create MySpace profiles and blog about it. Start a dialogue with them, pick their brains, show them you love 'em -- becuase the genuine connection you will create with them goes a hell of a lot farther than turning your head and ignoring it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Rick Roll Someone

I've noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from a post I did on Rick Roll. In particular, people are looking for how to do it. So, without further adieu, here's a quick 1, 2, 3 on "How to Rick Roll Someone."


Pick your target. This should be someone not suspecting a peculiar link, email or heads up. Works great if you're the guy/girl in the office known for sending YouTube links via IM
Grab the URL. The YouTube video is probably the easiest to snag, because the URL isn't a dead giveaway. Sites that truncate URLs like SnipURL and TinyURL are handy if you want to send folks to yougotrickrolled.com.
Pick your delivery method and send! IM, email, blog (wink!), what-have-you.


Please, feel free to get creative. Our programmers used a "Can someone test this site?" email to the office to Rick Roll the entire staff. Or better yet - send the URL along to unsuspecting family members as "Our newest family pictures!".

Another fun way is via conference or phon…

My first Facebook spam!

Well, that didn't take long. I was spammed twice today via my Facebook profile by someone named Andrea Rowe, saying that she likes my profile picture (flattery is my weak spot) and wanted to chat. She's promoting a site through one of the TinyURL-esque sites and let me know that her username is "foxy_hotty". Here's her follow up message:


hi there David, how's it going? i wanted to chat with you, but they don't have that here, whatever. if you'd like to, you can check out my other profile at http://snipurl.com/XXXXX my username's foxy_hotty. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.


Yes, I edited the SnipURL ending because I refuse to give spammers free promotion or even worse, the click through. For those unaware, sites like SnipURL and TinyURL allow you to send truncated versions of URLs, which is particularly handy when you're posting URLs to your blog (formatting) or SMS-based tools like Jaiku and Twitte…

Fake Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers -- And the Implications for Brands

This post originally appeared on the Large Media blog.


There's been a lot of talk about Twitter followers lately, including both presidential candidates, celebrities, musicians and the like utilizing services to game their numbers. Specifically, a lot of the "Top 10" have been found to have a substantial amount of fake followers, in some case to the point where 70% of their following is either bots or inactive profiles. Most articles and infographics on the subject are telling, however with a little digging you can find out that there are also social media "experts" utilizing the service to give the appearance of bloated numbers. Intrigued, and given our rare propensity to tweet as an agency, we wanted to see what the fuss was about.

So we gave it a try.

Discovery

In August we saw some ads on a third party Twitter "profile checker" site  saying they can send a thousand followers your way for $9. The process is pretty simple: select how many followers yo…