Stupid Cue Cat Concept Returns, Still Stupid


Maybe some of you remember that thing called CueCat which made it's appearance about seven years ago. The purpose of the device, a plastic, cat-shaped object that plugged into your computer, was to scan bar codes in ads and, if connected to the Internet, take you to a page that would deliver more information about the advertised product. It failed. Miserably. Now, we have AdLink, a service that does the same thing yet without that cumbersome plastic cat. We predict it will have about as much success at the CueCat did.

To use AdLink, print ads would be created with a word having an AdLink branded underline beneath it. That word could then be typed into the AdLink search engine residing at the out-of-left-field, impossible-to-remember web address of A page of product information would then be produced. There are so many things wrong with this business proposition, we don't know where to start. First, their product name, AdLink is already in use by a well-established LA-based cable ad sales company. Second, where in the ad would that cumbersome URL be placed so people would know where to enter the AdLink word in the first place? Third, why would there be a need for a company to use this service when it's just as easy ( and cheaper) to simply place their own URL in the ad? Fourth, what marketer would want another brand in their ad?

We get their concept that current search engines categorize only what's on the web and that something's perhaps needed to categorize the "real world," hence, their "the world wide world" concept but really. The only way this proposition could have even a small chance of succeeding would be if Google bought them and turned the whole thing into yet another advertising revenue model. Nice concept. We just don't see it becoming viable.

by Steve Hall    Oct-20-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Tools, Worst   

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i think the third reason is above all important

Posted by: gigi on October 20, 2006 4:27 PM

This idea makes me think of; they take long web addresses and make them short so that the Internet is more user friendly. These adlinks seem to replace long web addresses with one word which is easy to remember. What I do like about the idea is that I never remember web addresses on ads, but one word I would probably remember.

I guess when thinking about it doesnt seem to have much potential, but they claim on their homepage they get 475 million hits a month. Whether this whole Adlink thing will take off though, I'm not sure. Hard concept to get off the ground.

Posted by: Simon on October 20, 2006 8:23 PM

The Cue Cat Concept: No consumer is ever going to pay, let alone go through all the effort of installing a device that allows them to read barcodes on ads.

Bar codes on ads: They don't appeal to consumers and are too forceful. Bar codes have never had any value for consumers.

This being said, 2 appealing lines of argument for integrating above-the-line advertising with the Internet:

1) A survey by Carat Expert last year found that more than eight out of 10 consumers use a search engine after having partially remembered a web site address mentioned in an ad.

2) Starcom Digital reports seeing an increase of nearly one-third in search volumes following press ads.

With AdLinks no device needs to be installed. They are cognitive links which are unobtrusive and one word is easy to remember, serving the consumer. They dont cost anything and instantly connect consumers to products and services. Advertisers can link to whatever content they choose, we define nothing. It's a collaborative business model based on agency generated content. Control is placed entirely in the hands of ad agencies to add whatever they want, similar to Youtube's decentralised online offering.


Posted by: Seth G on October 21, 2006 6:53 PM