Archives for posts with tag: conversion


This ad (in many variations) is all over the Web.

Who is this guy? A cult leader hiding from the authorities in some shack? The drummer of a forgotten 80’s hair band? Someone on death row?

He certainly doesn’t look like a homeowner who failed to take advantage of the government refinance plan.

There are only two explanations for this abomination:

1. The client/agency only cares about clicks, not conversions

A mugshot combined with boring but factual copy results in: “What the hell is this all about?” Some people will click and check it out, just for the fun of it. And bounce off immediately. No serious person in search for mortgage relief will trust after associating a mugshot with house payments. Maybe the mugshot guy is the actual administrator you’re dealing with?

2. The client/agency believes it’s all about attention, not what impression you make

There are some disturbing commercials out there (kids peeing in the pool, remember?) but 99% of the time the disruption has something to do with the product/service. You’re looking at the 1%. Is it really ok to show a person that scares the living daylights out of me just to get some attention? Maybe. Does it convert? Never.

Well, there’s a third explanation…

3. I don’t understand anything about advertising and this has been the campaign with the highest conversion rate

Please let me know I would love to see the results and the thinking behind this campaign. If I’m wrong and this trash converted more people than any other, generic advertising, please let me know. I’ll close down shop. Not sure what I’ll do. Maybe I start at the bottom: Waving one of those arrows at the local tax return joints, wearing a Statue of Liberty costume.


We have this view of the world that the super-mega market leaders in one niche or market have a superpower that will guarantee success in new markets. The current Facebook S1 release is just another sign of this irrational view. “Facebook dominates advertising.” “Facebook more important for advertisers than Google.” “Mark Zuckerberg for President.”

The majority of brands are only good at doing one thing. If you hit the jackpot, they are good at 2 things. Almost nobody is good at three things. Remember when Facebook Places was launched and every dopey pundit proclaimed the end of Foursquare? (Including this dope.) Or when Google Wave launched? Google Buzz? G Phone? When Yahoo tried social. (Let’s not hate on a corpse.) When Microsoft got into mobile hundreds of years ago and never achieved their goals? Or when Apple tried social?

Size does matter. But it’s not everything.

There are rare instances where companies can crush a competitor: IE vs. Netscape comes to mind. But it’s not common. That’s why you shouldn’t be brainwashed by the size of a company, focus on the excellence of a company. Facebook is really good at growing their user base, allowing us to share information with family and friends. They belong in the user baser growing Hall of Fame. Does Facebook do anything else that belongs in the Hall of Fame? Deals? Places? Commerce? Advertising Conversion? Monetization. Nope. They didn’t even make the roster, riding the Minor League bus.

Will Google ever succeed in social? Google+ is doing okay but it’s not in the same league as Facebook and Twitter. They even show cracks in their dominance of the search business. Microsoft’s browser domination is gone. Soon, Facebook will see increasing fatigue and the brainwashing of a new shiny tool. While we live longer, social platforms life expectancy tends to decrease.

Don’t get fooled by size. On Sunday, many advertisers will link their advertising to Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. That’s foolish. Facebook owns all the data. Who guarantees you that they don’t sell it to your closest competitor?

Look at the big picture and have a long-term strategy. If you put more and more eggs in Facebook, you need to move some out and put them in different platforms. It’s not about new platforms, it’s about experimenting with better ways to market, platforms that convert and technologies that are effective in achieving your business goals.