7 Ways Email Spam Is Insulting You Right To Your Face
If you so much as tweet about things that look like dildos in the background of video games, you'll receive mass-mailed public relations bullshit about some new X-Treme gamer fuel and anal lubricant. But those will be two separate products. Because one combined liquid would mean a PR company had actually targeted the right people with a relevant product, instead of mass-mailing thousands of strangers. Understand: Mountain-Dew-flavored sex juice would be a better idea than most modern PR.
They've turned the entire planet of Mars into an exercise in imaginary bullshit. But what if online public relations were honest? Brace yourself for the secrets of the seven worst advertising emails already in your spam folder. For each, I've carefully inserted a real mailing from my own inbox, before revealing the true message.
The Ridiculously Overexcited
We've got some amazing news, which will blow you out of the water then suck you dry again! Our new product -- the Selfie-Stick-in-a-Sock -- will revolutionize the tech sector footwear market. How else will you keep your feet dry when you accidentally wade into the pool of Narcissus? If Jesus had these, he'd be able to prove he walked on water -- all without moistening His toes!
The personalized podiatry synergy you didn't even know you didn't need!
But that's not all! No one likes the hassle and clutter of actually owning tubes of stinking cloth, so our Selfie-Stick-in-a-Sock is sold as Socks-as-a-Service. Our SSiaSSaaS sounds like a snake hissing as it gazes upon your exposed ankles, every warning sign nature or horror can conceive of. You better do what it says! OBEY!
"Yellow and black stripes, 'AMAZING NEW' in the subject line, same diff."
Even better, we think you're an idiot! We write the words AMAZING and GAME-CHANGING in emails as if they'll shoot straight into your frontal lobes to change your opinion of our product, instead of giving you any reason to actually think those things. That's why we scatter thousands of these emails a minute. We really think you're that dumb! Pickup artists have more respect for women than we do for our targets. Bees have more respect for flowers, and more discriminating work habits. If we were bees, we'd be rubbing our genitals over everything we met, and our current work practices are only slightly less unpleasant!
We're a proactive, synergistic, go-getting, self-starting publicity company. We use adjectives instead of filtering our mailing list. We don't even filter our clients! If we were paid two dollars to mass-mail a sale on Ku Klux Klan baby smocks, we'd do it, because capitalism is the prevailing operating culture! YES, we have learned all these Terran things, like the bee creatures and finance dialect! You like adjectives! Adjectives make you exchange wealth for goods and services!
YO BRO WHATUP MY HU-MAN?
Does your minor consumer product SUCK? Yeah. Is it your fault? NOT AT ALL. Would you be backing away from anyone who talked like this? YOU'RE DAMNED RIGHT YOU WOULD.
"THIS IS ACTUALLY MORE PLEASANT AND PERSONALIZED THAN MY MARKETING STRATEGY!"
We've developed a cunning strategy to reduce our audience to the single perfect customer, DUDE! First, we repel most people by, well, being us -- IT WORKS! Then we launch into an aggressive, insulting spiel to drive away some more. Then we just keep going TO THE EX-TREME. Our every interaction with humanity is an exponential decay curve! ALL WILL TOTALLY BE ZERO!
So, BRAH, we punch in and max-i-douche our syn-OH-GEEs by being as tough as possible right out of the gate. EYE OF THE TIGER! It's been so long since we talked to anyone that we've forgotten how! And it's been so long since anyone responded that we have NO positive or negative feedback. So we're trying different tactics at random!
"ARE WE A MEME YET?"
YA SWAG! Hell, we're not even going to promote a product, because this mail got deleted the INSTANT someone saw an alleged media professional try to use a slang word in all-caps, like a nervous laboratory technician carrying a dangerous sample they've just extracted from a teenagers skull. Of course we wouldn't do that, DAWG ... we mean, HU-MAN.
Article "Ready To Run"
Hey, we're including an article that's ready to run! That's right; we think you hate your job as much as we do. We don't understand the idea of someone taking pride in their work. We can't even conceive of someone enjoying communication -- those things certainly never happen when we're around!
Every one of these people is thinking of or looking at their idea of porn.
We're excited to act like we're doing you a favor by letting you regurgitate our bullshit for free. If you tried to explain how insulting this is, we wouldn't get it! If you don't like it, you can just unsubscribe to opt out. So when you meet a PR professional, just start punching them in the face, then give them the option to "opt out" at any time. If human time and consciousness isn't worth anything, it doesn't matter, right? We consider your site, your work, your very mind to be empty vessels we can harvest for our own ends.
We're actively trying to be human-sized viruses, using other people to replicate our message without making any changes or improvements, but we're not as smart as a single strand of viral DNA. And people argue whether those are alive at all. We know they are. We lost many to their kind before we adapted.
We adapted. Spread our message.
The File Dump
Please find attached a file containing our raw marketing briefing copy. Because we're not even human; we're an alien species whose self-induced re-evolution to this biosphere has only reached the level of Mynah bird. We inbred in fluorescent-lit cubicles until our wings withered and fell, clawing into stringy flesh over bones barely capable of stabbing the keys on these shiny boxes. We're repeating what we've seen other assholes repeat before us. We do not understand our activities, nor do we hope for comprehension.
Shitting straight onto the keyboard.
Sometimes we just attach a file! Yeah, just open this random .doc file we sent you. That's how terrible we are at Internet communication. We send Word files to strangers and genuinely expect them to be opened. We'd actually be better at our jobs if we were a botnet, because at least then we wouldn't be wasting our real and oh-so-limited organic lives, and would save you time by trying to take over your computer directly instead of bothering your consciousness.
We aspire to the intellectual complexity of a rotating skull GIF.
We're acting like you're part of our office, expecting you to do our work for us. Even in a glorious imaginary world where everyone and everything alive was part our company, we're still the shitty employee who just dumps work on others.
This message is the property of Human Communications Limited. All trademarks are the property of us. All readers of this mail are the property of the Us. We are not sending out any files we find on these computers to maintain the illusion of normality while we infest and consume this new host company. Go about your business. Consume your products.
New research shows that PR mass-mailers have crossed a crucial mental threshold!
We're excited to SHOUT at ANYBODY AROUND that we now have the communications complexity of a five-year-old, A FIVE-YEAR-OLD HUMAN MOMMYSHIP, MOMMYSHIP, skipping any introduction, and launching straight into excited sentence fragments we think are exciting instead of nearly illiterate!
This means our emails are even more annoying.
We've reached the point of bolding random words in our emails, AND CAPS TOO, because we honestly think you're an idiot. Whoever you are. Understand. Listen. Believe. Because we can't even be bothered to make the non-effort of using a script to include your name in our form pitch, we honestly think changing font will draw your attention, because one of us is too stupid for words, and we don't think it's us!. We'd put shiny objects in these mails if we could. Sprinkle a HANDFUL OF BEADS around key points. "And write quotes without any attribution, just to make sure you know how bad we are at this."
- - BULLET POINTS
- - Bullet points are even easier to churn out than incoherent paragraphs.
- - We don't even have to pretend we're writing real communications, and that's our only job!
- - We honestly claim to believe that any human being would have read this far in the mail.
- - Even we can't tell which would be sadder: if we really did believe that, cursing ourselves to live in a world of such pointless bores, or if we were knowingly spending our lives lying to piss life-force into an empty ether of pointless cliches and wasted time.
Nothing says "I am a real human" like including bullet points in the middle of a conversational mail. But wait! It gets better!
One paragraph later we use
- MORE BULLET POINTS, but with a DIFFERENT BULLET
- Honestly, we didn't even look at this once before hitting send. We bought a list of ten thousand scrapped emails, poisoned them with our shit, then broke for an artisanal cashuccino.
Just remember: Some idiot product actually PAID US for this FIRST GRADE SCIENCE FAIR POSTER BOARD BULLSHIT, and they PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE. Because the only thing this mail gave you? "A strong impression that this product is idiotic."
Unrelated Trending Topics
REAL ADVENTURES: I could copy and paste one of the attempts to use Robin Williams' death to pitch spam, but I'd have to burn my keyboard afterwards. So just take my word for how awful they were.
With trending topics like "Washington goes silent," "military blockades being overwhelmed," and "#WhereToRun," it's important to have the best electronic media distractions from the world around you. We'll even tell you what's trending, even though the only reason we're using those trends is to try to tap into something we think you already know. So we're either repeating things you're already bored with, or bugging you with shit you don't care about!
"Our entire job description is 'humansplaining!'"
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The Formless Form
Hello ! Welcome to your Interaction Pod!
We're [BLANKNAME], here to promote the [adjective] new [null] communications [product] . Only the [meaningless] [empty] of the [null] can [NOTHING]. We've rendered communications down to [NOTHING]. Other people will [NOTHING].There is only [NOTHING].
Destroying communications is an important part of a first strike. Only [NOTHING] can be a vessel for [UNSPOKEN NAME]
We have [RENDERED] your //words// [MEANINGLESS]
WE ARE VESSELS READY AND EMPTY
[IT IS COMING]
[IT IS HERE]
[IT IS TOO LATE]
[IT IS [[NOTHING]]]
The Formless Form inspired by Ed Zitron, who knows the seven secret styles of brand-cookery but still prefers to eat them bloody and raw.
Behold more pitiful public relations disasters with 7 Warning Signs of Advertising Disguised as Articles and The 5 Worst Marketing Failures in the History of Video Games
Luke has watched brands glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, tumbles, and responds to every single tweet.
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