Wednesday, July 15, 2009

That's Not What They Meant When They Said That Skin Sells

Advertisements must be viewed to be effective. On TV, they get the full 30 seconds with no competition. In print and on the web, they need to pull your focus away from the exciting content you are so lustily consuming and say "Hey, look at me! I'm so goddamn interesting you will never get to that article about the new Harry Potter movie. At least not until after you've clicked through to the product I'm selling."

There are a few ways to do this. First, and most obvious, is the "Look at my tits!" ploy. Men will never ever stop falling for this. No matter how crass we consider it when examining the ads intellectually, the inner 16-year-old screams "Look at her tits!" And we do.

Second, there are the usual bright shiny colors and exciting graphics. This can be enhanced with new-and-improved Flash animations that actually fly across the screen to more effectively obscure your originally desired content, sometimes even forcing you to click on the "X" to close the offending doodad before you can view anything it obscures. Annoying.

But here's my least favorite. I got this screen shot from today's online edition of the New York Times.

Did you see it? It's subtle, I know.

I'll say this for it, it certainly draws focus. Of course, now I'm not interested in breakfast. Or lunch. Ever.

But they aren't selling lunch. They're selling...what? I'm guessing some kind of cure for the horrible affliction visited upon the poor slob pictured, with his/her face mercifully cropped. Delightful.

I could find out if I really wanted to. There's a button that says "Click here to learn more". What I really want is the one that says "Click here to learn less" or, more to the point "Erase this ad from your memory". Only twenty dollars.

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