Advertsing Gone Mad
January 18, 2006 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Ever since the Million Dollar Homepage, the web world's advertisers and quick buckateers have gone PixelAdvertising mad. Buy building bricks and fill a room, buy desktop icons and buy even more pixels. Now roofs are the next target (literally) - where will it end?

I would offer adspace on my head, but that's already been done to death. Whatever's next? I can turn the internet off, but its starting to look like I'll have to pull the blind down next time I fly.
posted by RhidianJ (36 comments total)
That particular roof is near the airport and is likely targeted at passengers on incoming planes rather than viewers of online satellite imagery, but hey, it's earned media.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:17 AM on January 18, 2006

Ah right - that makes sense but you kind of get the feeling that it won't be long before its everywhere to target those popular map things. I can see farmers selling space in crops and stuff. It's bonkers.
posted by RhidianJ at 6:20 AM on January 18, 2006

And of course there's always RentMyChest and ReadMyBoobs (not safe for work).
posted by Gator at 6:20 AM on January 18, 2006

Yeah, but the rural areas tend not to get the high resolution stuff, and with the time lag between the photo getting taken and it getting incorporated into Google Earth, etc., that could be a problem for those companies that change their logos and names more frequently than the image updates. (Now it's called Nesquik, dammit! Edit your childhoods!)
posted by mcwetboy at 6:24 AM on January 18, 2006

You can turn the Internet off? You must be teh 1337 hax0r. Do you mean you can disconnect your computer from the Internet?
posted by Eideteker at 6:26 AM on January 18, 2006

Tun it off - on my PC of course. Can the internet ever be turned off? Can you imagine the horror? :D
posted by RhidianJ at 6:28 AM on January 18, 2006

Ironically, Digg has a FP story on Million Dollar Homepage being ransomed.
posted by rachsumat at 6:32 AM on January 18, 2006

See - everyone is trying to make money from it!
posted by RhidianJ at 6:36 AM on January 18, 2006

I almost posted This to the FP the other day. Claiming The Million Dollar Homepage as his inspiration..He will give 50% to the Red Cross...whataguy! Give me some money for an ad on my page, and I'll give half of it to charity.

I especially like his FAQ , including this gem:

How do I know you're really giving 50% of the proceeds to the Red Cross?
If you want to check up on me, that's fine. I encourage you to do so!
Feel free to contact the Red Cross directly or e-mail me & I can scan confirmation e-mails from my donations and send those to you.
posted by lobstah at 6:42 AM on January 18, 2006

See Rock City!
posted by kimota at 6:44 AM on January 18, 2006

The digg thing is fake.

It links to or some such nonsense. In effect, a rip-off off the original
however, I think it's all so depressingly dumb that I'm not going to provide any links or do any more research about it.

posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:49 AM on January 18, 2006

sucks to see someone take advantage of DIGG like that.

But it looks like the milliondollar homeage is actualy full now. That's friggin' amazing :P Too bad no one will ever go to the site again.
posted by delmoi at 6:59 AM on January 18, 2006

The BBC has an article on the ransom too, even if the link on Digg was bogus :
posted by rachsumat at 7:02 AM on January 18, 2006

Yeah, you don't want your forehead to be the subject of a DDoS attack.
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:05 AM on January 18, 2006

I can see farmers selling space in crops and stuff.

They've been doing that for many many years already. Some recent examples (scroll to the bottom for images).

Last summer there was a "crop circle competition" in the south of Sweden, where the farmer with the best crop-art won some cold hard cash and a nice aerial shot of their art. Shame I cant find images of that online as it was rather neat.
posted by dabitch at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2006

posted by shoepal at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2006

ps - If I hear yet another pitch for a million-something-homepage I'm going to scream. I've gotten at least one a day submitted ever since Alex fibbed his way into the news. Argh!
posted by dabitch at 7:53 AM on January 18, 2006

Does "clever" advertising, like buying a few pixels on the Million Dollar Homepage, work (I mean, it certainly worked for the person who set it up) terms of advertising-driving-traffic-to-my-business working? Last time I was there, all I saw was a collection of worthless and indecipherable crud. I guess at least it was all in one place (a blacklist of places I would never ever visit).

< feigned surprise> Man, this advertisamagrafication sure is PERVASIVE! < /feigned surprise>
posted by tpl1212 at 7:59 AM on January 18, 2006

I never visited the million dollar hoomepage.

If you did please kill yourself.
posted by HTuttle at 7:59 AM on January 18, 2006

tpl1212 - I doubt the million-something thing ever works. First of all, a real advertiser wants targeted traffic, that is people that might be interested in the their stuff (beer lovers to come check out their beer for instance), rather than just randomly bug random people all over the planet which is what is happening here. People might check the million dollar page but they probably won't click onwards. And if they do, the remote chance they might care for what is offered on the sponsor page is +- nil. The only thing sponsors can hope for is that the pagerank of the milliondollar page somehow gives them fame, and they climb in the search engines score just for being listed there. That pixel-collecting page is nothing but an old fashioned FreeForAll links page, with some press coverage. Searchengines might even begin "punishing" sites listed on it, like they do with FFA-listed URL's.
posted by dabitch at 8:07 AM on January 18, 2006

When BoingBoing picked up the Target roof advertisement the other day, it bothered me, as Cory had once again picked up something from a blog and taken it at face value as the truth. Commenting on BoingBoing entries is next to impossible, so I let it slide, even though it irked me that something could be attributed to Google that had been taking place well before Google had come into existance.

Now I see it here. Sheesh. At least we've got a good community, and it was pointed out in the very first comment.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:24 AM on January 18, 2006

Fantastic forehead mock-up by the BBC, there - glad to see my licence fee is going towards paying some really top-notch Photoshoppers!
posted by gene_machine at 8:53 AM on January 18, 2006

Auctioning 30 days of adspace on your forehead? What a puss. Kari Smith plays for keeps.
posted by hypocritical ross at 9:05 AM on January 18, 2006

Now I think I understand why people hate marketers so much.
posted by fenriq at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2006

dabitch - some companies will try ANYTHING in the name of profit. (Golden Palace Casino being a good example)

May I know why you refer to Alex and the MDH as a hoax? All the evidence I've seen so far shows he's legit...
posted by divabat at 10:37 AM on January 18, 2006

This is true divabat - Goldnpalace were one ofthe first to buy space on that millionwhatever homepage too. All they want is for you to remember their URL when the gambling urge hits you, no branding nor targeting needed. ;) Their tactic is like - except for real as proven by Kari Smith.

thanotopsis - glad to see I'm not the only one bothered by it appearing on boingboing like that. It's not a google-map thing, it's an old thing.
posted by dabitch at 10:53 AM on January 18, 2006

dammit, spellcheck.
posted by dabitch at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2006

what depths will marketers sink to? I cannot imagine how low they'd go.

I'm waiting for people to start renting out ad space on their pets. what a great way to profit! Temporary tattoo with "" on the side of your hound.
posted by drstein at 11:35 AM on January 18, 2006

BoingBoing makes corrections all the time, and they've already updated this particular story. Although you can't comment, they are pretty quick to respond to e-mails (or at least that's the impression I get).
posted by Sibrax at 12:30 PM on January 18, 2006

I'm waiting for people to start renting out ad space on their pets.

posted by hypocritical ross at 12:33 PM on January 18, 2006

Blackmailers Target $1 Million Website.
posted by ericb at 12:44 PM on January 18, 2006

Now roofs are the next target (literally)

I was using Google Earth this weekend and I thought to myself that I should paint something on the roof of my garage so I can see it, maybe some (non corporate) 16x16 pixel art.
posted by bobo123 at 1:08 PM on January 18, 2006

From the Kari Smith link: "She plans to use the $10,000 to send her son Brady, left, to a private school."

I think I'd rather have a mother with a soul.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2006

And here's one that might actually work. Announced February 6, it has 9 newspapers signed up so far with only 403 visitors.
posted by tellurian at 10:03 PM on February 7, 2006

Still early days but it seems to be taking off - 24 newspapers with 669 visitors now. Mainstream papers too (Times, SMH, Express, etc).
posted by tellurian at 5:00 AM on February 10, 2006

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