ornate line
Dear Webmaster

From today's mailbag:

Dear Webmaster,

Hi there! Forgive the intrusion...On behalf of Anheuser-Busch, we are the agency that handles Rolling Rock beer, and frankly, we need your help....

Dear Agency that handles Rolling Rock Beer (which I like)

No, usually it's not an intrusion - I mean, I could just click delete. But frankly this email from you is so unbelievably lame that you really need to be taught a lesson. Because, one thing I think we all can agree on, is that yes, you really do need my help.

Rolling Rock beer has a new video and we need to get people to watch it. We scoured the web to find cool sites like yours to drive traffic to the Rolling Rock website to watch the new video, Foul Ball.

You mean, you've promised the client you can get more bang for their buck online with blogs than if they just bought media space? I get it - I'm with you. So tell me more.

We looked at well over 1500 sites, and we're inviting you to participate BUT, we can only work with 150 of you. So, the first 150 who respond will become part of the Rolling Rock Webmaster Team (yes, you get something for helping). Read on.

So... wait. This is a first come first served thing? You spent the time and effort to select my blog from amongst the 70 million online, but if I'm slow with the clicky finger and come in 151st, I'm out? That seems a little - cavalier. Unless - is this like "act now in the next 30 minutes and we'll throw in a free colander" thing, like they do on cable?

Foul Ball is the latest in a series of videos you may have seen. The first two being Man Thong and Beer Ape. Foul Ball takes place at a baseball game where a foul ball ricochets all over the ball park, hitting a bunch of guys smack in the balls... Yes, it's funny, and you WON'T see it on TV. It's for Internet only.

It hits some guys smack in the balls? Seriously? Oh man, I'm cracking up here. You had me at "Man Thong" but - smack in the balls? That's the kind of quality entertainment you sure don't see on TV. I can just see the Creative Director in the pitch meeting : "And.....it hits a bunch of guys.... SMACK IN THE BALLS!!" Did he make a smacking sound with his hand? Because I've always found that sound effects really help these things along. And did the client nod, at the bleeding edge nature of viral content? I mean, look at the Geico cavemen. I'm seeing a 22 part sitcom on TV where a bunch of guys get smacked in the balls. This is gold. What's that? You had nothing to do with the video? You're just the agency that emails bloggers? Oh. Sorry.

Participation is easy, all you have to do is place our Rolling Rock Foul Ball banner ads on your site for two months and we'll give you a $50.00 Amazon.com e-certificate. Down the road, we'd like to call on you again to help us with various marketing campaigns.

Now, wait just one goddam minute. Banners? Across our site? For two months?? That's way over 1 million page views. For $50? That works out at about 5 cents per thousand. Or about one hundredth the going rate. Man, our Blogads are dirt cheap compared to most, and even a skyscraper on there would cost $1600 for two months. And that's for cool dudes like Pajiba who don't have a lot of cash to flash. Aren't you the same Anheuser-Busch who spent 20 million dollars to launch Bud TV???? Don't you realize how insulting that is to bloggers like us who work our asses off for almost no money? Oh no, wait, I forgot - you're just the agency that emails bloggers.

We're already a little behind, and we need you to have the banners up as soon as the video is available. So, you MUST reply to this email within 3 days with your name and email address. We will send you an email with a link to watch the video, give you the details, and sign you up.

Wait, slow down, I'm still adding it up. You're only letting 150 blogs into this thing, and paying them $50 each. That means your entire media budget is... $7500? Something tells me the hand-drawn storyboards for the video shoot probably cost more than that.

Yes, this is legitimate and we are really their advertising agency. Look at our website at <name withheld to protect the guilty>. This is a great opportunity if you want to make easy money and gain more exposure for your website. Let's help each other out!

Oh, I am helping you out, believe me. It may not feel like it. But you need to see this as a form of shock therapy. When you read this (or even more hopefully, those guys at Rolling Rock who are probably wondering who the hell gave you permission to write an email like this, and wondering where the fuck the rest of the Fifty Grand budget they gave you is going), I guarantee you'll never make the same mistake again.

Looking forward to working with you

Careful what you wish for.

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maybe its the client's idea?

said juls on May 21, 2007 10:18 PM.

Then they need better advice from their agency.

said Scaramouch on May 21, 2007 10:25 PM.

Considering how many sites I keep up with, it will be interesting to see who goes for it.

said Miss Cellania on May 21, 2007 10:34 PM.

Had the email said, "We'll send over a few cases of Rolling Rock if you run a few banners on your site," we might have had a deal.

As an aside, I think your pointed response to mass emails should be a new running feature.

said aquaman on May 21, 2007 11:32 PM.

highly likely not done by agency. maybe a hired hand to do the unglamorous copy bit in agency, you know, sales catalog and such...

said juls on May 22, 2007 3:41 AM.

Well, it could have been worse: "We'd like you to place these little Lite-Brite thingies all over Boston..."

said DrBear on May 22, 2007 7:05 AM.

Sounds like they were the offline agency...those guys are dumbasses when it comes to online.

said DWAT on May 22, 2007 8:49 AM.

How would this plan possibly "gain more exposure for your website"?

said Miss Cellania on May 22, 2007 9:13 AM.

Soooooo. Are you in?

said Bamma on May 22, 2007 4:21 PM.

The phrase "don't have a lot of cash to flash," is SO going in my webcomic. Think of all the exposure that won't help you get. But it will so help me to help each of us out (especially me)!

Geez... the least they could do is offer you a coupon good for a six pack of RR.

I second the call for making decontructing form letters a regular feature.

said Mooncity on May 23, 2007 4:17 PM.
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