Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday Thoughts: More Stupid Ads!

I love to grouse about advertising, as it seems to be a topic of interest to me, for some strange reason.

I'm pretty good about ignoring any ads on websites I visit. As I've been using the internet tubes since the text-only days, I got used to filtering out any nonsense content and just reading what I want to read.

That said, there are some ads that cross the threshold and need to be called out.


Evony, a crappy online 'freemium' strategy game, is notorious for its overtly sexual ads. How can you get people to play a generic game? MORE BOOBS!!

As you can see, the first ad was pretty generic. You have a guy in armor in an ad for a fantasy game. Standard stuff. On the second and third ones, you start getting into pretty woman.

After that? They stopped having a shred of shame. Just show some ample cleavage, and watch the idiots slither over to a game in which you don't see a single breast.

"You will never see these bombs, my lord"!

Yes, the ad makes it seem like you are playing some naughty adult game where discretion is required. Better close the curtains and turn off your phone!

Evony is the biggest culprit, but not the only one. My Facebook sidebar will often have one or two of these overly sexualized ads. I do like ample bosoms, but it has to be in the right context. If you are simply showing off breasts for a standard game, you don't even deserve the time of day. 

Seriously, I'm surprised I haven't seen full-on hardcore porn with the caption "Make your fantasies come to life!". C'mon, Evony, you might as well go all the way!

Note the grammar error on the last sentence.


Despite the fact that this isn't 1997, some advertisers still think that blinking pictures are 'in' and work as effective advertising.

 For your safety, I did not link to one of the seizure-inducing pictures, but this particular ad pops up almost every time I play Lexulous on Facebook.

Yes, the ads are designed to catch your attention, but they are so damn annoying that I NEVER want to support any company who feels the need to put flashing lights in my face.

I guess these ads must work on some gullible people, since they are designed to look like an actual computer scan, and newer users might be fooled. Still, whomever designed this particular advertisement should be spanked with a disco ball.


Probably the most insidious ads that have popped up in recent months are the auto-sound ads. was the first place I encountered them (or their auto-play videos)

When you visit certain pages, a video ad will automatically load up, and you'll start hearing some obnoxious propaganda.

Unlike a typical picture advertisement, this one is very hard to ignore unless you have the sound off. No matter what, the stupid videos just start playing, and they are often very loud.

It's a bit of a hunt, really, to figure out where the hell this mystery sound is coming from. If you have multiple tabs open, then you need to find out WHICH tab it's coming from, and where on the page the ad is.

Then, you need to figure out how to shut down the ad, pause the ad, or mute the sound. It's especially annoying when it's an article you actually want to read.

Look, advertisers, would you like me to show up at your house and start blaring loud music from outside your window? How about I blast an airhorn while you are trying to sleep?

Facebook (yes, that again) seems to be desperate for ad dollars, and will bring these annoying things to its site in 2014. Facebook has been losing some steam over the past 1-2 years, and this could very well help sink the Titanic. If I start hearing these things every time I visit the site, you can bet I'll be logging on a LOT less.

I get that advertisers need to get your attention, but annoying people is not going to get them to warm up to your product. I have never bought something because some idiot jumped right in my face and started yelling at me.

No, quite the opposite, in fact. If I encounter really annoying advertising, I make a mental note to not support that particular product or company.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tuesday Thoughts: Lego, Sriracha, CNN

Most of us remember the fun of building random things out of LEGO, if not the pain of stepping on one of those indestructible blocks.

One of my old friends used to (and maybe still does) build whole miniature amusement parks out of Lego, including fully working rides, landscapes, and buildings. You were only limited to your imagination and pile of blocks.

While seeing Lego in the toy store or on commercials, what disheartens me is that the 'imagination' part seems to have totally disappeared.

Notice a trend here?

Instead of buying a big bucket of bricks and going wild with them, it seems Lego is all about movie and TV show tie ins and 'build this specific thing' box sets.

In today's age where every young kid seems to have a cell phone, handheld video gaming system, and hours of TV to zonk out to, I can imagine Lego would have a hard time getting the foothold it used to.

So, I can see why Lego would need to attach itself to popular franchises. It just saddens me that Lego seems more about putting together specific things, rather than using your imagination and creativity.

When, exactly, did Sriracha Hot Sauce become a 'thing'?

If you haven't heard, by now, Sriracha is a popular hot sauce that is easy to spot with its bright green cap and big COCK on the bottle. (At least this specific maker of it)

I've known Sriracha for many years as the usual half-full bottle of hot sauce that you find at just about every Vietnamese Pho restaurant. It's not a new product, and I've never seen it advertised even once. It's something that is usually just kind of 'there'.

Yet, all of a sudden, Sriracha is all over the damn place!

Subway 'restaurants' now offer a Sriracha sub, The Oatmeal (a web comic that is quickly losing steam) writes about it ALL THE DAMN TIME, and there has been a big public kerfuffle over the new sauce factory.

Sriracha Vodka? Why the hell not?

How did Sriracha vault into sudden popularity? Should we blame the Instagram hipsters for this?

I've often ranted and lamented about how CNN has become irrelevant in the world of news. What used to be a must-watch network quickly deteriorated into total and utter nonsense. The more CNN continues not to focus on ACTUAL NEWS, the less viewers it gets. Hmm...

These two screen captures give you a good idea why CNN has lost its place.