Thursday, December 15, 2005

Marketing Gone Wild

So I'm reading The Onion today, and I click through to one of their stories and have to endure an interstitial ad that asks "Are you a loser?" I skip it, of course, but after I read the story, I notice that there are more banner ads for the same thing.

Loath to actually click on a fucking animated banner ad, I instead enter the URL which is displayed therein: www.loserloserloser.com. This gets me to a web site claiming to be "A Space For Losers, By Losers". The layout looks a bit like modernhumorist.com, but it's got Maxtor ads all over the place-- and only Maxtor ads. Strange.

So I check the domain registration, and whaddya know?
Registrant:
Maxtor Corporation
2452 Clover Basin Drive
Longmont, CO 80503
US

Domain Name: LOSERLOSERLOSER.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Maxtor Corporation
Web Team
2452 Clover Basin Drive
Longmont, CO 80503
US
303-682-4836
303-678-2182 [fax]
domains@maxtor.com

Domain created on 14-Nov-2005
Domain expires on 14-Nov-2007
Last updated on 17-Nov-2005

Domain servers in listed order:

NS.RACKSPACE.COM
NS2.RACKSPACE.COM
Now that's just not cool. I mean, the web site claims to be "Issue 12 | December 2005", which is clearly a lie because the domain was only registered last month. And all the content is designed to steer the reader toward buying a Maxtor backup product. That's downright evil.

There's advertising, and there's marketing, and then there's propaganda. I'm reminded of an interview in the documentary The Corporation, where the CEO of a "stealth marketing" company talks about how consumers can be influenced by marketing messages disguised as real-life interactions. That's insulting to both the consumer and the product, because you're admitting that your product isn't good enough to sell on its own merits, and you're trying to trick the consumer into buying something. What's that saying about a fool and his money?

Anyway, to bring it all back full circle, this week's Onion also includes the story "I'd Love This Product Even If I Weren't A Stealth Marketer". America's Finest News Source, indeed.
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