Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In Which It Needs Clarification

Just in case you didn't know this already, the internet is a crazy place. I mean, where else can you bid on a priceless Spiderman comic, get a college education, and satisfy your fetish porn fix all in one place? Although I'm sure they might have tried, Walmart can't even compete with that. There are so many sites out there that cater to the endlessly varying demographics of people that browse the web, and with those millions of sites and billions of visitors comes the presence of advertisements.

At one point in time, internet ads consisted mostly of those annoying pop-ups that screamed at you through brightly colored, rapid-flashing, seizure-inducing graphics that said that you had won a prize because you were the site's One-Millionth Visitor! and all you had to do was Click Here To Claim Your Prize! The ad often had a picture of a big-screen television or a fancy computer as a sample prize, and yeah, you'd click on it. For a while, it was the Venus Fly Trap of advertisements.

If you didn't wind up brain damaged from twitching uncontrollably on the floor and sending strings of spittle across the room while in the throes of a grand-mal from the flashing graphic, clicking on the ad and filling out the resulting form meant the end of your care-free leisurely moments that you used to spend checking your e-mail. From that day forward, just as you were beginning to realize that you had been taken for a ride by the "one-millionth visitor" gag, your inbox would be flooded with spam messages hawking generic boner pills or discount beauty supplies or mail-order hypoallergenic German Shepherds.

All spam aside, I used to despise advertisements because they were distracting and had nothing to do with what I was doing or looking for at that moment. And like everyone else, I built up a tolerance for it and eventually was able to ignore them. Lately, though, the advertisements seem to have gotten smarter.

In some ways, it's kind of creepy. They're targeted to the content of the page you're looking at, or by what internet browser you're using. They're populated by your browser history, by your searching trends, or by what pages you have bookmarked. With all this technology, it lets companies advertise to those who would be more likely to be receptive to it.

All that technology doesn't mean a thing, though, if you can't put together a coherent and believable ad. When marketing departments fail, we get accosted with ads like this:

Where do I begin...

Let's start with the most obvious. Look at the size of that kid's hands. I highly doubt that is normal for an eleven-year-old kid living in Zimbabwe. They look freakishly disproportionate to me. Like maybe they were photoshopped in, perhaps?

The quote they use from little Thabani makes little sense, too. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't being an orphan mean that you don't have a family? Looking past that, what exactly should we take that quote to mean? Did they use the goat to produce milk and cheese? Did they sell it or barter it for other goods? Did they sacrifice it in some religious ceremony and were blessed with some groceries? Or did they simply slaughter it, cook it over their fire pit, and eat it?

The only thing that I think is good about this ad is the slogan on the bottom right corner. "Give A Goat". If you ask me, it just has a certain ring to it.

I've got nothing against the company this ad is for. They do a good and noble thing, and I've donated to them in the past. I just think they should spend a little more time on their ads next time.

What's the craziest advertisement you've seen?


Mystern said...

Oi, the craziest ad I've ever seen would have to be those ones always saying "I got ripped in just 3 weeks!"

They're always referring to some type of exercise or diet plan, undoubtedly costing a fortune and the people are always badly photoshopped faces on a body that looks like it could belong to Carrot Top.

IMO they actually are effective. You'd lose a ton of weight chopping off your arm and leg to pay them.

Amy said...

I was so distracted by that half goat half cow in the background that I totally missed the whole orpahan anomaly. That is one F'ed up ad badass!

TechnoBabe said...

You are right on about getting spam in email as a result of clicking on an ad. So long ago I stopped looking at ads. Don't click on them because I avoid them. Also, I know I can be suckered in like everyone else, and if I do look at a particular ad that might interest me, I would be tempted to see more, and then be right back at the spam in the email hell again.

Elly Lou said...

I like the little goat on the side that looks like he was in a freakish ice skating accident. 'Cause there's a whole mess o' ice in Zimbabwe.

Moonspun said...

well the grossest ad I have seen is on tv and the new Nutrisystem one with Marie Osmond.She is fine (ok well not she is too skinny) but that woman with her? She is fucking ugly and if that is what I am going to look like when I pay tons of money to be skinny, no thank you. I'd rather be overweight...yuck.

Grant said...

I give my goats via Heifer International.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox said...

Hmmm. You raise several good points.

Maybe changing it to "Got Goat" and then giving him a blood mustache over his top lip would've worked better?

And I suppose that way he could still be an orphan but one who was raised by wild lions of the Serengeti after his family's death.

WebSavvyMom said...

-->What ads? I don't see them anymore.

However, it is a little disturbing that google is scanning my gmail emails for keywords to pop up adwords in my browser. I never knew I wrote so much about "killing my husband" til now.
(kidding....sort of)


Natalie said...

I chuckled at "give a goat".

Nej said...

That ad really gets my goat.



Little Ms Blogger said...

I like "Give a Goat" I'm thinking I may start using it as my tag line under my signature.

I wonder if anyone will notice?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt and say his family is his younger brothers and sisters that he's taking care of since being orphaned?

Nyx said...

I too was distracted by the splayed goat in the background. Totally missed the orphan/family mentionings.

Dude...goat looks pissed.

Jennifer said...

Usually, the craziest ones I see are the ones surrounded around celebrities... Especially during the peak of the Britney Spears debacle.

I know what you mean about cleverly placed advertisements, though. used to have all sorts of ads, not it's mostly art-based, and they get annoying... Some of them talk. I could be playing something from my iTunes, and have the volume up loud, and suddenly, a talking smiley ad will come on with one of them screaming something obnoxiously and I wet myself...


ForeverRhonda said...

I love how the ads are catered to me...makes me feel all special. HA! And spied upon.

carissajade said...

One of my friends posts every so often about the creepy facebook generated ads. I never really noticed them but now I find myself looking at them daily. It makes me want to censor the info i put on there!

SparkChaos said...

I've seen an ad that asked, "What do you smell like to Edward Cullen?"

One was with unmute-able sound and killed me as it kept repeating over and over again as I browsed that website.

Other than that, I usually ignore ads and they never make an impression on me.

kittyn_uk said...

Thanks for the ad insight - I now know what I am getting everyone for Christmas next year - Goats for All!

Kate said...

I am lost by the goat - hilarious. I will think about the ad and get back to you.

Kate xx

Logical Libby said...

You know that kid ate that goat.

La Skeletor said...

Love the goat UFO on the side....and I think that "Give a Goat" is the new "Give a Damn"...

Alex said...

I ran an HIV awareness program my sophomore year of college...I STILL get my spam box full of ads targeted at gay men, my (hypothetical) penis, and miracle cures for HIV. ~shakes head~

Melissa said...

My best friends sister bought a whole goat and demanded that my friend pay for the other half for Christmas one year as gifts for each other. Boy was she surprised when she needed a computer overhaul within 2 months.

My friend was also not very happy that she got suckered into a half a goat without permission. When she told me of her dilemna when she had already had reluctantlt given her sister, I told her to fear not. Revenge is served cold (they really arent computer people so I had to tell her about spam) Actually I have to explain to her often about spam still when she forwards e-mails with dancing fairies and shit but I digress.

Feral Female said...

Only ever once clicked on an ad...learned that lesson the hard way. There may have been a pun in there somewhere.=)

Queen of Ruckus said...

First off, the goat that little Thabani is holding is PISSED OFF. That, my friends, is one pissed off goat.

Second, the goat that fell, there on the left of the picture, looks like it's floating... and, just HOW big is it in comparison to say...oh I don't know, goat boy's hands? I think that the "fallen goat/cow mutant" was photo-shopped along with goat boy's hands.

I think I WILL give a goat, after I give a damn.

Mad Woman said...

That's a creepy ad....that goat splayed out in the background looks like it needs an owner. I wonder if there's another kid with big hands that could do with a goat.

mysterg said...

I love that little boy grinning, nay, salivating over that goat!

elzimmy said...

I don't think I've seen anything as crazy as this ad, but how can you not appreciate a "Give A Goat" tagline? Priceless...

Anonymous said...

Boy! That REALLY gets my goat!
~~aunt dorothy

Sandy said...

Very good analysis! The ads that always have me yelling at the television are those that offer FREE GIFTS! If it's not FREE, how is it a gift??

Amber Page Writes said...

That ad is bad on so many levels, I can't even believe it. There is far, far more terrible advertising than there is even acceptable advertising. But I would like to "Give a Goat." It almost seems like it needs a second half though. Maybe, "not a coat?"

Phoenix said...

For some reason I get a lot of penis enlargement ads. And I don't email or write or google search about penis enlargement, nor do I own a penis of my most very own, nor do I feel that I personally know someone who could benefit from penis enlargement, so I feel that their marketing target technology is way off.

Facebook is a little better, as I mostly just get Flogging Molly and martial arts ads from them in my sidebar.

Chibi Jeebs said...

I'm tired of the ones that make noise. Oh, and those ones that "spill" down the page when you accidentally mouse over them? And then hide the teeny, tiny little X so you can't close them? Or don't HAVE a teeny, tiny little X at all?!?


Sophia said...

HAHAHAHA I love this add. It has never shown up on my computer but I'm sure I would have laughed hysterically if it had. Nice post!

Check out my blog!

alntv said...

I dig that "Blow In Her & She'll Follow You Anywhere" cigarette ad. Seriously...who came up with THAT? LOL

Badass Geek said...

Mystern: Seriously.

Amy: Isn't it?

TechnoBabe: Spam is like cockroaches.

Elly Lou: That's a little known fact.

Moonspun: I agree. That commercial is just wrong.

Grant: Ah. World Vision has competition, I see.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox: That would have been more awesome.

WebSavvyMom: It is a bit creepy that they scan the e-mails, but Google is omnipotent I guess.

Natalie: Me, too.

Nej: Doesn't it?

Little Ms Blogger: Give it a try!

Anonymous: Your guess is as good as mine.

Nyx: It really does!

Jennifer: They are effective, though.

ForeverRhonda: Especially the latter.

CarissaJaded: Facebook is notorious for that.

SparkChaos: That's more than a bit creepy.

Kittyn_uk: It'll be the best Christmas EVER.

Kate: Sounds good. =)

Logical Libby: Oh, he totally ate it.

La Skeletor: It's just a matter of time before it catches on.

Alex: And it'll never, ever end.

Melissa: Yeah. It's a hard learned lesson to us all.

Feral Female: Must be. =)

Queen of Ruckus: Most definitely.

Mad Woman: Probably, there is.

Mysterg: He's just waiting to be done having his picture taken so he can cook the thing.

Elzimmy: It really is amazing.

Anonymous: Doesn't it?


Amber Page Writes: Give a goat, not a boat.

Phoenix: The people who made penis enlargement ads must thing there are a lot of self-conscious men out there.

Chibi Jeebs: GAH. I HATE those.

Sophia: Thanks. =)

Alntv: Clearly a man with an agenda.

Notesfromthegrove said...

Hahahaha! Oh my god, that's awesome. I wish there was a "buy a goat for yourself" option.

I think one of the weirdest things I ever saw (it was on TV though) was some church selling bottles of magical water. People would drink it and talk about how their ailments vanished and that they felt rejuvinated, blah blah blah...what a bunch of bullshit.

Employee No. 3699 said...

@ Nej

Weren’t those hands featured on Seinfeld as ‘man hands’?

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