Wednesday, August 20, 2008

True Or False

Today was pretty much perfect.
In terms of the weather, I mean; in every other regard it was pretty much just a day like any other, neither overwhelmingly good nor overwhelmingly bad, just, well, a day.
But the weather? Sunny, comfortable temperature, nice breeze…like I said, perfect.
Overall, I have to say it’s been a nice, mild summer. With a few exceptions, this summer hasn’t been marked by the usual oppressive swampiness.
Beyond having nice weather, there hasn’t been much of anything about today that was terribly interesting.
Stopped at the comic shop on the way home. Nothing terribly notable in the stack, with a lot of competition for the top of the pile (which is to say, the comic I want to read least, as I save the best for last).

Results Not Typical Department:
One of the things that really annoys me about commercials for diet pills and programs is that they show these people who have lost massive amounts of weight, then put up a disclaimer saying “Results Not Typical.”
Why can’t we see the typical results? The implication is that for most people your pills/programs don’t work for shit, so by showing these extraordinary results, you’re kind of defeating the purpose of advertising.
Or at least you would be if you were advertising something other than a miracle diet pill/program, as fatasses around the world are eager to believe anything you say if you tell them that they can lose weight without messing around with diet and exercise.
Which actually leads me back to the question of why we can’t see the typical results, since people will buy what you’re selling and believe that it will lead them to drop 200 pounds overnight no matter what.
Anyway, it’s not my intention to delve into an examination of marketing weight loss products, but rather the marketing of online dating services.
If you’ve spent any time on the Web recently – and in particular on Digg – you’ve no doubt seen some of the animated ads for the dating site True featuring attractive, young, large-breasted women in skimpy outfits who appear to be amused, embarrassed, or titillated by the online conversations they’re having with another customer of the service, such as the examples pictured below:

Obviously I knew that these ads were a clear case of “Results Not Typical,” and that True was being, well, False, but even so, I opted to do a search just to see how atypical these results really were.

Even after leaving the search options as broad as possible, I only ended up with one search result, and I have to say that I was shocked – shocked! – to find that the person I found was not a large-breasted twenty-something lingerie model.
In fact, she was 35, and…well, I can’t really describe her without being terribly I’ll be as mean as possible and say that she was straight-up fugly with a capital FUG.
Beyond her appearance, the actual photograph looked like it was taken in the 1970s, with the greenish, washed-out color and graininess of a Polaroid camera of that era.
Yet it also looked kind of like a high school student’s senior picture from that time period, although the woman herself looked much older than a typical high school senior in the way that students did in pictures from the 1950s.
To make a reference that only my mom and Kevin will understand, it looked like one of the senior pictures hanging on the wall at Joel’s house. Of one of the boys.
Seriously; the chick looked like one of Joel’s brothers.
So, while there are people who are looking for love who are every bit as desperate as the people looking to lose weight without having to exercise or watch what they eat, I can understand why True chooses to go the Results Not Typical route.

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