McKinney Silver Behind Pherotones Viral

pherotones.jpg

In yet another clandestine viral effort, it appears North Carolina agency McKinney has cooked up a viral marketing campaign promoting Pherotones, ring tones that, apparently, cause sexual attraction. While the site is obviously a joke, a little snooping around reveals it's a marketing ploy. From a fake Wikipedia listing that's been labeled suspect to fake interviews with Boing Boing to suspicious Whois info to all sort of IP address foolery, clearly, McKinney is up to no good.

We're sure all the McKinney folks are huddled around their computers today laughing at all of us writing about their cute little effort, waiting patiently for the right moment to reveal the client behind this ploy. While you're all reading this you sneaky little McKinney truth-benders, remember, people don't like liars. The law doesn't like doctors who aren't doctors claiming they are doctors and, ever so coincidentally, BuzzAgent, the former master of deception, just released a study that says people hate stealth marketing, are offended when lied to and, get this, a brand fares far better when all is honestly presented upfront than when it's not. Do your homework guys. The days of trickster marketing are over.

OK, OK. So it is a little funny after it sinks in. Still blatantly dishonest.

UPDATE: I knew I had seen that doctor image somewhere before. Smartly, McKinney has placed a BlogAds campaign increasing the likelihood bloggers will go easy on the campaign. They forgot to buy Adrants though:-)

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Viral, Worst   

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Comments



Comments

Interesting commentary from someone running a site containing ads disguised as edit like the flippies ad.

Posted by: Mike on January 19, 2006 3:45 PM


Well, I now see what happens when someone tries to spread a little extra love in the world, and it makes me sad.

McKinney is doing great work for me, and I take full responsibility for the content of the pherotones.com site.

I expected a vigorous scientific debate, not a slobbering geekfest over the ethics of advertising and marketing on the web (How oxymoronic can you get?)

If my ideas threaten the establishment, then let's debate them openly and strenuously, this issue you raise is a red herring meant to distract from the true question: Do Pheromoes exist, and if so, do they work.

My message of hope and sexual fulfillment for all of mankind deserves a thorough examination, but lets talk about my Hypothesis, not my marketing plan.

Let's have that debate at my blog pherotones.blogspot.com. I welcome all comers.

Very sincerely yours,

Dr. Myra Vanderhood
doctor@pherotones.com

Posted by: Dr. Myra Vanderhood on January 19, 2006 4:37 PM

Well, I now see what happens when someone tries to spread a little extra love in the world, and it makes me sad.

McKinney is doing great work for me, and I take full responsibility for the content of the pherotones.com site.

I expected a vigorous scientific debate, not a geekfest over the ethics of advertising and marketing on the web (How oxymoronic can you get?)

If my ideas threaten the establishment, then let's debate them openly and strenuously, this issue you raise is a red herring meant to distract from the true question: Do Pherotones exist, and if so, do they work.

My message of hope and sexual fulfillment for all of mankind deserves a thorough examination, but lets talk about my Hypothesis, not my marketing plan.

Let's have that debate at my blog pherotones.blogspot.com. I welcome all comers.

Very sincerely yours,

Dr. Myra Vanderhood
doctor@pherotones.com

Posted by: Dr. Myra Vanderhood on January 19, 2006 4:41 PM

You know, Dr. McKinneycopywriter, the more times I read your comment, the more sense it makes!

Posted by: scott on January 19, 2006 4:51 PM

Mike, interesting indeed, although less than obviously marked, it does say it's an ad. It will be more clearly marked once my designer deals with it. Hardly comparable the Pherotones.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 19, 2006 5:23 PM

Dr., we're glad you are happy with McKinney, a fine agency, and that you take full responsibility for the content of the site but did you have to go to all that effort to conceal the site through whois trickery?

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 19, 2006 5:28 PM

Oh sorry. My fault. It was a strategy to purposefully raise the ire of blowhards like the publisher of Adrants and other blogs so we'd all write about it. Unfortunately, none of that writing is giving any publicity to the client you are doing this for.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 19, 2006 5:31 PM

The kind doctor has pled her case on AdPulp, as well. At least McKinney knows enough to reach out and engage. When they drop the fake come ons, they may really get somewhere.

Posted by: David Burn on January 19, 2006 5:31 PM

Lots of comments, here, and not a single audiologist, biologist, physiologist, neurologist or organic chemist in the bunch?

Sad...you don't even know enough to refute my science.

Hard to take any of you seriously until you can make a strong case that pherotones do not exist.

Science is a lot more fun than advertising theory and criticism.

The signal to noise ratio over here is very low.

Posted by: Dr. Myra Vanderhood on January 19, 2006 6:45 PM

Not a neurologist, but someone who has studied neuroscience and cognition. For someone using "Dr." Myra, you should know the difference between impirical and empirical on your blog. So yes, I can "refute your science" or speak to the marketing campaign, take your pick.

Posted by: Dr. Tom Trainham on January 19, 2006 10:57 PM

I'm getting hot Doctor Myra. You're not a stealth man are you?

Posted by: owen on January 20, 2006 12:28 AM

Get over yourselves, would you? Sometime you all are pretty funny with your critique but sometimes you seem to think yourselves the keeper of the ethos for marketing specifically and society in general. We don't need you or the religious right to help us out. We got it covered.

It's a JOKE and jokes have been used to advertise with much success. People do like to laugh.

Geez.

Posted by: Michael Carter on January 20, 2006 8:27 AM

http://www.ncdoj.com/consumerprotection/cp_about.jsp

"(North Carolina) Attorney General Roy Cooper's Consumer Protection Division works to protect the public from unfair and deceptive business practices.

http://www.ncdoj.com/consumerprotection/cp_complaints_instructions.jsp

"Instructions for Filing a Complaint"

What would be the signal to noise ratio in this post Myra?

Posted by: violin111000 [TypeKey Profile Page] on January 20, 2006 10:06 PM

I hadn't even been thinking of it in terms of ethical behavior, Michael, but you're right! I believe Dr. Myra is pretending to have an advanced degree, knows nothing about signal detection theory (signal to noise ratio comment to the contrary).

Being one of Dr. Myra's hypno-entranced pherotonic love slaves, I have to dismiss your comments Michael. But Myra, it's now my mission to expose you as the phony you are - as I'm sure the only advanced degree you have came on the back of a cracker jacks box.

Dr. Myra (if that is your real name), what are the auditory characteristics of the waveforms of the "pherotones" in the ringtones on your website? You say it is hard to take any of us seriously until we make a strong case that they do not exist, but the scientific method (remember that from grad school, Myra?) is that you must disprove the null hypothesis - that there is no effect (essentially that pheretones DO NOT EXIST). You have the burden of prove of their existence and effect. Effect size is of no matter, a small effect size is sufficient to disprove the null.

But since you've said you don't have "impirical" evidence on your blog, let's start with your anecdotal description of what the auditory characteristics of the waveforms of the "pherotones" in the ringtones are.

Posted by: Dr. Tom Trainham on January 20, 2006 10:20 PM

Henry Copeland (who obviously has no self-interest here) has chimed in that Steve and I are "curmudgeons" with no sense of humor, then makes some point about monkeys. Maybe it's supposed to be humorous (as a curmudgeon I wouldn't know), but it certainly isn't relevant to what McKinney has done.

Henry, would you be OK if EVERY friggin ad firm decided to create their own Wikipedia page for every fake product they come up with? Next time you're jet-setting to one of your blogging conferences, why don't you ask Jimmy Wales what he thinks about that. Or maybe you could integrate Blogads directly into Wikipedia -- I'm sure there's a buck in there for you somewhere.

Posted by: scott on January 22, 2006 9:43 AM

This is an obvious con. Firstly, on the fake wikipedia entry for pherotones, it claims they are outside the 20-20KHZ range of human hearing. Now if this is the case, how can a ringtone with much less range than the human hearing, have encoded in it a signal that isn't even played by high quality CD Audio files? Now here's the kicker: a cell phones external speakerphone outputs audio at much more limited range than 20-20KHZ even, so there is ZERO chance of your phone's speaker activating any "pherotone" response in anyone.

Posted by: Max on January 22, 2006 10:24 PM

Dr. Myra,

I read your latest blog entry

http://pherotones.blogspot.com/2006/01/sometimes-research-is-hard-work.html#links

and was very worried...

I believe your failure to include a control condition (if using a within-subject design) or control group (if using a between-subject design), and use of "3 of 5" instead of a standard alpha to control for Type I error obviously shows that you are suffering from SEVERE memory loss (forgetting everything you learned in grad school) due to harmful exposure to pherotones.

I implore you to seek medical attention, and contact everyone you've experimented on immediately!

Get well soon!

Posted by: Dr. Tom Trainham on January 25, 2006 8:05 PM

You gotta give 'em credit for putting some media dollars behind it.

(sorry Dr. Vanderhood, I meant 'research dollars' ;)

Posted by: Sasha Pave on February 2, 2006 12:01 PM

Thanks Max

Posted by: Mike on February 10, 2006 6:31 PM

I bet this trickery is the reason McKinney & Silver lost the Audi account.

Posted by: trick or treat on December 21, 2006 12:18 AM

Too many services in internet called Ask a Doctor simply have no license for the activity who it supervises and how with these to struggle? WBR LeoP

Posted by: Leo on January 21, 2007 3:18 PM

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

Posted by: Annerose on September 5, 2007 6:48 AM





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