Skip to main content

Sigh...'cause unfortunately, "pretty girls" still help to get clicks

A long, long time ago as an 19-ish-year old undergraduate student looking for sponsorship from companies for an event we were putting on, I was wrapping up a conversation with a Marketing Head from a local software company. They were going to be a sponsor the event, and as part of that have a recruiting/marketing booth that a few students were going to volunteer at. His parting comment; he looked me straight in the eye and said "Let's make sure there are a couple of pretty girls at our booth."

I was caught by surprise, and was simultaneously annoyed (for obvious reasons) and grudgingly admiring (the man knew his audience.)

There's nothing new or even novel about this. From time immemorial, its a tactic that's been applied to most obviously to cars, guns .... basically anything that you want us guys to buy.

Internet banner advertising is all about trying to find a way to get the users attention through great copy and content/images/flash; and in a sad commentary on my gender, pictures of women remain a time-tested way to get our attention. It helps that its also ridiculously easy for the advertiser. Grab a stock photo somewhere, and you're good to go.

I've seen this popup all over Facebook Ads for a while now, but I thought the Flextronics Android developer ads below are the start of even recruiters getting on a hill with a very slippery slope. The Flextronics Ad is kinda ok; not inappropriate and while the photograph is irrelevant its within the bounds. You could argue its wouldn't be different if they'd used say an equally irrelevant picture (e.g. stunning high-res shot of the Grand Canyon etc...which I've also seen done.)

But as advertisers compete to distract eyeballs that are reading their facebook stream , I'm betting its just a matter of time before we see more recruiters/marketers throw up an Evony style banner ads (very risque) for even more product/services.

Its going to make ad conversion metrics and quality signals a little more interesting, and add one more variable for folks to plan/control for.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…