Hello, friendly readers, and welcome to the inaugural installment of Bile Fascinations. This is my first liveblog (NO FLAMS H8RS!!!11). I am hoping that it will turn out okay, but first installments tend, as a rule, to be dodgy, so if you have any suggestions on how to make future installments better, or if you think it best that I not quit my day-job, please feel free to let me know in the comments. I welcome any and all criticism, if'n you have it.
As for the topic of this liveblog, well, I am deeply fascinated by non-fiction writing of dubious quality (though I might do a couple badfic sporkings here if I feel especially nutty). More specifically, I have a morbid thing for dodgy advertising. Infomercials have perplexed and awed me since I was a child, and I have lately developed an odd fondness for iffy written advertisements. I have seen many such ads in magazines I'm subscribed to, junk mail that arrives during the holidays, and in the newspaper. Some of these ads are so bizarre and/or hilarious that I felt like I had to share them with someone. That someone happens to be you right now. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
Now that I have concluded rambling, on to the actual content!
DRLEONARDS.COM: PART 1
Overview of Dr. Leonard's
The website that I have chosen to do the first installment about is one DrLeonards.com, "AMERICA'S LEADING ONLINE HEALTH CATALOG", or so says the banner. I was first made aware of this seemingly-innoccouous "healthcare catalog" through one of their printed catalogs, which my family received in the mail for a few years in a row before they presumably decided we weren't interested and took us off their mailing list. They carry a bewildering hodgepodge of merchandise, ranging from healthcare products and diabetes supplies, to outerwear and pajamas, to gifts and As Seen on TV household gadgets. The catalog itself caters to an elderly demographic, presumably those who are aging and are finding themselves in need of home health type products.
Okay, that in and of itself isn't bad. I mean, it's nice to offer elderly people the option of going online or through a catalogue where a trip to a store would be difficult and/or embarrassing. So why on Earth am I picking on a harmless healthcare catalog for old people? Well, let's just say this: There are some things there that you would not want Granny or Grandad to have in their house. Here is a link to the site itself, though be warned, said "things" are rather NSFW and can be immediately turned up by clicking on the "health products" section up top on the blue navigation bar, so if you're at school or work, stay well clear of that thang. If you wouldn't mind being a sport for me, we will only look at the front page for today, so try not to explore the site too much yet. ;)
Let's Look At The Front Page
Link again for convenience. Okay, first thing you'll notice about the site, they're real dead-set on that infomercial aesthetic. Lookit that blue-on-white color scheme and all those smatterings of yellow and red, mmmf. Big, blocky promotions front-and-center, two invitations to read their virtual catalog which has "the same look and feel of the catalog" (ooh, overlooked that, might be interesting), helpful little pothole-peppered blurb at the bottom that reminds me of TV Tropes. Not really the worst website layout I've ever seen, and at least the pictures up front are of decent resolution and quality. Still, not what I would call a pretty website, but that's just me.
I find it kind of amusing that they encourage you to like/follow them on Facebook and Twitter, seeing as their target demographic might not be terribly familiar with either... Though that admittedly might be a bit ageist of me to assume. I think there might be more older Facebook users now than I assume, too. Still, I'm not too sure that there are many older people with Twitters, but eh, I'm kinda clueless about social networking in general.
Now, in case the layout of the site changes in the future or if you have reservations about visiting the site (I don't blame you at all if you do), time to pop some pictures on this puppy and analyze them maybe!
Yep, Genie Bra and "Platinum Edition Shaver Kit". Huh. Am I the only one who is bothered by the term "shaver" as opposed to razor? I mean, I guess the term "razor" is technically incorrect when referring to electric devices that lack blades, but "shaver" just kinda sounds derp. I'unno, just feeling nitpicky. Ooh, Genie Bra, I remember you from that tacky-ass infomercial. Those loud, overly-made-up obnoxious spokeswomen rubbed me the wrong way so hard that I completely shut out your entire sales pitch, which means you have failed miserably since I cannot find a decent-fitting bra for the life of me. Next picture snippet.
Yikes, the color choices for the flannel pjs are fairly unsightly. The blue looks okay, and I guess the green is alright too, but the brown plaid is kinda icky looking, and aye-aye-aye, that friggin' burgundy plaid looks like it borrowed its color scheme from a 90s hospital waiting room. Eesh. All's I'm gonna say about those "Energy Balance Bracelets" is: Dubious and kind of flimsy-looking. :| MOAR PITCHURS!
Finally, here is an allegedly luxurious fur jacket, which to me looks more like a short, oddly-textured bath robe. So it comes in 5 colors, huh? Does that mean it comes in different fur types (unlikely) or that they're all made from the same cheap pelt and just dyed different colors (likely)? Whatever the case, that brown sure as hell doesn't look natural. Looks more like the color of one of those ugly brown couches you see on sitcom sets.
Yep, gonna go ahead and conclude for now. Since we have given the front page a rather sloppy once-over, next installment and all installments following will cover the site's sections as advertised on those shiny blue buttons up top. I will be working from right to left, starting with "Clearance Outlet" in the top right corner, 'cause we have some special surprises in store in the top left corner, and I kinda want to work up to them. Build-up and all, you see. Anyway, thank you for reading, and hope to see you next time. Bye! :)