Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / August 29th, 2007

Does Ugly Really Sell?

ugly web sites guyYears ago we had a client with some rather interesting ideas.  Among them were his views on paying bills, but that’s beside the point.  He had us develop several banner ads for him.  After some mediocre results, he came to us with one of those interesting ideas: make him the ugliest banner ads we could.  And we did.  Boy were they ugly.  This was in the hay day of the animated gif (may it rest in peace), and we created some doosies.  Terrible color combinations, flashing…it was enough to make your eyes bleed.  But I guess it worked.

You see, the banners were so ugly, people took a second look.  I guess they liked the message, in spite of the design, and clicked through.  Maybe it was just to see if the site were as ugly (which thankfully it wasn’t), but they clicked none the less.

Then I came across this today…not the same person, but similar.  And he’s taken the idea to the masses.  That’s right…he’s actually selling a system for you to make your own profitable ugly Web site.  Forgive if I’m wrong, but is it that hard to make an ugly site?  I know the system is only $7, but that seems like a rip off to learn how to make your site suck. 

And why does it work?  Sure, an ugly site might grab my attention, but it also turns me off the same way a dirty store or restaurant would.  Please, don’t support the ugly revolution.  For the sake of my rods and cones, I beg you!