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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
Fake Registration Day — A movement is underfoot to undermine news sites that require registration in order to read their content by submitting fake registrations en masse: We, the undersigned, wish to demonstrate the pointless nature of forced web site registration schemes and the dubious demographic data they collect. On November 13th we will each register an account using fake details at one or more of these top 10 offending sites: www.nytimes.com www.washingtonpost.com www.latimes.com www.ajc.com
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2005.   Comments (15)

Google Content Blocker — Here's a good idea: Google Content Blocker. It allows you to block all that annoying content, so you only have to see the ads: Google's mission is to organize the world's advertising for maximum exposure to Web users. Unfortunately, annoying Web content often overwhelms the page, causing many users to become distracted and overlook the ads. That's where Google Content Blocker comes in. It effectively blocks all Web site content, leaving only the advertisements... After you install…
Posted: Fri May 13, 2005.   Comments (5)

Wal-Mart Advertisements — There's an interesting Q&A in today's Stuart Elliott column in the NY Times: A Reader Asks: I have a question regarding Wal-Mart's advertising. Do you know if Wal-Mart actually uses employees in its ads or does it hire actors? I've wondered about this myself. Are there really all these happy people working at Wal-Mart? Elliott's response: The people appearing in the television commercials and print advertisements for Wal-Mart Stores are actual employees, according to Wal-Mart and…
Posted: Tue May 10, 2005.   Comments (41)

M’azing Commercials — The TV commercials for a new chocolate bar called M'azing show people doing amazing things in order to earn a bar of M'azing chocolate. In one commercial a guy balances a washing machine on his jaw. In another one a girl twists her legs all the way around her body in a way that really doesn't look possible. You can see all the ads here (quicktime and wmv format). Someone wrote in to Stuart Elliott's advertising column in the NY Times asking if the movie with the girl doing the thing…
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005.   Comments (33)


Perfect Housemate — This craigslist ad posted by a man searching for a roommate has been doing the rounds. The man starts off sounding kind of weird when he describes himself as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeons whose staff "is somewhat dubious of my methods", but then he progressively begins to sound weirder and weirder as he lists the rules that his "perfect housemate" must follow: "You must brush your teeth at least twice a day", "On every third-Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house…
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (11)

Bovine Unite — The cows are plotting something. They're meeting in secret COWncils. They're even keeping blogs. I'm not sure what it's all about, but it seems that 05.05.05 is the date when the cows will show their hand (or hoof, as it may be). (via Metafilter)
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005.   Comments (57)

Last Resort Retrieval — A few of you have noticed the strange ad that is now running on my site (in the left-hand column) for a company called 'Last Resort Retrieval' that claims to specialize in recovering stolen art. Yes it is a hoax site, or rather it's part of a marketing campaign for a product other than a company that recovers stolen art. But that's about all I can say about it, because I'm supposed to keep the secret (since they're paying me to put the ad there). The thing is, I really don't think it…
Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2005.   Comments (12)

Steve Wynn Hotel Ad — If you've seen those commercials with Steve Wynn standing on top of his hotel in Las Vegas you might find this interesting. I had assumed the shot was fake, but apparently it's not. Stuart Elliott has provided some info about this in his NY Times advertising column (I get the column sent to me by email, and I don't think it appears on the Times website, so I've pasted it below): A Reader Asks: In the new commercial for his eponymous hotel, Steve Wynn is shown atop it. Was he really up…
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005.   Comments (2)

Cure The Catch — I received this email from 'Kurto': i have been a frequent visitor of your site for some time now. Recently this bombardment of advertisements about "The Catch" has been bothering me. The ad's contain figures stating million of Canadians have the Catch, and there's no cure. I'm curious to what exactly they're referring to. The website they encourage people to visit is http://curethecatch.com i have doubts to the validity of this so called disease. See if you can dig up any dirt on…
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005.   Comments (4)

Nobody Wants Your Film — Nobody Wants Your Film appears to be a site dedicated to promoting an independent film that's been unable to find a distributor. The site encourages people to register at the site (and tell their friends to register) so that the creator of the film can convince "investors & money men that this thing is really happening" and "that they'd better jump on board before it's too late". The weird thing is that the film has some pretty well-known actors in it (Steve Buscemi, for instance), so…
Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005.   Comments (9)

Who Ordered Room Service? — Shortly before Valentine's Day I, like many people, followed a link to the site Who Ordered Room Service, which was showing a video about a room-service waiter who shows up at a hotel room and proceeds to vomit all over the couple inside. You were supposed to return to the site on the 14th to find out 'who ordered room service'. I never bothered to return, because I really wasn't that intrigued. But apparently those who did return discovered that the site was a viral online promotion…
Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005.   Comments (6)

Axe To Grind — Axe2Grind.net documents "the string of bizarre occurrences that have recently taken place in many parts of the country. The young men in these incidents share one common thread: they have all used AXE Deodorant Bodyspray." It's obviously a viral advertising campaign for AXE Bodyspray, but it's pretty amusing. I especially like the tale of Paul who is trapped in a cabin in the woods, hiding from women who have been driven insane with desire by his scent. Kind of like a 'trapped by…
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2005.   Comments (40)

The Lincoln Fry — The Lincoln Fry Blog is supposed to be a journal kept by a couple, Mike and Liz, detailing their experiences after finding a french fry at McDonalds that looks a lot like Abe Lincoln. But none of it is real (not even the comments on the blog). The site is actually part of McDonald's latest ad campaign that was launched during the Superbowl, which focuses on this fictitious Lincoln Fry. The whole thing is supposed to be a parody of the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich mania. This…
Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005.   Comments (11)

Wanted: Girl Who Knits — Speaking of truth in advertising (see post below), I'm not sure that it pays to be as truthful as this personal ad on Craigslist is: Will marry girl who knits Reply to: anon-54508796@craigslist.org Date: Wed Jan 05 07:25:22 2005 I will buy you a ring and propose to you if you can make one of these for me. I want to look silly during the winter. But then again, he may just find the girl of his dreams.
Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005.   Comments (8)

Truth in Real Estate Advertising — My wife and I are recreational open house attendees, so I'm very familiar with all those euphemisms real-estate agents use to describe really bad homes: 'fixer upper', 'needs work', 'starter home'. Here's an amusing case of a guy who managed to get an offer on his apartment by using the opposite technique: brutally honest advertising. He advertised his place as a "Gruesome two-room apartment with balcony... a very worn-out apartment." (Thanks, Gary)
Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005.   Comments (0)

Was the Forehead Ad Auction a Hoax? — Adrants reports on an interesting rumor. The recent forehead-ad auction on eBay may have been a hoax. Andrew Fischer, the guy who successfully auctioned his forehead for $37,375, seems to have had connections to SnoreStop (the company that won the auction) long before the auction occurred. Apparently he went to college with the daughter of SnoreStop's CEO... and the two of them colluded to pull off this pr stunt. The rumor has the ring of truth to it, because as Adrants says: This…
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005.   Comments (6)

The Tape — She-is-here.com and its companion site, the-tape.com, seem to be fairly obvious marketing attempts to 'blairwitch' the upcoming sequel to the horror movie, The Ring (i.e. to create hoax websites to generate interest about it). But still, I've received a couple of worried emails from people who have watched 'the tape' and are a little concerned, so I thought I should post something about it. As far as I know, no stringy-haired decomposing girl is going to crawl out of a well and kill you…
Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005.   Comments (60)

Advertise On My Pregnant Belly — So where will this trend end? We've had head-vertising, ass-vertising, and tadoos (okay, tadoos were a hoax). So it shouldn't be any surprise that one woman is pioneering pregnant-belly-vertising on eBay. Is there any part of the body that advertisers won't pay to plaster their message on? Probably not. But is this woman going to walk around with her belly showing? Even if it's cold outside? It is Winter, after all.
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (23)

The Emancipator Bubble — Even though I'm not very proficient in Spanish, I'm pretty sure that the Emancipator Bubble is a hoax. According to the machine translation, the Emancipator Bubble "is an inflatable cockpit, with bubble form, that allows you independent living without leaving the familiarity of your house." In other words, it's a large inflatable bubble that you live in, instead of just living in your room. It comes in various models, such as the Sexmancipator. This racy model is "Made with a plastic…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (7)

Volkswagen Polo Ad — Check out this ad for the Volkswagen Polo (link may be dead) that's been going around. A suicide bomber blows himself up inside the car, but the car is so tough that it contains the explosion. Seems to push the envelope a bit too much to be an actual ad commissioned by Volkswagen, and sure enough it's not. It's a 'spec ad', created by leeanddan.com. Spec ads are 'speculative ads' created to show potential clients what kind of work you're capable of doing. In other words, Volkswagen…
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (18)

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