I returned home yesterday after being away for two weeks. Naturally, I was welcomed home with a fat stack of mail that had piled up.
I sifted through it and gradually began by opening the bills and letters that I had been expecting. Halfway through this process I was intrigued by this piece of mail with a handwritten address that was even hand stamped.
I opened it up and pulled out a fake (but a good one) newspaper page that had a handwritten post-it note attached to the top of the page. The handwritten post suggested that I might enjoy the free book that's being promoted in the fake newspaper.
Obviously headlines such as "True Rags to Riches" are the first dead giveaway that this is some huckster trying to sell books and DVD's and investment advice for people looking to get rich quick.
I'm truly fascinated by this. The person who created the advertisement put a lot of thought and work into it. They went to great lengths to get people to open and read it. The handwritten envelope and post-it note add a personal touch to an often impersonal medium. Plus I give them extra credit for adding the nice touch of mutual fund prices on the back of the page.
Unfortunately, this great tactical work is wasted on an obvious scam. Although Michael Parness and the rest of the ethically indifferent won't care, the ad should serve to reminder that great advertising cannot rescue garbage products.
One last thought: It's no accident that a scam artist would put a little extra TLC into their advertising, as they must do everything they can to appear legitimate. Strangely, I think a lot of legitimate enterprises fail to fully grasp the urgency in every impression as this scam artist seems to exemplify.