1. “Dermatologists Hate Her – Area Mom’s One Weird Trick to Eliminate Wrinkles”
First of all, it’s a pretty bold move to lead with the people that are enraged by your product. If there are, in fact, dermatologists whose blood boils with fury at the very mention of this local mom, they should probably be kept as far away from the advertisement as possible.
And hey, as much as we may dislike them, dermatologists are technically doctors: their hatred of your product doesn’t reflect that well on whatever you’re selling. You might regret egging these guys on when one of them shows up on daytime television to talk about how your product causes lesions and something called “facial diarrhea.”
2. “Should This Muscle Growth Supplement Be Illegal?”
Judging by these poorly photoshopped images of 12-year olds with impossibly swollen muscles, yes. Yes it should be.
We all want our kids to grow up healthy, but that’s not “climb all the way up the rope in gym class” strong – that’s “carry your parents to very depths of Hades and dash their worthless bodies on the rocks of Tartarus” strong. Oh, the hubris of parenthood! Has history taught us nothing?
And again, why are you leading with something about how most experts disapprove of what you’re doing? It’s fun to brag about your exercise regiment, but “these pills I’m taking are super illegal, bro” has to be one of the weirdest brags of all time.
3. “These Five Facts About Your Favorite Disney Movies Will RUIN Your Childhood!”
Oh great. Yeah, that’s just great, you sketchy-looking clickbait site. You know what, go ahead. Make my day and RUIN my childhood. I dare you. I double dare you. Hit my childhood with your best shot.
Let me explain something to you, because I think it’s something that most people who write content for the internet don’t seem to know: you can’t RUIN my childhood. Because my childhood was already RUINED when Barney died at my birthday party.
THAT’S RIGHT. WHEN I WAS FOUR YEARS OLD, A MAN IN A PURPLE DINOSAUR SUIT CAME TO MY PARTY, HAD A PIECE OF MY CAKE AND DIED BECAUSE HE NEGLECTED TO INFORM US ABOUT HIS PEANUT ALLERGY.
Oh, you can see the outline of a lady’s butt on the Lion King DVD cover? Wow, that’s horrible. I’m sure it’s going to take years of therapy to reverse that, too.
4. Every single slideshow from Answers.com
Look, it’s not like we don’t get your angle. Listicles are obviously the form of the moment: they’re fun, they’re easy to read, and they drive up traffic. Slideshows are even better because you get nine or ten clicks (one for each slide) where a normal article only gets one. These articles can be about basically anything while distracting the reader from the fact that they’re really about the myriad tortures one beef jerky company can inflict on Bigfoot.
But answers.com takes this whole business model to its very ridiculous conclusion. Every slide is actually two slides long because the actual content happens to be in the most humongous font available. It also looks like someone broke into the writers’ room in the dead of night and stole every single apostrophe from their keyboards.
To top it all off, the material is packed with invasive ads. I once abandoned a slideshow halfway through because a pop-up convinced me that my laptop had somehow contracted ebola. I no longer lie awake wondering which celebs have had work done, but I do worry that opening my emails will later cause me to poop blood.
5. Stop Living in Fear of the Phone – Make One Call and Pay Off Your Credit Debt for Good!
Why don’t you just skip to the part where you send over Montel Williams to break my kneecaps?