Defending her honor | Blogads

Defending her honor

by henrycopeland
Friday, January 20th, 2006

Some pompous curmudgeons folks have been incensed by Dr. Myra Vanderhood’s Pherotones, claiming that she’s engaged in “trickster marketing,” besmirching the honor of the blogosphere and/or insulting the intelligence of web readers.

For instance: “When people stop calling it ‘marketing’ and start calling it ‘lying,’ you’ve probably made a mistake, gang. And dissing Web denizens everywhere by messing around with Wikipedia and the guys at Boing Boing? Even bigger mistake.”

Can a site that says “can one ring tone can make you irresistible?” be construed as a lie, or are web readers a lot more gullible than I think? Who buys into a product called “Testosteroni” without Googling the scientist behind it?

If the folks at Boingboing buy “world-traveled intimacy expert” Dr. Myrna and her products, we’ve learned more about Boingboing than the good Dr. (Don’t miss her blog. )

Maybe I’m too cynical, but when was the last time anyone took ANY interesting advertising literally? Watching Careerbuilder’s office-full-of-monkeys Superbowl ads last year, were we really to conclude that Careerbuilder’s ad agency had found an office somewhere in America full of monkeys? Does every joke need a disclaimer? Or do we fear webettes are so infantile that ads need to include: “NOTICE: these monkeys were trained to look human.” Is the web to be premodern and not postmodern? Must tongues never meet cheeks? Is there to be no fantasy for God’s sake?

[Insert THUNDERING APPLAUSE, interspersed with CATCALLS for webocrats.]

Print and TV advertising long ago evolved beyond simple descriptions of products — ads now often don’t display a product, let alone describe its features or merits. Ads deploy narrative arcs, startling images, interesting/attractive characters… all of them fictional, none of them a lie. We should expect the same online. No. We should CELEBRATE it.


Proving that some people have a sense of humor, it appears that Dr. Myrna last night not only showed up to debate a critic, but bought an ad on his blog.

It’s only advertising folks. Leave the preaching to the pope.

Disclaimers: The applause above was simulated by trained monkeys. Blogads is serving ads for this wonderful product. And yes, it really does work.

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