AOL is selling fear

I can’t stand the latest AOL ads. They show an auditorium gasping in disbelief about the dangers of the Internet. An AOL representative is standing at the podium telling them about identity theft, viruses, and spyware. Those are all problems, but I don’t like how AOL is selling their solution by using fear to show value. That’s just wrong. It does do one thing though: It boosts their position as the internet on training wheels.

7 responses to “AOL is selling fear”

  1. I agree not only is it morally wrong to peddle off of peoples fears I think it goes to show you exactly how desperate AOL is to regain members. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. Thanks Chris.

  2. that ticks me off too.

    I was very put off too the first few times I saw one of the first few AOL ads of this sort where there’s a guy saying, “and we’re already working on developing software to stop viruses that haven’t even been invented yet.” how? by employing the people who write viruses and promoting the fear they want to capitalize off of? It is sad though that the American public would even consider AOL after that — like candy from a stranger’s hand.

    or maybe I’m just more cynical than the average American.

  3. AOL’s television spots have been infuriating me all this year. I can’t believe that AOL customers tolerate the company painting them as stupid, ignorant, helpless victims who think that high-speed internet actually protects them from spam and viruses. Seriously, it’s an insult to every AOL member.

  4. I remember using AOL… 12 years ago.

    It was a bad experience then, and it still is to this day, in my opinion.

    My girlfriend (now fiance) had aol on dial-up about a year ago and when she tried to cancel her account, they harrassed her for a good 5 minutes before finally doing it. Well, a month later, lo and behold, there’s an AOL charge on her checking account.

    It took her three months to get her AOL account actually deactivated. In the process, they managed to steal an extra $60 from her. Short of filing a lawsuit, there would have been nothing she could do because they had her checking account number and routing number. Incidentally, this same exact story happened to my aunt, as well as another one of my friends.

    Synopsis: I hate AOL more than I hate morons.

  5. I agreed whole-heartedly. I just assume that AOL’s mission is to take advantage of elderly or misinformed/inexperienced internet users. From everything I see them do it’s hard to imagine that this manipulation is not deliberate.

    It’s like crappy local news commercials: “Sleeping with blankets…what you might not know…could kill you — details at 11”

  6. Food, Sex, Predator are the best memes to market an idea into people’s heads. Since they have fear/predator in the ads, if they could figure out a way to work in sex, they would sell a ton! Though we don’t like them, I bet their ads are surprisingly successful.

  7. Ya umm…I have aol and, well, it sucks. Does anyone else here get a sloppy 19333kbps?? Anyway, i love flash 8 and would love to make fun of the aol commercial where they are in the auditorium, and everybody is wow’ed(50 bucks says they were all payed a lot of money to “wow” in the camera). So if anyone can get me a link to download the aol comercial, for gods sake, give it to me! check out my website if i succesfully recieve the commercial.


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