Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: June 1, 2011

So, there are a lot of things about marketing that bug me. I’m not going to talk about most of them today. There is, however, one class of ad that confuses me, and I want to air that confusion.

I don’t understand ads that claim that there’s some industry that doesn’t want you to know about the product on offer. If you’ve spent much time on the internet without an ad blocker, you’ve probably seen these. They seem to occur super frequently in those annoying acai berry ads. They’ll inform you that they have some crazy secrets that health experts or whoever don’t want you to know. And, if you pay them some money, they’ll tell you what that secret is. Here’s the thing that I don’t get: If the shadowy cabal of health experts that secretly run the medical industry/globe purportedly know about the tremendous health benefits of your one little secret, and you’ve somehow found a way to monetize that secret, why wouldn’t the aforementioned cabal already be making money that way? That makes no sense. Surely there can’t be people who think that someone who takes out a series of the most annoying ads on the internet would be so altruistic as to give away their health secrets for prices so low the entirety of the health care industry can’t find a way to compete with their business model.

You know what, the acai berry thing is almost reasonable compared to some of the rest of these things. I get that there’s a part of the brain that wants to believe that there’s a magic cure for fatness and general unhealthiness that you could have if only some hidden dark power wasn’t keeping you from it. There’s a good narrative there, and I could see wanting to believe it so badly that you ignore some pretty compelling logic to the contrary. But I saw an ad in this form that simply blew my mind today. So there I was, looking at, I don’t know, funny pictures of walruses or something and right at the bottom of the page in a text ad so unobtrusive that I barely noticed it was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Some guy apparently had found a way to pay $9 a month for insurance, and the insurance industry was deathly afraid of me finding out about it.

I’ll give you a second to let that sink in.


Okay, let’s run through this. Maybe it’s just me that thinks this is such an unbelievably stupid claim to make. Maybe there are people I need to convince. First of all, I didn’t omit any information in that description of the ad. It truly just said that there was a way to pay nine dollars for “insurance.” There was zero indication as to exactly what was being insured. I suppose, thinking about it now, that whoever this guy is found a way to insure his car against mosquito bites (or something equally ridiculous) for only nine bones a month, but even in this case I doubt that there were a bunch of insurance executives losing much sleep over the pending loss of the secret to great vehicular insect bite insurance. No, this ad more or less claims to insure anything for nine a month. Car, house, boat, life, health, helicopter, or, I don’t know, aircraft carrier or something, go nuts – you could insure anything your little heart desires against damage. That’s pretty impressive, and also really, really stupid. So let’s say, for the sake of argument that the ad had claimed something more modest like, say, car insurance for nine a month. This is a sum that is so much lower than any conceivable amount any other insurance agency charges that it should raise immediate red flags. Nothing is free, and all those savings have to come from somewhere. And this being the insurance industry, not exactly known for their commitment to the Light side, I imagine those savings come from investors buying shares in the pooled debt you and and the other policy holders owe on your souls.

I don’t know, I’ve gotten all rambly, and I can’t even remember what my point was at this juncture. I guess I’ve safely vented my spleen, and also I’ve probably attracted the attention of every spambot within five hundred internet miles.

1 Comment - Leave a comment
  1. Luke says:

    I know why they advertise things that way, but it’s a big secret they don’t want you to know. If you want to know, all you have to do is click on this link.

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