I’ve read a few blog posts recently about the commercialization of the blogosphere and various other meta-issues which I usually try to avoid here. The posts I have linked are thoughtful and well-considered. I loves me some socratic discourse about issues like ads on blogs and blogging motivation and blogging for the sake of “popularity” and whether that ranks up there on the scale of human indecency along with beastiality and voting for Rick Santorum.
(Funny how when I think of beastiality my mind automatically goes to Rick Santorum. Now why is that?)
But then there have been some posts (and comments) on this topic from what sound to be crazy, ranting nutbars, who feel that anyone considering advertising on their blogs should be drawn and quartered, then publically stoned while being forced to listen to William Shatner sing-speak Stairway to Heaven for six consecutive days. I don’t care to link to them.
Interestingly, there’s one consistent phrase that I’ve seen in both kinds of discussions, either by the author or the commenter. And that’s the idea that those who disdain blog ads, do so in part because they make me buy products I don’t need.
Making them buy products they don’t need! I love it! Especially since I, in my ad agency day job am those people with this magic ability to make you do such a thing! And pssst… so’s Girl Con Queso. Don’t tell anyone.
Now personally, I would loooove to know which blog ad–the majority of which are poorly designed, and show a complete lack of understanding of the blog audience in both content and style–has that ability. Because if I knew it, I would be rich. Rich beyond my wildest dreams. So rich that I could buy you each ponies, and then ponies for the ponies, because hell, even ponies must dream of having their own ponies. And then we’d ride off together on our ponies (these are very sturdy ponies), with our ponies’ ponies in tow, headed right for Canyon Ranch, where the Bali Spice Body Mask and Hot Stone Massages are on me.
I’ve been writing ads for a lot of years. Some people even consider me pretty good at it. And yet I know of no advertising technique with the the veritable power of waving a hand grenade menacingly in the direction of your bookshelf and insisting that you BUY! BUY IMMEDIATELY OR THE FIRST EDITION HARRY POTTER BOOK GETS IT.
Geez folks, any decent arguments against blog ads (and indeed there are some) get lost with hyperbole about people making you–an adult with, one can only hope, free will and common sense and a certain degree of media savvy–buy things you don’t need.
Or maybe I’m wrong.
Is there a product you’ve been forced (forced!) to buy that you absolutely didn’t need? Is there a man out there who just found himself mysteriously drawn to the new lighter, thinner maxipads with dri-weave protection? A 20-something couple with an inexplicably itchy dialing finger after watching the AARP infomercials? An Muslim who just couldn’t resist having all of the greatest Christian power anthems on one double CD?
Inquiring (and manipulative) ad minds want to know.