Figuring Out Advertising

I often wonder why advertisements are designed in specific ways and what their target audiences are. While browsing through the PhysOrg website (a great science news website), I noticed the following textual advertisement from Google.

Stupid Advertisement

Two things come to mind. First, Google Ads are supposed to work by scraping the page they will be displayed on for keywords. The main things displayed on this page were about black holes, Large Hadron Colliders, dust devils on Mars, iPhone patches and how early whales potentially used their “hind legs” for swimming. So how would that apply to someone concerned about their looks?

Secondly, why is the word humiliated in quotations? Is the theoretical person who was called fat, not really humiliated? Just “humiliated?” The quotations seem absolutely out of place. Now, instead of worrying about my weight and whether or not a loved one called me fat, I myself (of a scientific mind no less, like many others who read that site) am wondering why the quotations were around the word humiliated, and not “fat” or “fast” or even “husband.”

Who wrote the copy for that ad?


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