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OMG! It works! I gotta buy a sweater! May 11, 2007 1:24 AM   Subscribe

An ad is an ad is an ad.
posted by humblepigeon to MetaFilter-Related at 1:24 AM (63 comments total)

Mine eyes! THEY BURN!
posted by carsonb at 1:34 AM on May 11, 2007


Any proof we're being gamed here?

The post certainly sucks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:35 AM on May 11, 2007


there's a milestogo clothing company with pages up on myspace that i doubt is linked, but that uses american apparel products. i also drove by sunset and alvarado two days ago and that sign was not up. american apparel's website has a rotating slide collection, and if you can bear the oddly slow loading times you'll find a set of woody allen pictures, many from his movies. which is kind of surprising, since with such a big company you'd imagine they actually sought permission to use these stills. which would make this a lot less spontaneous, but not necessarily a reason for anything.
posted by phaedon at 1:41 AM on May 11, 2007


I don't know. In its favour, it's also a link to an (admittedly brief) newspaper article discussing the oddness of the advertising campaign, rather than only a link to the ad in itself. It is undoubtedly a poor post; a much more interesting one would have contextualised the Woody Allen advert with posts illustrating AmAp's previous (and somewhat notorious) marketing/advertising efforts.
posted by hydatius at 2:11 AM on May 11, 2007


Btw, do these sunglasses go with this T-shirt?
posted by hydatius at 2:12 AM on May 11, 2007



Woody Allen wants raybans beans bans sunglasses. subtly suggestive sunglasses.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:42 AM on May 11, 2007


Call me perverse, but I find advertisements to be among the best bits of mullable pop-culture ephemera out there.
posted by Firas at 3:13 AM on May 11, 2007




Remember when Pepsi Blue was the only advertising we had to complain about?
posted by Nelson at 3:37 AM on May 11, 2007


IT'S VIRAL MARKETING MONTH! LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:03 AM on May 11, 2007


[i don't know why i seem to channeling quonsar lately. maybe because i miss him so damn much. i miss you quonsar. i don't care who knows it, either, you magnificent bastard.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:05 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can the op search out all of terry richardsons photographs and post them here so i can be fully outraged ?

cheers.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:10 AM on May 11, 2007


You wish
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:11 AM on May 11, 2007




You know, Metafilter is very cheap advertising. I'm not joking. If I were involved in PR or marketing I'd make heavy use of Metafilter.

It's just $5 joining fee to reach a (mostly) young, trendy, intelligent and international audience. You can post an advert a day, so long as you're clever enough to subterfuge it. A few people might complain, but everybody else will be too busy making jokes. Unlike Digg or Reddit, there's no vote or karma system.
posted by humblepigeon at 4:22 AM on May 11, 2007


That's "cheap" as in "inexpensive" and "value for money". Not cheap as in "lacking quality". Honest.
posted by humblepigeon at 4:23 AM on May 11, 2007


(mostly) young

I'd comment, but I don't want to give the marketers heckel-and-jeckeling on the tree limbs over our shoulders any data for demographic in-vectoring.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 AM on May 11, 2007


trendy

I'd comment, but I suffer from delusions of grandeur.
posted by Firas at 4:35 AM on May 11, 2007


I'd comment, but you're a dick.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:36 AM on May 11, 2007


Relax, I wasn't taking a dig at you there.
posted by Firas at 4:38 AM on May 11, 2007


I'm sorry, that was unnecessary and uncalled-for.

I'm going to pretend that was 'ironic and youthful, the kind of thing that the hip high-income new urban 20-something demographic says to one another in jest', and therefore... er...

yeah, sorry
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:40 AM on May 11, 2007


Some adverts I like. Some adverts make for good posts. But this is a thin woody. Put the needle dick to sleep.
posted by peacay at 4:47 AM on May 11, 2007


People! Brothers and sisters! Look how these viralers and self-linking shills are dividing us! Making us fight each other! That's their plan! They're trying to bring us down! Divide and conquer! But we ain't gonna let 'em! NO! We ain't gonna let 'em!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:51 AM on May 11, 2007


Actually flapjax does have a point. This piece of shit ad now has two posts taking up space in the MetaEmpire.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:05 AM on May 11, 2007


it's really hard to tell when meetup photos end and american apparel ads begin......
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:21 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Please let me know when meetups start looking like american apparel ads.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:36 AM on May 11, 2007



Would it be possible to end this unpleasant rash of commercials posing as FPPs?

Or, how about just the rash?
posted by From Bklyn at 5:42 AM on May 11, 2007


Here's how I'd get adverts onto MetaFilter, if I was that way inclined (and I'm not):

1) Spend the $5 creating an account. I'd make use of the account for a week or two, posting comments. Just generic comments, but it doesn't really matter too much what they are because they rarely get deleted and bad comments are just ignored. It's vital to make the account look authentic because people will check up on you, and that might make/break a moderation deletion. Authentic users are more likely to be taken seriously.

2) During my blog reading each day, I'd cross-post a few stories to MeFi front page. Even single-link YouTube videos get through nowadays so all I have to do is look at the popular list. Again, we're building the authenticity.

3) Crucially, I'd post a link to the thing I wanted to promote on a lesser site. It doesn't matter if this other site is popular. All I'm doing is making the link seem authentic. Then I'd post it on MeFi's front page, with a casual "(via)" at the end. You see, it isn't my link. Oh no. It's one I found.

4) I'd get involved in the discussion of the thread, joking everything up, and refusing to take dissenters seriously. This will help avoid moderation. Do postings not get deleted when they reach a critical mass of comments?

5) I'd use the MeFi posting to get onto other sites, if somebody doesn't already do that for me (the American Apparel link is probably already on Digg and Reddit).

The reason that this is so easy to do is that MeFi is effectively a page full of adverts for different sites. That's how it works—we all advertise something(s) interesting we've found. Slipping in a viral ad is easy.

Recent postings that may or may not have done this: Rayban, American Apparel, Reality Sandwich, Ubuntu Studio...
posted by humblepigeon at 6:01 AM on May 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Why is it that we feel so insecure that we need to put a moratorium on discussing commercials? Or even linking to interesting commercials for the sake of enjoying them? So what, they were originally produced to sell a product. Many pieces of so-called "real" art were originally produced to sell a product, too: themselves.

This recent "freedom from commercialism" movement is baffling, considering a huge number of posts have always been about a company or a product or a service in one way or anther. Look at one year ago today: mango advertising, movie advertising, "The Apprentice"! ONO!
posted by Plutor at 6:06 AM on May 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


This meetup lies....in your mind... somewhere between the front page and the cash register.
posted by acro at 6:24 AM on May 11, 2007


This recent "freedom from commercialism" movement is baffling

dude, lighten up, it's what's for dinner.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:41 AM on May 11, 2007


Why is it that we feel so insecure that we need to put a moratorium on discussing commercials? Or even linking to interesting commercials for the sake of enjoying them? So what, they were originally produced to sell a product.

I think what many folks find corrosive is not ads themselves, some of which are worth posting and discussing, but the underhandedness of undercover viral marketers posing as members.

This recent "freedom from commercialism" movement

It's hardly recent. There's been thoughtful discussion about ads, viral marketing and suspicion of shillery forever - cf. the MeTa discussion that appeared the first time Netflix was posted to the front page.
posted by mediareport at 6:41 AM on May 11, 2007


My ad/shill radar is usually pretty sensitive, but I don't think this kid is trying to street team for AA. Maybe I am being overly generous, but I think he is just a kid who is well immersed in jewish pop culture, possibly a yeshiva university student, who was excited about this campaign and felt it was worthy to post it here. Yeah, he's too much of a n00b to realize that mefi isn't real receptive to ads and viral junk. But I honestly don't think he's street teaming. Which is too bad, because I love a good viral-campaign-done-wrong flameout.
posted by necessitas at 6:42 AM on May 11, 2007


Is it true that American Apparel underwear was used in a recent string of hobo murders?
posted by drezdn at 6:47 AM on May 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


mediareport: "I think what many folks find corrosive is not ads themselves, some of which are worth posting and discussing, but the underhandedness of undercover viral marketers posing as members."

Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. But do we have any evidence whatsoever that this has happened in any of the recent examples? Or were they otherwise innocent posts to things people thought were interesting.

"It's hardly recent. There's been thoughtful discussion about ads, viral marketing and suspicion of shillery forever - cf. the MeTa discussion that appeared the first time Netflix was posted to the front page."

That's true, I guess it isn't recent at all. But in the last couple of weeks, the shrillity seems to have increased. The complaints about the Ray Ban video in particular seemed especially surprising, since if it wasn't for the complaints, I think most people (including me) wouldn't have noticed the "tag line" or realized it was viral advertising.
posted by Plutor at 6:50 AM on May 11, 2007


It wasn't a very good post. Good morning.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:03 AM on May 11, 2007


Top o' the mornin' to you too! Have any nice dreams?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on May 11, 2007


But do we have any evidence whatsoever that this has happened in any of the recent examples?

I dunno, probably not; that's what the corrosive mistrust spawned by viral shills does to sites like this. *shrug* I do know that I appreciate it when the folks who care enough to look into it (like you with PreacherTom) turn up a bannable shill. It feels like a gunky cancerous tumor has been removed.

Maybe that's worth a heightened level of suspicion about ad threads?
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2007


p.s. cortex, less opaque deletion reasons probably help new users contribute positively to the site more than jokes.
posted by mediareport at 7:13 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I know its been said before in other threads but a limit on the single-link youtube posts would get rid of at least 50% of noise (and advertising posing as entertainment) on the blue.

I don't mind people sharing goofy video, but in forcing people to flesh out their FPP with additional links, info, commentary, whatever then you're going to weed out a lot of the crap.
posted by wfrgms at 7:18 AM on May 11, 2007


Actually, as a marketer and a long-time Mefite ... there are far easier ways to advertising on Metafilter than gaming Mefi and potentially incurring the wrath of The Mob. This is from someone who has even bought ads on Metafilter before.

Savvy people thinking about memetics know that Mefi is really a litmus test: getting mentioned here is a sign that there is some conversations of interest already happening about a topic.

Now, let me begin my argument about why spamming is unproductive as well, to finally once and for all convince people to stop spamming.

Wait, this isn't AskMeFi? Sorry, wrong thread ...
posted by bclark at 7:20 AM on May 11, 2007


Why is it that we feel so insecure that we need to put a moratorium on discussing commercials?

My motivation here isn't to explore my own arsehole but to protect MetaFilter. It's a special place [sniff, wipes away a tear] and we have to protect it from those who seek to misuse the trust it relies upon.
posted by humblepigeon at 7:21 AM on May 11, 2007


maybe because i miss [quonsar] so damn much.

Where'd he go?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:22 AM on May 11, 2007


we have to protect it from those who seek to misuse the trust it relies upon.

We have a flagging system.
We have clear yet flexible guidelines.
We have some pretty darn good admins.

I'm pretty sure we can uncircle these wagons.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:25 AM on May 11, 2007


My motivation here isn't to explore my own arsehole

Man! I've been looking everywhere for those...
posted by Pollomacho at 7:54 AM on May 11, 2007


drezdn, for the record, it has never been conclusively proven that Ann Althouse ever murdered any hobos by strangling them with American Apparel clothing. These rumors of hobo murders are simply untrue, as far as I know.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:01 AM on May 11, 2007


I do know that I appreciate it when the folks who care enough to look into it (like you with PreacherTom) turn up a bannable shill.

If you look up the poster's name (real name in the profile, not screen name), you'll find he's a yeshiva university student from atlanta. Answers he's provided on ask.meta are pretty consistent with that profile. Unless there is an underground street team network for AA, I think we can conclude that he is just a mefi n00b and not a shill. No doubt it was a crappy post, but I doubt the intentions were to promote AA.
posted by necessitas at 8:15 AM on May 11, 2007


Corporate shills are not out to ruin Metafilter. They just aren't. And even if they were, it should be patently obvious that they're not finding success. The bent and bloodied pitchforks, the smoldering mounds of ash and cleanpicked skeletal remains littering the grounds outside castle MeFi are warning enough. Metafilter is well fortified and probably doesn't need to add to the viral marketing security detail budget.

And since fucking when is advertising not a legitimate topic for an FPP?!? Surely the post was deleted because it's crappiness emanates from its lack of meat, not because it discusses a crazy, jarring (for me) ad.
posted by kosem at 8:21 AM on May 11, 2007


p.s. cortex, less opaque deletion reasons probably help new users contribute positively to the site more than jokes.

It's a reasonable point, and one I've been trying to take into consideration. For one, AskMe deletions tend to get straighter reasons. But things on the blue like obvious doubles to or posts whose problematic nature is made clear in the first couple comments are a bit less hurting for that, in my opinion. Plus it was bleary-eyed Oh Just Kill It this morning.

Please let me know when meetups start looking like american apparel ads.

You missed the boat on that one, man.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:54 AM on May 11, 2007


p.s. cortex, less opaque deletion reasons probably help new users contribute positively to the site more than jokes.

Deletion reasons are in deleted posts. New users are not very likely to see them, and are even less likely to take deletion reasons as their bible for "contributing positively to the site." Their amusement value for the rest of us is far more important than some straw-man n00b effect.
posted by languagehat at 9:02 AM on May 11, 2007


The hat is wise. The biggest threat to MetaFilter is not viral marketing, newsfilter or blundering n00bz. It's the joyless gravity of the enormous clenched asshole, which threatens to suck laughter, snark and the ritual chastisement of the foolish into its event horizon, from which not even pantsfish can escape. Deletion reasons are, as yet, beyond the reach of the clench and there, I pray, they stay.
posted by kosem at 9:34 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is a perfect example of Moore's Law creeping into advertising. Back in the day James Dean, Hemingway, and Picasso had the decency to die before shilling for GAP.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:41 AM on May 11, 2007



You missed the boat on that one, man.


Lord have mercy! I'd overthink that plate of beans. . .
posted by flotson at 10:24 AM on May 11, 2007


Ask MeFi: Is it really true that Pepsi tastes better and gets you laid more often than Coke? I'm pretty sure it is. I'm writing a novel and I need to be sure. Thanks!
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:59 AM on May 11, 2007


Dear OxFCAF,

Only if it is PepsiBlue. Drinking Crystal Pepsi will essentially end any hopes you may have had for a sex life that involves more than your laptop and a box of tissues.

Good luck!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:07 AM on May 11, 2007


Dear flotson,

That plate of beans lives about a mile from you. Ha!
posted by dame at 2:00 PM on May 11, 2007


[dame: !--whereabouts? me=Bushwick. Central JMZ, Dekalb L. We should get together and overthink sometime.]
posted by flotson at 3:08 PM on May 11, 2007


We should get together and overthink sometime

You better overthink (overthink)
overthink what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, overthink (overthink, overthink),
let your mind go, let yourself be free
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:42 PM on May 11, 2007


Deletion reasons are in deleted posts. New users are not very likely to see them

Er, except for the new users who participated in the thread, and who read it before it was deleted, and who made the post in the first place. Come on, languagehat, you're usually at least a little more sensible than this when you snark.
posted by mediareport at 9:58 PM on May 11, 2007


The ultimate solution may be to restrict FPP posting to those who have (a) been a member for a year or more; (b) have actively participated in threads.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2007


except for the new users who participated in the thread, and who read it before it was deleted, and who made the post in the first place

Like I said, "not very likely." I didn't say "impossible."
posted by languagehat at 10:46 AM on May 12, 2007


"Not very likely" is a distortion, then. You have no way of knowing how many folks get interested in a thread before it's deleted, and the clear value to the site of even a handful of new users getting a better handle on deletions outweighs the entertainment value of tossed-off jokey deletion reasons.

Anyway, cortex has already noted there's a balance, yadda yadda. Of course there's room for humor in deletion reasons; I'm sure it's one of the few pleasures in a mostly thankless job. But this one tilted just a bit too far in the wrong direction and I thought it was worth bringing up as something that perhaps could have been done in a more useful way. Your response - "but the threads are *deleted*!! - just seemed silly.
posted by mediareport at 3:41 PM on May 12, 2007


erm...sorry for the crappy post. necessitas nailed it; I dont work for AA, I've never even been into one of thier stores. (but that's what a viral marketer would say...)

Yes, I promise to do better in the future.
posted by milestogo at 12:05 AM on May 15, 2007


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