I have a cold. I’m grumpy.
It’s also the weekend and I want to look at pointless crap on any screen that’s available.
With that in mind, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw this:
Yes, it’s a sponsored post. Yes, I expected banner ads and rollover ads on the page of the video… but I still expected to see a video of cats doing stupid stuff.
I’m one of those people suckered by cat videos (clearly), but I also have a cat of my own who does daft things, including falling asleep in sinks, furthering my interest.
Good stuff. It’s clearly still a video about cats – a Youtube video, with a play button to click. Feline stupidity should follow.
Leaving me both baffled and mildly irritated, the play button clicked through to this
It’s not a rollover ad, or a ‘skin’, it’s the actual website (or a landing page on the site) for Xero, prompting me to get a free trial of their software, to then buy it.
This is, quite possibly, the shittest marketing I’ve ever come across.
Who’s advising Xero on this: an in-house team? Some dopey consultancy who’ve told them that this is a ‘bold lead generation campaign’?
Just to be clear – I’m being tricked into buying accountancy software. The hope is that my mind has suddenly switched from ‘oooh, I want to watch a cat video’ to ‘oooh, actually, I fancy buying accountancy software, now that it’s been suggested’?
In what world does that happen? In what world do Xero/marketing execs think that an audience with the mindset to wind down and watch no-brainer, silly cat videos, will suddenly enjoy being interrupted by a serious commercial message / spam ad to buy accountancy software? Not only are the two things not even remotely linked, they couldn’t be at more opposite ends of the spectrum. Bizarre. Utterly bizarre.
And – to Xero or any other company that thinks this is a good way to market/sell products – do you not think the audience might also feel duped that you lured them with a cat video just to get them to your site, because you couldn’t think of any other way? Do you think that makes you come across as trustworthy or, perhaps, a little underhand? Is it possible that it actually pisses off the people who were waiting for a cat video? Is it also possible that they previously felt nothing for Xero, but now feel minor annoyance? To my mind, I’d now rather get Sage software over Xero, simply because, of the two, Sage haven’t annoyed me in any way.
A really stupid move – I cannot think what possessed Xero or their marketing agency to do this. No relevance, shady tactics, underhand, and just a bit odd.