Wackiest attempted priestcraft, Google version

November 15, 2007 | 12 comments
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Check out these wacky ads, straight off of today’s Gmail sidebar.

One promises complimentary “Book of Mormon ringtones.” (Um, I’ll take the “Lamanites met others who were seeking liberty” ringtone, please.)

Alas, it doesn’t actually deliver — if you’re unfortunate enough to click on the link, you’re merely redirected to a separate page that asks for your cell phone number and mentions in fine print that if you do give them your number, you’ll be enrolled into a $10 a month cell-phone ringtone plan. (The “Mormon Ringtones” ad does the same.) Yay, priestcraft!

But wait, there’s more! Take a look down the screen — there’s a link promising “Bargain prices. Smart deals. Save on Mormon garments!” (Because Beehive clothing is so darn expensive?)

This one is also merely an illusion. It pulls up a shopzilla page, which returns a message that no Mormon garments were found. Um, that’s a good thing, right?

What will appear in the gmail sidebar next? Slave ships? The church itself? Only time will tell.

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12 Responses to Wackiest attempted priestcraft, Google version

  1. BHodges on November 15, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve been offered the chance to join an LDS Swingers site. It was a redirected url, of course.

  2. Ray on November 15, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Wow. Some people have too much time on their hands and twisted imagination in their heads.

  3. cchrissyy on November 15, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Ray, it’s not even that exciting- large companies often write adwords that auto-fill with the search terms… such as

    X Y For Less
    Looking for X Y?
    Find exactly what you want today.
    http://www.eBay.com

    Y X
    Bargain Prices.
    Smart Deals.
    Shopzilla.com

    Target and Nextag do this a lot too. try it with any vaguely retail related words… I used “onion sauce”, “vintage ironing” and ‘organic paint”, but you can surely get more creative.

  4. Kaimi Wenger on November 16, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Or maybe they think Mormons are nice and gullible.
    posted by Mardell (I can not get this computer to sign out of Kaimi’s account)

  5. dilversmith on November 16, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Kaimi or Mardell how can you be “Comment by Kaimi Wenger — 11/16/2007 @ 12:26 am ” when its only 10:10 or 11:10 on the 15th?

  6. Ray on November 16, 2007 at 1:38 am

    Time is not measured unto Kaimi.

  7. Mark D. on November 16, 2007 at 3:56 am

    This stuff is all generated algorithmically, pasting words together to get click throughs and then cross sell something else (something that they actually do have). False advertising the vast majority of the time.

  8. claire on November 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t get a Target ad in there. Seems like anything I google can be purchased at Target according to their ads. Find “x” at Target!

  9. Matt on November 16, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Speaking of bargain prices, it would be funny to see an ad for The Book of Mormon at bargain prices – that blue paperback version the missionaries give away is just too much for my wallet. ;)

  10. Kaimi Wenger on November 16, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Exactly, Chrissy.

    By the way, those are pretty good searches. I just ran one for “plaid paint.” Apparently, I can find plaid paint on ebay.

  11. Ray on November 16, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Fwiw, #2 was meant to be a joke. I actually have worked in sales and marketing for the past 10 years and am well aware of the tactic that generated the ads.

  12. Pam Birch on November 18, 2007 at 1:15 am

    #10, Kaimi, To read it as plaid paint, it causes one to question what someone is thinking. Crazy sounding things can be explained. Plaid is a brand of craft paint, craft supplies and patterns.