October 11, 2003

Desperate Measures from a Desperate Brand

In their ongoing campaign to make their customers hate them, AOL announced this week:AOL Instant Messenger to Run TV-Like Ads

America Online plans to launch a new ad offering in November on its AOL Instant Messenger service that will let marketers deliver creative executions that resemble TV commercials.
You've got to admire a company that is so consistent in identifying what its customers like and then mucking it up. It isn't enough that logging onto AOL most resembles the 30 minutes of ads and previews that come before the movie you've paid to see. It isn't enough that they've covered the earth three times over with their discs. And it isn't enough that their chats rooms spawn more teenage sexual encounters than puberty itself.

No. Now it seems that the mighty brain trust at AOL has decided that the one thing you need to see more of on AIM is .... television commercials! Yes, that is the one thing that America demands in 2003 -- "Give us MORE! television commercials! Especially when we're talking with our friends."

It seems that the craven money grubbing AOL does have its form of corporate shame. The article in ADweek notes that they are just a wee bit nervous that the 30 million users of AIM might contain more than a few people that would react in negative numbers to this new innovation. A spokesclone for AOL claimed that "will run only two of these ads during a 24-hour period and will block the same one from appearing in the same day, " [Only at the beginning, of course...] and that ""We've encouraged our partners to be very creative and go beyond the re-purposed [TV] spot," said Bernstein.

Oh, yes, yes, yes! The "Be Creative" angle... that's sure to cover up the fact that your AIM is being videospammed. It's clear that AOL views the AIM users as possessed of something south of a three digit IQ.

Bernstein remarks he expects advertisers to be attracted to AIM's "bipolar demographic." Bipolar? Too many TV ads in your IM and you'll become bipolar -- if you aren't already there.

Posted by Vanderleun at October 11, 2003 9:17 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

>> It's clear that AOL views the AIM users as possessed
>> of something south of a three digit IQ.

They're right. Everybody with a brain left AOL years ago.

Posted by: Bruce H. at October 12, 2003 11:26 AM

Well... well... welll........ humm.... you're right.

Posted by: Vanderleun at October 14, 2003 11:51 AM