anger and disbelief. Whichever camp you’re in, one thing is clear: Pooper has attracted a lot of (mostly negative) attention. And that’s exactly what
its founders wanted. Page views ? even if they are hate reads ? count as “traction” for
an idea, which captures investors’ and recruiters’ attention.Welcome to the world of跑狗图解析 高清 troll products.Shock tactics within marketing are nothing new (anyone remember the Ford Ka ad where the car’s sunroof decapitated a cat?), but increasingly it is the product itself that’s becoming the source of outrage, rather than the techniques used to promote it.Online dating is an area rife with troll products, with sites designed only for the beautiful, the rich and the racist. Dating services are fundamentally undifferentiated, so finding a unique selling point is critical if a new entrant to market is going to gain any kind of userbase. In today’s era of outrage clickbait, a purposefully provocative pitch will cut through
the noise and may buy a startup enough time and attention to attract funding. One of the masters in the dark art of troll products is Brandon Wade. The strapline on his own website is (deep breaths): “Love is a concept invented by poor people.”It won’t come as a huge surprise then that he’s the man behind a number of sugar daddy dating sites including SeekingArrangement, WhatsYourPrice and MissTravel, where women offer their, er, “companionship” in return for goods and services.The jewel in his provocateur’s crown was Carrot Dating, an app that allowed members to send “bribes” to capture a potential suitor’s attention. Everything about the product was designed to enrage, from the pictures of Wade dangling actual carrots in front of scantily-clad models to the comments Wade made about women loving presents “li
ke dogs love treats”. It was
a great big stick sharpened and placed in the way of a bear. CNN called it crass, Business Insider called it sexist and Mail Online said it was prostitution. Within three weeks the app had more than 90,000 downloads.Wade seemed to have developed a new success metric: Return On
Infuriation.Some gaming apps have adopted a similar approach, eschewing original gameplay mechanics in favour of controversial content. Rack Stare, the game that rewards players for staring at wom
en’s breasts without getting caught, is a the real life embodiment of a “joke” app idea presented on stage to widespread backlash at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013. It launched in 2011, inexplicably bypassed Apple’s App Store moderators, and became the most downloade
d entertainment app in the US.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Meanwhile, the game
Boyfriend Trainer used domestic violence as a central motif. The female protagonist would slap, strangle and electrocute her partner in order to get him to behave properly. Predictably, outrage and notoriety ensued.Troll products become particularly pernicious when news organisations can directly benefit from whipping up the fury. It’s little known among readers that media companies can directly benefit from commissions by linking to products on Amazon through a process called affiliate marketing. This can encourage a more pearl-clutching approach to press coverage, encouraging readers to take-a-look-at-this-terrible-thing-you-would-have-never-otherwise-have-come-across.Case in point: this sexy PhD costume, created by Rubie’s Costumes in New Y
ork. Yes it was tacky, but no more tacky than a sexy nurse or Ghostbuster (yes, really).Careful inspection of stories written about the costume reveals the tell-tale affiliate links, unique URLs that allow Amazon
to apportion commissions to the websites that send it business. It doesn’t matter that a reader doesn’t buy the offending item - the publisher of the story will get a cut if they buy anything from the site.Sensible advice would be for us ? the media and members of the public ? to avoid feeding t
hese troll products with our breathless indignation. Ignore them and they’ll suffocate through lack of attention. But that’s not going to happen because we’re all too livid. I’m off to set up a Change.org petition against the internet. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influence
d by any advertiser or commercial initiative. By clicking on an
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