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AdVantage: Cut out the dot comedy!
by Ryan Monceaux, Editor In Chief

Is there anything worse than the glut of dot com ads that continue to penetrate television and radio airwaves that make pathetic little attempts at humor? Instead of building a brand or focusing an ad campaign on a particular service or product, dot coms have caved to the ever-growing peer pressure of trying to be the funniest or wittiest or to have the coolest celebrity. Well, for those of us with altruistic tendencies, I beg: Enough already!

It may never be known who began the lunacy of advertising online sites with quasi-comedic offline campaigns, but it is very easy to count on one hand the number of sites or onlines services that have actually benefited their traffic with these promotions. E*trade's Super Bowl exploits of this year, along with Monster.com's "When I grow up" campaign may be the only legitimate offline movements that have used humor wisely and profitably since dot coms began television and radio advertisements. One could argue that Pets.com has been successful with the humor displayed in it's Sock Puppet campaign, but the site has also managed to brand itself incredibly well in the pet supply market while infiltrating popular culture as America obsesses over the SpokesSock.

Dot com's have become a staple of mainstream advertising, as print, television and radio execs all line up to cash in on the Internet's promise. However, since the mid-April stock market recess, ad money has become tight and the strategies of many companies should be reexamined. Although hundreds of companies have either halted or pulled in the reins of their offline ad campaigns, dozens more continue the clutter in an overly saturated marketplace, where the popular belief that comedy equates branding simply does not add up.



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