Tag: scams

Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 1

Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 1

Advertising, Retrotisements
In which I explore some of the best -- and worst -- advertisements from vintage comic books. Today's ad comes from Beware #5 (September 1953), published by Trojan Magazines, and boldly declares, "Fat folks! Your dream has come true!" Now, I have some questions about this. What the hell is a Meltab? Are people really desperate enough to buy a weight loss remedy from an ad in a comic book. Why does the guy in the boxer shorts look like he's suffering from elephantiasis of the bladder, and how will Meltabs help him? But most importantly, who at this Robin Products Company thought that their target market -- and it's clearly women -- would be reading a kids' horror comic book featuring a werewolf on the cover? Related articles Comic Book Wallpaper: Witches Tales #2 (neatocoolvil
What I learned from the Gawker hacker debacle

What I learned from the Gawker hacker debacle

Internet
I've always considered myself to be a pretty savvy internet/computer type of guy.  I've never fallen for any of those Nigerian prince 419 scams, my computer has never been infected with a virus, and I've never even been successfully Rickrolled.  But I, and hundreds of thousands of others who happen to belong to one of Gawker Media's blogs (Deadspin, Gizmodo, Fleshbot, Lifehacker, etc.) got a very rude awakening a few weeks ago. That's when it was revealed that a group of hackers called Gnosis has successfully hacked Gawker's source code and databases and made off with, among other things, the entire database of Gawker's commenter accounts.  Two important facts came out of this security breach: one, Gawker's security sucks and two, way too many people are way too lazy with their password
I’d Like to Thank All the Little People

I’d Like to Thank All the Little People

Advertising
It's been a few years since I heard from a Who's Who scammer, but it turns out today is my lucky day!  None other than Mr. J.M. Blakely (VP, Research Division) has extended the once-in-a-day opportunity to be part of Strathmore's Who's Who Registry & Global Network for Outstanding Professionals! Did you see that?  I'm an outstanding professional.  I need to add that to my business cards.  I mean if random pictures of a building, a pen, and some business guy cursing God aren't enough to convince you of Strathmore's legitimacy, I don't know what will. Here's their little sales pitch, in case you're interested: Dear Gray Flannel Suit, It is my pleasure to inform you that on January 24th, 2010 your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2010 edition of our
Great Fun = Great Scam

Great Fun = Great Scam

Blogstuff
I'll admit it - I was almost taken in by one of the newer scams floating around right now. No, not the extended car warranty, as tempting as that was. This latest one is a little more subtle, and involves what appears to be free money. Basically the scam is that anyone who's ordered any one of a number of products from TV (PedEgg, Snuggie, or Aqua Globes) will receive a check in the mail for $8.25. It looks legit unless you look at one small line on the front and the disclaimer on the back. In the front, under the amount, it says: By cashing or depositing this check you are purchasing a membership in Great Fun. Huh?  What's that?  Well on the back it says: I authorize Great Fun to charge the annual membership fee after my free trial.  I agree to a thirty-day trial offer in Great Fun.  I
Could this be the end of Smiling Bob?

Could this be the end of Smiling Bob?

Advertising
If you've watched a football game or any programming on Spike TV or G4 over the last few years, chances are you've seen this image: He of course is none other than Smiling Bob (aka Smilin' Bob), the mascot/pitchman for Enzyte "male enhancement" tablets. What the tablets are supposed to enhance has never been made clear, although the TV ads left little to the imagination. The general theme was that the amount of problems you had in life was inversely proportional to the size of your penis. Despite the dubious and vague claims and utter campiness of their ads, Enzyte became a cash cow. Probably because this country is full of men whose vanity is outstripped only by their gullibility. Anyone with half a brain could see that the ads were total bullshit. That much was made clear durin...
Sweaty feet = profits

Sweaty feet = profits

Advertising, Rants
Just when I thought I had seen all the ways unscrupulous advertisers could come up with to separate idiots from their money, along come detoxifying foot pads. If you haven't yet seen any of the commercials for these things, they are a hoot. Here's a typical ad for this miracle product: All the ads pretty much employ the same selling tactics and points, which are summarized thusly: Scare the customer. Inform the target that the world is an icky place, full of dangerous chemicals and substances. Once you've frightened them a little bit you've created in their minds a need for a solution. "What's that you say? The level of cancer-causing Monstronium particles has increased 400% in the last decade? Help me!" Once you've convinced the target of the dangers of these known (an...
Who’s Who?  I am, of course.

Who’s Who? I am, of course.

Advertising
Before I jettison this little nugget into the cold, dark vacuum of Outlook's Deleted Items folder I wanted to preserve it for posterity: Dear GRAY FLANNEL SUIT, You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2007-2008 Edition of the registry. We are pleased to inform you that on November 15th, your candidacy was approved. Your confirmation for inclusion will be effective within five business days, pending our receipt of the enclosed application. The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate's current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The director thinks you may ...
I am a marketing genius

I am a marketing genius

Funny Stuff
Advertising is a tough business. The average consumer is bombarded with hundreds of ads throughout the day, large and small, so getting their attention for more than a few seconds is a herculean task. Occasionally an ad campaign is heard through the din (the Geico cavemen and Nike's "Just Do It" just to name a few) but most are quickly consigned to the dustbin of marketing history. For companies looking to take their Q Score to the next level, I have the answer - spam. Sure the idea sounds vile at first, but so does McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" campaign and that crap's been going on forever. So many ad executives are sold on trying to be super-clever or technologically innovative that they forget that simple is usually best. And what could be simpler or more effective than the techniques ...