Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Crazy Dancing Ladies: On Misleading Advertising

Advertisers will do anything these days to convince the gullible and desperate to buy their product or utilize their services. Appearing the form of banner ads or pop-up windows, these ads usually involve pointless games (punch the fat man to win a free iPod) or funny images (click the dancing monkey to enter to WIN!) that promise the viewer a lucrative reward for very little effort. These ads exploit the myth that the Internet can indeed find loopholes and portals into free products that cost outrageous sums of money in the "real world," and they use the same logic that those Nigerian email scams employ to try to trick a surprisingly technophobic and overly-cautious public.
All this brings me to the Optimus Prime of these shady virtual billboards: the dancing affordable-mortgage lady. I spotter her on my Comcast home page. Look at her fancy footwork:

First of all, do these advertisers really think we're that stupid? That they could blind us to their suspect offerings by showing us a mildly attractive, rather awkward, and altogether off-putting animated .gif of a dancing lady? That we'll be duped into clicking their link by her fresh moves? Her moves aren't fresh! More Fresh Prince. Jeez.
Then it asks you to choose your state, which I find odd because I thought the entire nation was in a housing crisis? Though if the good people of Vermont are holding onto some secret allowing them to avoid the inevitable housing crisis, I doubt anyone would complain if they offered to share the wealth.

Finally, what the fuck? What the fuck is this? Who are you, dancing woman, trying to tempt me with your tush push and beguile me with your boogaloo? And who are the advertisers that devised this inane scheme? And why do I have the sneaking suspicion that this advertisement will draw many people to believe its claims?

And the beat goes on,

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