The Onion has been satirizing print and digital newspaper content for a long time. It stands to reason that as more and more digital media focuses on viral content and content curation that they would begin lampooning that as well. Enter Clickhole.
Clickhole.com is the Onion’s new web site mocking Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and other sites that have become popular using vague headlines, listicles, and quizzes to determine which cast member of “Friends” you are. As marketers, we acknowledge that many of the techniques pioneered and perfected by these sites are effective, but we should also realize that they are ripe for satire.
Here are some of the best digs from Clickhole so far:
Viral content sites love celebrities, and they love lists. Clickhole turns that idea on its side and pulls it inside out to show us pictures of Beyonce. To emphasize Queen Bey’s power, and fierceness, she isn’t sinking in quicksand in any of the pictures.
The internet is currently awash in quizzes to determine what color suits your personality, what your Hogwarts house is, and even what type of quiz you are. Why not take a quiz to see if you’d have some fries if I ordered some?
The phrase “You Won’t Believe” online has become ubiquitous to the point where it has essentially lost all meaning. Clickhole takes direct aim at vague, sensationalist headlines with this video of a woman sitting on a swing.
Sometimes, the internet seems like it’s made entirely of pictures of cute puppies and cute cats doing people things. What would be even cuter? How about chairs that think they’re people? Adorable.
Health advocacy is very trendy in the world of viral marketing. Opinion blogs are also very popular. Clickhole takes this to its logical conclusion with a blog demanding the public execution of Ronald McDonald.
As content marketers, it’s actually useful to look at satirical sites like Clickhole that hold a funhouse mirror up to our work. By acknowledging how ridiculous, or over-used some of our own techniques are, we can create better content, and better distribution methods. We can also, hopefully, laugh at ourselves a little.