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Gawker: So Scummy and Despicable, It's a Great Ad Buy

One video clip currently making the rounds among the social media crowd is this promo piece from Gawker Media, taking an unusually old-school approach to why advertisers might want to play there. Hell, it even shows how Gawker has made its way into the vernacular! Even Brian Williams talks about it on TV!

But this being Gawker, it's a little odd, positioning the company's blogs as pretty much the blogs you hate so much that you love them. It alternates between people like Bill O'Reilly calling Gawker, the site, "scummy," "despicable" and "slimy" and hipster chicks on the street who just can't enough of its scummy, slimy despicable-ness. It takes particular joy in a rant not by a blogger, but by Buzz Bissinger, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who tells Deadspin editor Will Leitch, "I really think you're full of shit. Because I think blogs are dedicated to cruelty, are dedicated to journalistic dishonesty, they're dedicated to speed." Leitch, if you concentrate a bit, is heard to say, "OK. That's fair enough." It closes with Bissinger saying, "Maybe that's why I'm so heated and so angry. Because this guy [pointing to Leitch], whether we like it, is the future."

In some ways, this promo tape is refreshing because it plays up controversy, rather than unique visitors and page views, as a selling point. On the other hand, it's hard to see how this is going to convince new advertisers to come in the fold. The kind of advertisers that go on Gawker sites are well aware of their existence, as for the rest of the skittish advertising world, they will continue to run in the other direction. (Thanks to Ken Wheaton at Ad Age and Ian Schafer of Deep Focus for making me remember to post this.)

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