N.B. This blog post started out talking about the latest Fisher Price toy recall. (Their toys may cause “genital bleeding” – yikes!) However, modern technology morphed the blog post into something entirely.
The Blog Aesthetic preaches about, well, smart aesthetic in communication. In offering PR counsel, we draw inspiration from everything around us – we do so to be original in our ideas and push creativity to its limits. As the corporate world is rife with really lame brands and stupid messaging, it’s worth taking the extra time to consider how customers and target audiences might develop certain perceptions or attitudes toward your business offerings… especially when promotional messaging can have unanticipated consequences or effects.
Business Insider, we’re talking to you.
Case in point: in-your-face online ads. Many people are annoyed at ads that “take over” the website; you know, the ones that push the entire page content down and force you to click “X” to make them go away. It’s bad enough that such ads can confuse the average user into thinking their browser is crashing. But what about an ad that fools you into thinking your entire computer is melting down?
Apple laptops are notorious for something called “kernel panic.” Although they have a variety of causes, recurring kernel panics might indicate that your Mac is a lemon and needs to be replaced. Like the infamous Microsoft “blue screen of death,” kernel panic causes a similar “gray screen of death.” The effect seems designed to scare the crap out of you; as you go about normal computer use, everything locks up, the desktop shades dark gray, and a new window slowly descends to give you this delightful warning message:
Now, imagine your Mac has ongoing kernel panics, and that you’ve had it repaired to fix the issue. Despite the resolution, you remain nervous that the issue may linger and threaten your precious data. So you decide to visit Business Insider to read about the Fisher Price story. All of a sudden the screen shades gray…
… and a window starts to materialize.
That’s what happened to the Blog Aesthetic this morning, giving a nice nervous shake and cold sweat to start the work day. Thankfully it was all just a page takeover ad, but the effect was eerily similar enough to kernel panic that it turned us off right away. Again, we’re all about aggressive PR, but please – take time to understand every aspect of your publicity, from start to finish, before launching your messaging!
Excellent post. It makes me hate both whatever the ad is about, as well as the site it’s on. I will never knowingly return to said site.