That stupid Earthlink commercial

OK; I’ve had it. That’s a post I’ve had on my list for quite a while now.

After we established my credibility as a podcasting listener, I think I can speak with some authority on the topic ;)

You see, I’m completely OK with ads in podcasts. Podcasts are high quality content which improve my daily life, so it’s only fair that the people creating them do get a fair return on their investment.

Having said that, Podshow’s Earthlink commercial, featured prominently on the Daily Source Code, the Gillmor Gang and others are just too crappy to listen to. In fact, they’re about the *only* podcasting content I *always* skip over.

Why’s that? You mean, apart from the gullible voice? Here’s what it says:

“Do you believe anything is possible? We do. We’re Earthlink. We believe in an internet that is safe from viruses and scammers. We’re Earthlink. We believe your personal information should be just that — personal. And we believe your internet should be a friend not a foe. We’re Earthlink. Make the smart choice. Visit and discover what our internet experts can do for you. Earthlink – we revolve around you.”

So you believe in an internet that’s safe from viruses and scammers? You’re not Earthlink, you’re naive!

The worst thing: I have no clue what they’re talking about – whatTF are they trying to sell me??? One podcasters mashup of that commercial mentions antivirus and anti-spam software that you get bundled – so what? Last time I checked Earthlink wasn’t mentioned as the superior provider of that kind of software in any review. GMails filters will do nicely for me, thank you very much.

It gets even worse in Steve Gillmor’s podcasts – he spends about a minute at the beginning of each episode explaining how great Earthlink is and what their comitment to the podosphere is. CRAP!

You see, that’s just not working. Especially for the fact that Steve Gillmor doesn’t sound credible at all when he talks about this. I just don’t buy it. That happened before when he was trying to push Logitech and couldn’t even get the packaging open – it just doesn’t sound convincing, it’s more like “crap, I need to plug that damn advertiser again…”.

Now Adam Curry says this is all great, Earthlink accepts the criticism, and now it’s the listeners turn to come up with a better ad.


If you want to get the advertiser money, *you* better come up with something we can believe!
It’s not that this is so hard – it worked with Adam’s burping which makes me think ‘Senseo!’ (ok, usually I do have a cup of that in my car at the time that I’m listening, anyway) despite all the de-programming efforts, and even when he pushed the Logitech stuff it came across credible.

I guess the heart of the matter is: if you can talk about an advertisers product as a user who loves the product and truly and honestly uses it every day, this will work with the listener, too. If not – forget it, i.e. just play the bloody commercial and get it over with.

And it seems I’m not alone with that opinion.

But stop talking about it. Please.