If you’ve been online any time in the past decade you’ve seen them: ads that claim to have a weird trick that helps you to do something.
Someone figured out that weird, odd, unusual, unexpected and unorthodox tricks grab our attention, and marketers have run with it. The “something” is often as weird as the trick, but someone must be clicking these things because as Slate‘s Alex Kaufman points out, they’re popular enough to have spawned their own advertising genre.
Sometimes they’re supersized — a single trick can’t possibly fix everything — but even if there are several tips at a time, the spirit of the ad is the same. Click and you’ll find the totally unexpected solution to a problem that regular old commercial products just can’t seem to fix.
Here’s our weird list of the 10 weirdest “one weird trick” ads online today:
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: A Weird Trick to Remove Dark Spots Without a Doctor
Do you have dark spots on your skin? Do you hate going to the doctor? Do you want to rid yourself of the dark spots without having to see a doctor?
Then this classic “one weird trick” ad should be of interest. The website you land on covers the ingredients that are “clinically proven to work,” safe spot correctors, and the best product to tackle everything from age spots to sun spots.
But here’s a thought: If you have a dark spot so noticeable that it’s bugging you, it may be time to stop looking at ads and instead make an appointment with your doctor to make sure it’s a cosmetic issue and not something more serious.
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: 30 Second Stomach Shrinking Trick
I’ve spent years fighting a seemingly losing battle against my expanding waistline. Apparently, I’ve got it all wrong. Instead of cutting down on beer, chocolate and hamburgers — A.K.A. the good stuff — and spending a few hours a day on the treadmill, I should be doing this.
One 30-second-a-day trick based on an “amazing scientific breakthrough” will burn the fat away. Who knew?
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: Six Real Reasons Why You Did Not Get the Job
Instead of weird they turned it around and went with real — another attention getter. This one preys on the fact that a lot of people are currently job hunting, a lot of these job seekers have been in the market for years and many of them are suspicious of the reasons they’re given for being repeatedly passed over — like there’s a conspiracy at play.
The ad even goes so far as to suggest that potential employers are rhyming off fake reasons to avoid being sued by candidates they should have hired.
The reasons themselves play even further on already-fragile egos: “you’re much too attractive” or “we hired the Vice-President’s Brother-in-Law instead.” Right.
But it got you to click, and might just convince you to sign up with a job placement service.
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: 1 Tip of a Flat Belly
This may be the granddaddy of all “one weird trick ads.”
Promising to cut down on 3 pounds of belly weekly using one weird old tip, the ad was a front to sell clickers on questionable — and costly — weight loss products.
You’d think the company behind the ad could have forked over a few bucks out of the millions they undoubtedly earned to have an editor go over the text. But based on its popularity, I guess they didn’t need to spend the cash.
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: Revealed: How People Are Paying Less Than $24 for a Michael Kors Bag
The Michael Kors leather tote bag pictured in the ad sells for around $300. But people are buying them brand new for less than $24! They’re also buying new iPads for $23.42 and HDTVs for $54.
How is this possible? Click the ad and the one weird trick is revealed: You’re directed to an online auction site. Not eBay (EBAY), but one where the bidders pay 60 cents every time they lose a bid. So losing a bidding war doesn’t just mean losing that cheap iPad, it means you’re also out the money you spent trying to get it.
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: 1 Weird Trick to Boost Testosterone
Researchers in Cambridge — the most scientific-sounding city, no matter which side of the pond you live on — have found a weird trick to naturally boost testosterone.
This one weird trick will “take your performance to the next level.” What performance are they talking about? Job effectiveness? Uh, nope. Click the ad and you’ll find that the men who take the supplement will also leave their wives speechless. In case the woman on the ad wasn’t a big enough clue…
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: Mom Makes $8,000 a Month
No double entendres here, the ad claims a recently unemployed mom is using a trick to make $8,000 a month online, working from home. Not only that, but she has the toddler in the photo to care for, she only has to work 15-18 hours a week and hey — she lives in your city!
Or at least the city associated with your computer’s current IP address.
The trick to earning this easy money from the likes of Amazon (AMZN) is a kit and a small activation fee of “probably $1.99” which is weirdly vague and sounds as though it could end up being a lot more. Oh, and in case you’re on the fence, the ad says the offer will expire tomorrow (tomorrow being the day after whichever day you happen to view the ad on).
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: Dermatologists Hate Her
This local mom has exposed a single shocking anti-aging secret. One that makes her look 25 when in fact she is 51. At only $5 to learn this one weird trick, dermatologists hate her.
I think psychologists probably love her — that face stretching, skin pulling off routine is creepy enough to give a generation of unsuspecting web surfers nightmares.
So, what’s the one weird trick for forgetting the skin-shedding lady?
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: One Weird Trick to Build Muscle
Those Cambridge scientists are at it again. This time, they have discovered a revolutionary new muscle builder!
Just how out there is this one weird trick?
Look at the guy’s arms! I’m thinking the one weird trick is probably Photoshop, but if you want to click the ad and pay the fee, you can find out for yourself.
10 Weirdest “One Weird Trick” Ads: Three Somewhat Odd Foods to Upgrade Your Metabolism
Sure, we all hate it when any weight we lose boomerangs –with extra. But thanks to “three somewhat odd foods” that will boost your metabolism, you will burn fat like a 20-year-old. As a bonus, mood swings will also be a thing of the past.
Or so this ad claims. With all those benefits, it may just be worth having to deal with three tricks instead of just one weird trick to pull it off. Mind you, it’s all still just one click.
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.