03 April 2012

in perfection but a little moment

We're all familiar with the ads that appear in the sidebars of web pages, promising us freedom from credit card debt, guaranteed weight loss, and cheaper auto insurance. Sometimes they're just text, but other times they're illustrated with stock images of cars, poorly Photoshopped headshots of pretty models, or animations of dancing aliens.

This morning, such an ad appeared in the border of a newspaper article I was reading. It promised

A shocking trick gets rid of wrinkles fast. Try this one weird solution and look years younger!
and was accompanied by a photo of an apparently middle-aged woman, hair covered by a bandanna, a reddish substance smeared over her face.

I don't click these ads, partly because I don't wish to give them traffic and partly because I always suspect them of being fronts for malware, but I confess I am curious about (and also somewhat disturbed by) this one. What is that red stuff? Blueberry jam? The blood of sacrificed innocents?



  1. Possibly cupuaçu, though that isn't actually red. It has been the basis of several "weird solution" anti-aging scams, though.

    1. Yeah, this was definitely a red-purplish sort of colour -- like she'd smeared crushed pokeberries on her face or something like that. Or blueberry jam. Which is probably more likely than the 'blood of innocents' kind of shocking, but who knows.

    2. I think those ads tend to go for visual impact for their graphics rather than a sense of real-world accuracy of the product. (On a related note, a "How Old Is Your Body" ad is currently popping up with a "Clever Mom Reveals Free Trick to a Wrinkle Free Face. Shocking Results!" - and yet the accompanying image is clearly a photo of Jennifer Aniston, who is, as far as I know, nobody's mom.)

    3. Yeah, I know -- it's just that if I were going for "visual impact" on an anti-aging scam, I would probably not choose something evocative of Elizabeth Bathory. But that's just me, and what do I know about their target demographic?


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