Like several other ad watchers and pundits, I've been tracking with interest not just the flogs but variations on the theme establishing a trust bridge in order to entice users into free trials for unknown brands. The products promoted almost always fall into the healthy and beauty categories and focus on predominantly natural weight loss supplements derived from edible products, e.g. Acai, supplements created chemically but based on organic compounds, e.g. Resveratrol and nitric oxide, teeth whitening kits, and work from home programs.
The products themselves all seem to share the following:
- Low cost to manufacture
- Easy to ship
- Indeterminate value (higher perceived value)
- Perceived need to continue using them for maximum efficacy
The marketing methods almost always:
- Try to tell a personal
- Tell a believable story
- Create a sense of authenticity
- Leverage trusted media brands
- Leverage celebrity likeness and at times directly imply endorsement
- Big results for little effort
Clicking on the banner above takes you to the following landing page:
This particular site is part news site part review site, listing the product at the bottom - a dead giveaway that the site is purely marketing and not informative. As the first news site I came across, I found it particularly clever and evil; yet, as it turns out two things that shouldn't come as any surprise did. 1) This site is no longer up at its old address, and 2) others have replaced it much more devious and misleading in nature.
Here is one -
You will notice the pre-requisite video clip but also something completely new. It has weather on the side, a graphical header of random people but that you must infer are the news cast, even "ads" along the side. The entire site looks and feels like a page off the local news site. For all that is bad, they chose a relatively innocuous site name. The same cannot be said of the following.
This site, also no longer live, married the best of both worlds - the news looking site and a copyright infringing style of brand. Unfortunately, the name of the publication is a little small. Something corrected in future versions.
They refined the template, shifted a few things around, and better leveraged the other media brands. Best of all, they realized that they now had the perfect mini-platform. Witness...
There is only so far that this template can go, so it only makes sense to have another. May I present...
Just different enough, but not by much. And why not one more for your viewing pleasure.
From an ad guy's viewpoint, the pages and methods used provide their own fascination, but the more interesting question is what's going on to contribute to proliferation of such ads. Feel free to share your views. Part 2 will be on not the big waves caused by the perfect storm but the conditions that enable it.