On a personal level, we're getting fed up with ridiculous viral efforts (see the billboard post below), yet we bit. We found ourselves at the site of PAMCF, the People Against My Circle Foundation. Yawn. Snooze. We will admit, though, that Edward Maxwell Von Houten is our kind of guy--a crank that mocks friendship and urges litigants to do it "for the children ... Or the puppies, kittens, dolphins, or whatever other defenseless creatures elicit an emotional response from you." Further digging finds a Support My Circle website and a MySpace site for "Chad," the "dude" from the TV spots.
We're trying hard not to venture onto Garfield's turf here, but our first reaction to this was "How silly." Our second reaction, of course, was to click on the first ad (smart targeting, we guess, by running the ad on a law-related blog). Subsequent reaction: concern that there are some consumers out there gullible enough to fall for this mixed with concern that Alltel would green-light something so cheesy. Then again, the whole effort seems so obviously over the top that we don't hold any grudges. Besides, campaigns can't be measured simply by the effect on the consumer. There's something to be said for building employee morale, and a quick look at the comments on Chad's MySpace page shows a lot of Alltel employees joining in the silliness. (Then again, maybe they were forced to by management!)