I used to watch the Super Bowl for the ads, but thanks to the Internet I don’t have to anymore. This is especially good as many of them aren’t that great, but this one for Amazon Alexa? Yeah, it made me laugh.
Funny, but it probably won’t get me to buy an Alexa when I already have two Google Home Minis in the house.
The only other ad I found interesting was a short one for the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, but I won’t bother including that here.
It seems like every day I get one to upwards of five emails from people who just love my blog and want to know if they can “collaborate” on a post or who feel they have a page that is way more informative than whatever thing I linked to in an entry written years ago and they just want me to know that if I’d be willing to link to them/let them write a post that they’d help me out by sharing my amazing website with everyone they’ve ever known in their entire lives.
Here’s an example from Tuesday the 14th with the links to their website removed:
My name is Helen Sanders, I am the main editor at <website about health stuff redacted>
I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that we recently released a very comprehensive blog post on the benefits of cold showers.
I believe our piece is a lot more comprehensive, updated and quotes more trustable sources and I think it would be a great addition to your page.
If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to our tens of thousands of social followers to help you gain some visibility in exchange.
Here is the link for your review:<link redacted>
Let me know what you think and thank you for your consideration!
Right off the bat it’s clear that Helen hasn’t been browsing my site nor has she read the entry in question. If she had then it should’ve been clear that the last thing my entry was doing was promoting taking cold showers. If anything, it’s a humorous rant against the idea of taking cold showers regardless of how healthy it would make me because cold showers suck. As such, there’s little need for a more comprehensive or updated source of information on the benefits of cold showers. The attempt at humor is in no way reliant on the accuracy of the article I linked to.
At least Helen gave me some details on what she wants from me. Just this morning I got this exciting offer:
My name is Rick and I would like to write a guest post for your website. I think your blog is missing one great story that would be of interest to your readers.
Send me a text if you’re interested.
What could it be?? How can I allow my die-hard readers to miss out on a great story like… like whatever it is he wants to write about? How can I sleep at night not knowing what amazing thing I and my readers are missing out on?
Here’s another one from yesterday:
My name is Jenna, I am the main editor at <website about dogs>.
I just thought your readers might like to have an updated link.
A very similar resource can be found at <link to website redacted>. Might fit in as a good replacement, if I may say so myself 😀
Just a thought – keep up the great work and have an awesome day.
Angelica here isn’t even offering to share my amazing article with her “umpteen tens of thousands, no, literally millions of visitors” for my trouble.
You need to step up your game, Angelica.
Shall we do one more? Sure, let’s do one more from two days ago:
My name is John Rizzo and I run a one man PR/marketing agency. I recently found your blog and wanted to reach out on behalf of some of my clients.
Specifically, we are interested in guest posts and sponsored posts. Is this something you offer?
If so, could you please send over more information.
I appreciate your time and I hope the rest of your week goes well!
You can tell John’s a professional as he’s using a standard Gmail account to send his inquiries. I’m sure all of those guest/sponsored posts would be of the highest quality.
To be honest, I’m surprised that I get a constant stream of emails like these considering the traffic to my blog isn’t what it used to be. The pages they want me to add their links to aren’t even in the top 10 of most popular threads on SEB. Most of them won’t even show up in the first few pages of a Google search for those topics. I can only assume they’re trying to gain page rank by getting as many places as possible to link to their websites.
Now usually I just delete these emails as they come in, but there’s a new trend as of late that has led to this rant: They won’t stop emailing me until I reply.
Allow me to illustrate with this one from March 13th:
I was just browsing Stupid Evil Bastard and saw you were interested in gaming from this post (https://stupidevilbastard.com/tag/ps3/), and so I thought you might also be interested in linking to a resource we put together on the health benefits of playing video games.
Here is a link for your review: [link redacted]
Our post is comprehensive, up to date, and quotes trustworthy sources to give our readers the best information available. We think it would be a great resource for your readers as well.
If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to our tens of thousands of social followers to help you gain some more visibility in exchange.
Let me know what you think and thanks for your consideration!
Damn, but that sounds very familiar. Almost like Danielle and Helen from up top use the same automated bot to send those emails out. I love that Danielle here doesn’t even link to a specific entry, but to the category tag for posts about the PS3.
Anyway, I deleted the email and went about my business. Three days later I get this:
I just wanted to follow up and see what you thought of linking to our site on your blog.
Just double checking you received our previous email.
Looking forward to sharing some of your content across our social following, let us know what you think.
Once again I deleted it. Much like Jesus, three days later she was back again:
I just wanted to follow up on my previous email and hear your thoughts on linking to us in one of your blog posts.
We would be happy to share your blog post across our thousands of social followers in return.
Let me know what you think by shooting me a quick reply.
So too did Helen, from the first example up top, continue to pester me:
On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM “Helen Sanders” wrote:
I understand you are a busy person and your time is valuable but did you have some time to look at my last email? (see above).
I’d love to collaborate with your site!
On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 3:00 AM, Helen Sanders wrote:
I will give this one last shot, did you have time to review my proposal? I’d be really excited to collaborate with you.
These fuckers can’t seem to take a hint.
So today I replied to Helen with a very simple “no thanks” — that was literally all the email said outside of “Helen” and “Les” — and apparently that just wasn’t good enough for Helen. Almost as soon as I sent her my reply this morning I got this back:
Thanks for taking the time out to get back to me.
I was just wondering if you had any feedback on why you weren’t interested so that I can take it on board while promoting my work in the future.
I really appreciate the opinions of the people I’m reaching out to, so anything I can take on board is appreciated 🙂
If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you already know that I don’t deal with annoyances all that well and I was pretty proud of myself for limiting my first reply to Helen with just a “no thanks” and not some profanity laced tirade. Helen, as I said previously, hasn’t really read my blog. My response to this latest missive strains to stay civil with her and I think I just barely managed it:
I’m getting roughly 3 to 4 of these offers every single day for the past few years. I’m surprised so many people want to associate their products with a site with the name Stupid Evil Bastard. I literally just told another person making this sort of offer “no thanks” before typing up this reply. [Editor’s Note: That would’ve been Rick’s offer of a great entry of some unspecified type that I reproduced above.] Everyone loves my content and wants to write for my blog except that it’s clear based on the couple of folks I did entertain the thought with that this is entirely for your benefit to drive traffic to your site and/or promote your product. Nine times out of ten the topic of whatever someone wants to write about for my blog has little to nothing to do with what my blog is about (mainly, things that catch my attention) or even the page they claim they saw that inspired them to contact me. It’s pretty clear these requests are ads disguised as posts. One you probably don’t wish to pay me for or, if you do, the amount is hardly worth considering. I’m often told to consider the extra “exposure” the ad-post will generate for my blog as though I needed more exposure. In short, it’s a pretty one-sided equation that benefits you more than me.
I’ve been blogging for 16 years now. For awhile, I accepted guest posts from my regular readers who wanted to participate in the community I’d managed to build up. None of those guest entries were ever anything close to an ad or an attempt to drive traffic someplace else. I’m not as active as I once was and my readership is down to the most loyal of regulars. I’m fine with that. It was never about being at the top of the search results or making a ton of money. It was a place for me to express myself for those who were interested. Nothing more. Needless to say, my blog is a deeply personal thing to me. Frankly, the number of people who wish to exploit it for their own gain is more than a little annoying.
P.S. I’m probably going to blog this.
I’ve not heard back from Helen. With any luck this is enough of a hint for her to not bother sending a reply. It annoys me that I am going to have to respond to each and every one of these offers with “no thanks” as they come in or put up with an endless stream of WHY HAVEN’T YOU REPLIED TO MY AWESOME OFFER???
So let me just say this right here and now: Dear people who think it’d be a great idea if I helped you to promote your website/product at no cost to you. Don’t bother sending me your sales pitch because it’s not going to happen. At least, not unless you’re willing to toss me some serious greenbacks. I don’t need “tens of thousands” of people to see my blog, but I would be happy to sell out for “tens of thousands” of dollars. This would be particularly handy right now as I’m in the process of buying a house and could use the extra cash.
So, once again just to be clear, I don’t need your exposure, but I would take your cash as long as it’s substantial. I doubt any of you will be making such an offer anytime soon so you may as well not waste the electrons it would take to send me an email.
UPDATE: Holy Christ on a cracker! I’ve not even PUBLISHED this entry yet and Rick Slot — of the “I wanna write a guest post, let me know if you’re interested” I quoted above to which I had replied simply “I am not” — has just replied with the following:
Thank you for the reply. Do you post sponsored articles?
Seriously, what does it take for these people to understand the concept of “no”? I’m half-tempted to send him a dictionary definition, but perhaps I’ll just send the link to this entry. Maybe he’ll offer me tens of thousands of dollars to let him write a guest post. Also, maybe I’ll be made Queen of England. Probably about equal chances of both, right?
Thanks to software that can detect whether a site visitor is using a blocker, websites can now direct messages at these readers, jam ads through to them anyway or even withhold stories. Uneasy publishers are increasingly turning to startups that give them the ability to detect and pierce through ad blockers, such as Sourcepoint and Pagefair.
Now, as a general rule, I don’t run an ad-blocker because I understand that it costs money to run a website in part because I maintain several myself; not the least of which is this blog. In fact the account I maintain to host blogs for my mother, sister, and a couple of friends costs me about $120 a year and its annual renewal is due this week and that’s not counting the monthly cost for the virtual server for SEB. You may also note that I have a couple of ads on SEB including a promo for Amazon on the sidebar and some Google Adsense ads at the bottom of each page. I also make use of Amazon affiliate links when talking about a product. None of that generates enough revenue to pay for the sites (I’m lucky if I get any money from them in a given year), but it makes for a couple bucks here and there.
So I can understand and I’m fine with a page having ads on it, but I’d be lying if I said that I never run an ad-blocker. I keep one installed because advertisers aren’t satisfied with having a rectangular banner at the top of the page or a square ad in the sidebar. Increasingly there’s been this trend of slapping a huge, full-screen ad right in the middle of whatever the fuck I’m trying to read 5 to 10 seconds after I started reading. I’m talking bullshit like this:
YOU WILL WATCH THIS AD FOR TEA REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU WILL EVER BUY OUR PRODUCT!
I don’t drink tea. You could come up with a tea that causes multiple orgasms and piles of gold to spontaneously appear at my feet and I still wouldn’t drink it because tea is disgusting, but you’re going to insist I watch your fucking tea ad.
HEY! STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH THIS PROMO FOR A COMPANY YOU WILL NEVER DIRECTLY DEAL WITH YOURSELF!
I’ve never understood why Boeing feels the need to advertise to the general public. Do they sell anything to the vast majority of people? They seem to have a rather niche market. What the fuck happened to the idea of targeted ads?
WE’RE KFC! CHECK OUT THIS HILARIOUS AD WITH OUR NEW FAKE COLONEL SANDERS IN IT! WHY IT’S SO FUNNY IT’S LIKE WATCHING A MOVIE!
I like KFC. I shouldn’t because I’m fat and it’s not healthy, but I like it just the same. You don’t need to hard-sell me, or probably very many other fat people, on KFC. All this does is make me not like KFC as much because they’re getting in the fucking way of the article I’m trying to read.
The first link is bullshit just from the headline alone and I couldn’t give less of a shit about some billionaire’s girlfriend, but this is still better than a full screen ad.
It’s bad enough that a lot of the small, square ads these days feature auto-playing videos with the sound at full volume. That’s annoying enough without it taking up the ENTIRE FUCKING SCREEN. When I come across these ads the first thing I look for is the close button and I hit it before it has a chance to get more than 5 seconds into its spiel. I don’t care what you’re advertising. Even if it’s something that I might be interested in, the surest way to make certain I don’t hear about it is with a giant popup ad in the middle of a webpage. No close button? Then it’s the reload page button. Ad comes up again? Out comes the ad-blocker and now you’re not getting any revenue from my page visit because fuck you and your giant fucking ads in the middle of the content.
This is coming from a guy who will put up with multiple ads along the top, bottom, and sides of a webpage. Hell, I’ll put up with them being wedged awkwardly between every two or three paragraphs of the content itself — like some sites I visit currently do — so long as I can still read the content I went there for in the first place. I’ll even put up with the obvious bullshit click-bait ads being repeated over and over and over again on so many sites like the one here to the right despite the fact that I will never, in a million years, ever click on that ad.
According to one estimate sites are losing out on some big cash thanks to the increase in ad-blocker usage:
A widely cited report from Adobe and anti-ad blocker startup Pagefair estimates that ad blockers could cost the industry $21.8 billion in lost revenue this year — though the figure may have been overinflated by faulty economic reasoning — and that usage grew 41% in the last year.
So it’s no wonder they’re trying to fight back, but surely there’s a compromise that can be found between no advertising at all and loud and obnoxious full screen unstoppable auto-playing video ads. There are a handful of sites I’ve stopped going to altogether because it’s such a pain in the ass wading through all the popup advertisements to get to the content I went there for in the first place. I don’t want to turn my ad-blocker on, but some of these websites are making it harder and harder not to do so. And that’s not even getting into the topic of how many ad services these days are doing a piss-poor job of keeping malicious malware spreading ads out of their systems.
Scale it back a bit and I think you’ll find more people will shut off their ad-blockers. Keep going the way you’re going and it’ll just be an arms race to see who can out program the other.
Here’s one you’ll probably never see on TV, but it was amusing enough that it got me to share it on my blog:
Apparently this has generated some controversy with folks who lack a sense of humor, but the overall reaction has been pretty positive. Still not enough to get me to shop at Kmart anytime soon, but it was damned amusing.
If you’ve been following along for any amount of time you already know I’m not a huge Apple fan, but that has more to do with the policies of the company than the quality of their products. The hardware is fine — it’s the same thing you’d get if you bought a Wintel box only with the price jacked way the hell up — and the OS works pretty well, if not quite as flawlessly as they’d have you believe.
For years Apple has hinted in subtle ways that they design their computers for the average person. I’ve often joked that their definition of average was “people who can’t tie their own shoes without drooling on themselves,” but my only evidence for that observation was their attempt to sell Macs with a single button mouse. The whole mouse was all one big button so you could flail at it wildly and still get it to do things.
That said, their ads have always suggested that you didn’t need to be a computer expert to use one of their computers, but for the most part they didn’t portray their customers as gibbering idiots with horribly misplaced priorities. Well, that’s all changed with their latest round of ads:
Ha ha! Isn’t that funny? Mr. Green is more worried about making birth announcements on his Mac than getting his wife to the hospital when she’s in the middle of labor. I’ll bet she’s real glad she married that winner!
I get that their tying to hype up their “Geniuses” that they have at their stores to help you figure out how the hell to use that fancy new Apple product you spent three times what you should have on even though it’s as user friendly as you can get without it actually reading your mind to do what you want. But did they have to make the customer he’s helping look like such a moron?
Then there’s this:
Happy Anniversary sweetheart! I hurriedly slapped this video together on my Mac using whatever the hell I had on hand with the help of an Apple employee who is probably contemplating suicide from dealing with idiots like myself all day long! Sure, I could have used the time to actually book us a nice restaurant or some other romantic evening out, but look at the effects I used! Isn’t the CP one awesome?
Not quite the gibbering idiot of the first ad, but still pretty pathetic. They certainly don’t make the life of an Apple “Genius” look all that appealing what with not being able to fly someplace without every idiot on the plane suddenly having a computer “emergency.” Or being able to sleep through the night without some asshole banging on his door for help on how to make photo cards.
The only way it could have been more overt is if they had plastered a big “Apple: Products for Stupid People” at the end of the commercial. It’s a move that risks alienating the non-idiots that love their products, but considering how huge the moron demographic is, could end up being a profitable one. Assuming, of course, that the idiots aren’t so stupid as to realize that Apple is trying to advertise to them.
An example of the new Skype ads in action. Click to embiggen.
The folks at Skype announced on their blog yesterday that they were rolling out a new advertisement system for users who are not paying subscribers. A good percentage of Skype’s user base are, let’s face it, freeloaders who are content to use only those features that are offered for free. I’m one of those freeloaders and one of the things you put up with for free stuff is being subjected to ads. Skype has promised that these ads will not affect call quality nor will they make any sound whatsoever.
I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is their attempt, in a post on their blog, to make it sound like the introduction of these ads is something we freeloaders will appreciate:
While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.
Seriously? The only way they will spark conversation between me and whomever I’m Skyping with will be if they’re in any way annoying enough for me to mention how fucking annoying they are. Otherwise, like most ads on the Internet, we’ll probably ignore them altogether. In fact, if we’re not using the video option then chances are the Skype client will be minimized and I’ll be looking at something else entirely. The last thing I do on audio-only calls is stare at the Skype client.
Again, I don’t have a problem with Skype putting ads on the screen per se. I get that they’re a for-profit company and they have to come up with a way to make some bucks off of those of us who don’t subscribe to their service. I just wish they’d be honest about why they’re doing it and not try to sell it as something beneficial to me like I’m an idiot.
Had they said something like this:
Hey folks. Today we’re putting advertising on the screen during 1-to-1 audio only calls to try and offset the cost of providing you with the service for free. We promise to keep the ads as unobtrusive as possible and they will not affect the call quality. We do offer a subscription service that not only offers lots of additional features, but also eliminates the ads for those who don’t wish to see them if you’d like to consider that option. We hope that this will not be a source of inconvenience for you and we welcome your feedback.
I’d be damned impressed with their honesty. Running a service like Skype is expensive and they have to make money somehow if they want to keep offering some of their features for free. These ads aren’t unreasonable even if I think most folks, like myself, will ignore them.
But who knows? Maybe I’m wrong and there will be a lot of people who end up finding them a useful topic to discuss with their friends. Maybe such people really do exist and I’m just being an old curmudgeon. I’d like to think that’s not the case, but I’ve been wrong before. Even so I think Skype would do well to count those as a happy side-benefit of the ads instead of trying to promote that as a feature folks will appreciate. But maybe that’s just me.
Ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads. We love ads. Ads ads ads ads. Facebook ads. Give us more ads! We want ads! What’s wrong with Facebook? Not enough ads! More ads? Phew!
TechCrunch, citing an anonymous Facebook ad bro, says Zuckerberg’s Like empire will soon start dropping advertisements in your news feed, which hitherto this point has been sacred ground. But in 2012, the place you once trusted as an untainted source of keg pics and meme links will be festooned with one …
I like your product despite the fact that it’s probably one of the more unhealthy condiments in my refrigerator. Growing up I mistakenly believed that your product is what people meant when they said “Mayonnaise” because that’s all I knew. Sure, you have a lot of detractors, but I think you taste damned dandy.
That said, your latest commercial — the “it’s like a party in my mouth” one — does absolutely nothing to make me want to buy your product. You know the one I’m talking about. This one:
No offense to the actor hired to do this spot, but I don’t want to be him and I certainly don’t want to experience whatever the fuck is going on in his mouth. This commercial is worse than being ineffective, it’s negatively effective in that it makes me not want to buy your product because I always feel a little skeevy after seeing this commercial.
I used to feel good about buying Miracle Whip despite the derision it sometimes brings with it. This commercial doesn’t make me feel good about buying it anymore. Please get rid of this commercial soon.
A loyal fan.
P.S. The person who uploaded this video to YouTube is hilariously conspiratorial about the meaning behind it.
For the past several weeks I’ve been driving past a billboard on the way to work that appears to be advertising the latest wonder drug. It has a picture of a ditsy blonde woman twirling her hair in her fingers with the message: WHO NEEDS TALENT WHEN YOU HAVE REACHEMOL™? Every time I’d see it I’d wonder what the fuck it was supposed to be about. I doubted it was an actual drug, but perhaps it was an attempt at viral movie advertising? You know, where they take a fake company from some film and put out ads that appear to come from said company as a way to attract attention. I kept meaning to Google it when I got to work/home from work and by the time I arrived I’d already forgotten about it, which shows you the length of my attention span.
Then I noticed a second billboard for this “product” which you can see reproduced below:
So smug you wanna bitch slap that smile right off his face. Click to embiggen.
Two billboards along the same stretch of highway was just enough to keep it lodged in my brain. So this morning I finally got around to doing a Google search to see what the hell it was all about.
As it turns out, it’s not for any kind of a real product though the (hilarious) webpage for REACHEMOL™ is designed to look like it’s a new wonder drug to treat “Deficient Popularity Disorder”:
REACHEMOL™ (popularitus maximol) is the only prescription medicine clinically proven to treat Deficient Popularity Disorder (DPD). In all but the most severe of cases, REACHEMOL™ will increase your popularity so much that people will actually like you, instead of shunning you like an Old Testament leper.
REACHEMOL™ is a prescription medicine used to:
• Increase popularity
• Boost self-esteem
• Become more attractive to the opposite sex
• Win elections
• Sway juries
• Weasel your way back into the will
And it goes on for a bit like that with pictures of celebrities that use the drug like Nicholas Cage, Paris Hitlon, and William Hung who is most famous for being a terrible singer on American Idol.
Of course it’s not a real drug, but a clever bit of marketing from the folks at Adams Outdoor as reported by the folks at Ad Rant:
Deficient Popularity Disorder? Yea, if that just caused your bullshit alert to explode, you’d be wise to listen to it. You see, though it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for a money hungry drug company to invent it, there’s no such thing as Deficient Popularity Disorder and there’s no such drug as Reachemol. Nope. It’s all a stunt from Adams Outdoor which is hyping how a well executed billboard campaign can make your brand “the talk of the town in 30 days or less.”
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a faux campaign like this one. And we miss them. properly executed, they are hilarious and, at the same time, deliver a strong message. Nice job, Adams Outdoor.
When you stop to think about the name, REACHEMOL (Reach Em All), you wonder why it didn’t occur to you previously. But it certainly caught my attention and (obviously) got me talking about it. The billboards themselves are vague enough to leave you curious enough to search them out on the Net and the website they put up for it is amusing enough to put a smile on your face.
Not to mention the palpable sense of relief you get from realizing it’s not yet another bullshit woo-woo homeopathic remedy being foisted onto the general public.
It’s 3AM now so just about every other commercial aired is for a so-called party line. You know the ads. Usually the spokesperson is an attractive and overly sexualized young woman in a skimpy outfit who heavily implies that calling the party line is a good way to get laid. At the very least they try to suggest that calling the party line is the most fun you can have with your clothes still on. They’re all so similar that they blend together after awhile so lately they’ve been trying to find ways to differentiate themselves.
Well I just saw an ad for yet another party line that specifically says it’s not for people looking for romance, but who want to get laid. They’re not quite that blunt, but they do use the phrase “You know, friends with benefits? That’s the most direct statement I’ve heard in one of these ads so far. Call there party line, they say, and you’ll find someone to have sex with who doesn’t want a relationship.
What do you think the ratio of men to women is on that party line?