Trying to restart my regular blogging this year. Here goes  . . .

I’ve recently seen two ads that I found strange and/or funny. The first is a banner for a movie on Lifetime about “The Craigslist Killer”. Here’s the banner:

I have two comments on this banner. First, what’s up with the random use of URL structure. “//craigslist.killer” – so is there a domain name called and someone decided to create a sub-domain specifically for craigslist killers? And the sub-head says “be careful what you search for.” I’ve never really thought of Craigslist as a search engine – it’s more of a directory. Other than that, I love the bloody fingerprint on the delete button – nice work!

The next ad showed up in my Gmail account (via Google Display Network, or AdSense). The topic of the ad versus the semantic content of the email it was matched on is a stretch to say the least:

I don’t blame AdWords for this – I blame the advertiser, or the advertiser’s agency. I could see trying to match content around “suicide” but the word “clean up” has 10,000 meanings other than suicide clean up. I did click on the ad, out of morbid curiosity, and the company is hiring new team members, if anyone out there is interested.



  1. Ben Chinn January 4th, 2011

    The craigslist killer ad reminds me of the first days of the web when people had no conception of what a URL was or how it was formed and you got jokes like: “Have you heard of OJ SImpson’s new website? The address is Slash Backslash Return Escape.” The joke only makes sense if you assume that a URL is a basically random mix of any characters, which is what it seemed like to people at the time. I guess we haven’t come that far since then.

  2. davidzhawk January 4th, 2011

    If that is what they intended, Ben, then they are being way too nerdy for even me!

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.