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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
Fake Registration Day
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 25, 2005
A movement is underfoot to undermine news sites that require registration in order to read their content by submitting fake registrations en masse: We, the undersigned, wish to demonstrate the pointless nature of forced web site registration schemes and the dubious demographic data they collect. On November 13th we will each register an account using fake details at one or more of these top 10 offending sites: www.nytimes.com www.washingtonpost.com www.latimes.com www.ajc.com www.chicagotribune.com www.dallasnews.com www.nypost.com www.baltimoresun.com www.philly.com www.mercurynews.com While sympathizing with the sentiment, I see a couple of problems with…
Categories: Advertising, Pranks Comments (15)
Google Content Blocker
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 13, 2005
Here's a good idea: Google Content Blocker. It allows you to block all that annoying content, so you only have to see the ads: Google's mission is to organize the world's advertising for maximum exposure to Web users. Unfortunately, annoying Web content often overwhelms the page, causing many users to become distracted and overlook the ads. That's where Google Content Blocker comes in. It effectively blocks all Web site content, leaving only the advertisements... After you install Google Content Block, just surf the Web as you normally do. When we find a site that has content, we will block that content so you see only the ads. It all happens automatically, with no effort…
Categories: Advertising, Websites Comments (5)
Wal-Mart Advertisements
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
There's an interesting Q&A in today's Stuart Elliott column in the NY Times: A Reader Asks: I have a question regarding Wal-Mart's advertising. Do you know if Wal-Mart actually uses employees in its ads or does it hire actors? I've wondered about this myself. Are there really all these happy people working at Wal-Mart? Elliott's response: The people appearing in the television commercials and print advertisements for Wal-Mart Stores are actual employees, according to Wal-Mart and its agencies. Such ads have been appearing more frequently as part of efforts by Wal-Mart to counter critics who charge the company does not offer its employees adequate health care or other benefits.
Categories: Advertising Comments (41)
M’azing Commercials
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 13, 2005
The TV commercials for a new chocolate bar called M'azing show people doing amazing things in order to earn a bar of M'azing chocolate. In one commercial a guy balances a washing machine on his jaw. In another one a girl twists her legs all the way around her body in a way that really doesn't look possible. You can see all the ads here (quicktime and wmv format). Someone wrote in to Stuart Elliott's advertising column in the NY Times asking if the movie with the girl doing the thing with her legs was real. Elliott says it is. This is his exact response:
Categories: Advertising, Photos/Videos Comments (33)
Perfect Housemate
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 11, 2005
This craigslist ad posted by a man searching for a roommate has been doing the rounds. The man starts off sounding kind of weird when he describes himself as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeons whose staff "is somewhat dubious of my methods", but then he progressively begins to sound weirder and weirder as he lists the rules that his "perfect housemate" must follow: "You must brush your teeth at least twice a day", "On every third-Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house between the hours of 4 pm - 11:45 pm while I upholster various pieces of antique furniture", "No newspapers or magazines", "if you speak either French, Urdu, or Afrikaans, I kindly request…
Categories: Advertising Comments (11)
Bovine Unite
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 08, 2005
The cows are plotting something. They're meeting in secret COWncils. They're even keeping blogs. I'm not sure what it's all about, but it seems that 05.05.05 is the date when the cows will show their hand (or hoof, as it may be). (via Metafilter)
Categories: Advertising, Animals Comments (57)
Last Resort Retrieval
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 03, 2005
A few of you have noticed the strange ad that is now running on my site (in the left-hand column) for a company called 'Last Resort Retrieval' that claims to specialize in recovering stolen art. Yes it is a hoax site, or rather it's part of a marketing campaign for a product other than a company that recovers stolen art. But that's about all I can say about it, because I'm supposed to keep the secret (since they're paying me to put the ad there). The thing is, I really don't think it would be easy to guess what product they're marketing, though I think the ads are going to develop over time and offer more clues.…
Categories: Advertising Comments (12)
Steve Wynn Hotel Ad
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 22, 2005
If you've seen those commercials with Steve Wynn standing on top of his hotel in Las Vegas you might find this interesting. I had assumed the shot was fake, but apparently it's not. Stuart Elliott has provided some info about this in his NY Times advertising column (I get the column sent to me by email, and I don't think it appears on the Times website, so I've pasted it below): A Reader Asks: In the new commercial for his eponymous hotel, Steve Wynn is shown atop it. Was he really up there, or is it just computer-generated? Stuart Elliott: That is indeed Mr. Wynn atop the tower of the Wynn…
Categories: Advertising Comments (2)
Cure The Catch
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 28, 2005
I received this email from 'Kurto': i have been a frequent visitor of your site for some time now. Recently this bombardment of advertisements about "The Catch" has been bothering me. The ad's contain figures stating million of Canadians have the Catch, and there's no cure. I'm curious to what exactly they're referring to. The website they encourage people to visit is http://curethecatch.com i have doubts to the validity of this so called disease. See if you can dig up any dirt on this. A little googling reveals that 'The Catch' is a new viral ad campaign dreamed up to promote Virgin Mobile pre-paid phones: Virgin has started…
Nobody Wants Your Film
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 26, 2005
Nobody Wants Your Film appears to be a site dedicated to promoting an independent film that's been unable to find a distributor. The site encourages people to register at the site (and tell their friends to register) so that the creator of the film can convince "investors & money men that this thing is really happening" and "that they'd better jump on board before it's too late". The weird thing is that the film has some pretty well-known actors in it (Steve Buscemi, for instance), so you wouldn't think that it would be that hard to get it distributed. However, the film itself is about "the making of an independent feature that nobody wants, at least that's what…
Who Ordered Room Service?
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 26, 2005
Shortly before Valentine's Day I, like many people, followed a link to the site Who Ordered Room Service, which was showing a video about a room-service waiter who shows up at a hotel room and proceeds to vomit all over the couple inside. You were supposed to return to the site on the 14th to find out 'who ordered room service'. I never bothered to return, because I really wasn't that intrigued. But apparently those who did return discovered that the site was a viral online promotion for Bryan Adams' new album, Room Service. Except that it wasn't. Bryan Adams' record company was quick to deny any knowledge of the site. And now it turns out that the…
Categories: Advertising, Websites Comments (6)
Axe To Grind
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 23, 2005
Axe2Grind.net documents "the string of bizarre occurrences that have recently taken place in many parts of the country. The young men in these incidents share one common thread: they have all used AXE Deodorant Bodyspray." It's obviously a viral advertising campaign for AXE Bodyspray, but it's pretty amusing. I especially like the tale of Paul who is trapped in a cabin in the woods, hiding from women who have been driven insane with desire by his scent. Kind of like a 'trapped by zombies' thing, but with bodyspray. The legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page is also worth reading. (Thanks to Kathy for…
Categories: Advertising, Websites Comments (40)
The Lincoln Fry
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 08, 2005
The Lincoln Fry Blog is supposed to be a journal kept by a couple, Mike and Liz, detailing their experiences after finding a french fry at McDonalds that looks a lot like Abe Lincoln. But none of it is real (not even the comments on the blog). The site is actually part of McDonald's latest ad campaign that was launched during the Superbowl, which focuses on this fictitious Lincoln Fry. The whole thing is supposed to be a parody of the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich mania. This marks the second time I've posted about an Abraham Lincoln-shaped potato. The
Categories: Advertising, Food Comments (11)
Wanted: Girl Who Knits
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 08, 2005
Speaking of truth in advertising (see post below), I'm not sure that it pays to be as truthful as this personal ad on Craigslist is: Will marry girl who knits Reply to: anon-54508796@craigslist.org Date: Wed Jan 05 07:25:22 2005 I will buy you a ring and propose to you if you can make one of these for me. I want to look silly during the winter. But then again, he may just find the girl of his dreams.
Categories: Advertising, Sex/Romance Comments (8)
Truth in Real Estate Advertising
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 08, 2005
My wife and I are recreational open house attendees, so I'm very familiar with all those euphemisms real-estate agents use to describe really bad homes: 'fixer upper', 'needs work', 'starter home'. Here's an amusing case of a guy who managed to get an offer on his apartment by using the opposite technique: brutally honest advertising. He advertised his place as a "Gruesome two-room apartment with balcony... a very worn-out apartment." (Thanks, Gary)
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
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