Thursday, April 7, 2011

Desperation, Ostrich advertising style

“Turn up cash for Brunswick area residents”

You know things must be getting worse and worse when you see The Ostrich abandoning all sense of propriety in the advertising they put before their shriveling reader base.

In recent months, you may have seen those full page ads for “free” electric heaters (just pay for the cabinet) made by Amish craftsman, with their full beards and straw hats, working away in a barn.  I think they even appeared on the pages of ‘The O,’ as it’s known in the abbreviated language of the trendsetters around town.

Yesterday, The O carried a classic example of huckster advertising that featured all the tell-tale stylistic nuances of the Amish craftsman ad.  It was a full page spread, opposite the op-ed page.

It’s ‘customized’ to the Brunswick area, with the town name spliced in here and there, and a list of 16 qualifying zip codes beginning with 04, one of which is ours – 04011.  We’re told to call a toll free number to reach ‘Dept. ZC1328’ if we qualify, which requires that we be among the first 7,095 (excuse me?) callers to beat the ‘48 hour deadline.’

The 1/3 page photo is a real laugher: it shows 5 uniformed and armed guards rolling around sheets of $2 bills, with an arsenal of some serious weaponry off to the side.  No beards and straw hats, but all the faux authenticity of the Amish ad.

Here’s the deal.  If you ‘beat the deadline,’ you can purchase four, count ‘em, four $2 bills, uncut and never circulated, in a lovely vinyl ‘bankers portfolio,’ with certificate, of course, for $48 plus shipping.  If you’re really qualified, you can get the ‘Vault Stack’ of three portfolios, or a total of twelve $2 dollar bills, for $144 plus shipping.  But wait!!!!  You’ll be allowed to claim as many as 10 Vault Stacks!  Get the smelling salts, Stella!

This ‘rare and limited’ offer is ‘being released’ by “The World Reserve” to Brunswick area residents.  The ad says “it’s impossible to predict how much the bills will be in the future.”  It’s also impossible to find any proof that these bills are US Treasury currency.

In fact, just the opposite seems to be the case, since “The World Reserve Monetary Exchange” disavows affiliation with any bank or government agency.

Which leaves us with these final thoughts:

One could argue that the $144 plus shipping for a Vault Stack seems like a good deal when compared to $130 for a year’s subscription to The Ostrich.

The Ostrich apparently doesn’t much care whether or not elderly folks and others easily impressed by such garbage throw money down the rat hole.  Caveat reader!

The ad placement, opposite the op-ed page, is most cunning; the advertiser recognizes that anyone who gobbles up the opinions offered by Ostrich editors is an easy mark for such hustles.

Instead of getting the usual full page ad rate, maybe the editors should have asked for one of those carts of $2 bills to pay off their property tax bills.  Town officials should be delighted.

On a final note, It shouldn’t be too long before the Page 1, above the fold Ostrich lead is “Charlie Sheen claims to be descendant of aliens.”  Or  “Oprah Winfrey’s love child surfaces to stake claim to fortune; wants it in Vault Stacks of $2 bills.”

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1 comment:

  1. Don't hold your breath, the letter from the Nigerian Prince trying to reclaim his inheritance is coming next.