You probably already came across those “Discover this one weird trick to melt belly fat” ads around, right? Well, if you are curious about who is creating those ads and why, there’s an article about it you should read.
The article appeared on the Slate website last week, and it’s titled Prepare to Be Shocked!. It basically tells the story that a journalist discovered after digging deeper on those ads.
Here’s a quote:
Newly emboldened, I clicked on my first ad, which promised a cure for diabetes. Specifically, I hoped to “discover how 1 weird spice reverses diabetes in 30 short days.” The ad showed a picture of cinnamon buns. Could the spice be… cinnamon? Maybe I would find out. The link brought up a video with no pause button or status bar. A kindly voice began: “Prepare to be shocked.” I prepared myself. As “Lon” spoke, his words flashed simultaneously on the screen, PowerPoint-style. As soon as he started, Lon seemed fixated on convincing me to stay until the end. “This could be the most important video you ever watch,” he promised. “Watch the entire video, as the end will surprise you!”
Some interesting parts:
- The company behind the ads use the word “weird” because it’s intriguing and yet it doesn’t raise the bar, so there won’t be any frustration down the road. If they had used the word “amazing” instead, for instance, some potential clients could be disappointed and leave.
- The design of the ads is poor on purpose. The goal is to create an image of “one rebel against the system”, so if the ads were too good-looking people would suspect there’s a company behind them, and not a single person.
- The videos and sales pages are long because they found that, the more arguments they give in favor of their product, even if those arguments are not that strong, the more likely the customer will be to make the purchase, because the sum of everything will seem more convincing.
Anyway check the full article, as it’s full of insights about online advertising and the human psychology.