Who Is This Banner Ad Targeting?

The man at left appears in banner ads for mortgage refinancing. He looks like a person most people would avoid. So why does this ad network think that he will persuade us to refinance our mortgages?

Readers MedicallyNeedy and Naomi contributed these sightings of the Mortgage Mountain Man. He’s also been spotted on an “Obama asks moms to return to school” banner.

What do you think advertisers are trying to tell us through the use of this man’s image?





Edit Your Comment

  1. ShruggingGalt says:

    So easy even a caveman could do it?

    • _hi_ says:

      Actually you brainwashed society conformist nerds don’t realize is that guy has NO DEBT and is probably backpacking through Europe and kayaking down some awesome rapids with his cool hot slim wife who likes good music, hiking and wine…. and living free. So go back to your cubes at work and dream about ‘owning’ a home and being in —slavery— I mean in debt to the bankers, and drink your diet cokes.

      Because you never really own a home you pay taxes on. Your just renting from the government.

  2. TVarmy says:

    Maybe they’re saying “Don’t be homeless like this bearded, lost soul. Go back to school/refinance your home so that you can make ends meet!”

  3. Traveshamockery says:

    Don’t laugh, cave refinancing is a brutal affair. Generally, you have to put up your wheel for collateral.

  4. G.O.B.: Come on! says:

    I didn’t think of escaped convict; I thought it looked more like a homeless person. That it could be the latter makes the use of the imagery especially ill-conceived.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      He’s too clean, pale and not scruffy enough to be homeless.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I wonder whether homeless people use rain to shower. If they had to be outside at night, and it was raining, I think it would be prudent to find a little privacy and get cleaned up.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          Sometimes have no choice but to take showers out in the rain. This pic looks like a trustafarian mugshot. I wonder what the charges were?

  5. proud-infidel says:

    Those refinancing ads just use whatever they think will get you to look in their direction. Most of the time it’s either some chick doing a rave-y type of dance (obviously nothing to do with refinancing) or something that shakes a lot.

    Perhaps this is meant to activate our hyper-sensitive (as of late) terrorist radar?

    • Julia789 says:

      Yes, there is also a similar ad with grossly distorted teeth and facial features, using some kind of photoshop fun-house mirror effect. They don’t care what is in the ad, as long as it gets attention.

      They probably did a layout of dozens of faces and asked people in a focus group to pick out the ones that got their attention, no matter WHY they got their attention.

      • MsAnthropy says:

        I keep seeing that one, and have also wondered who exactly would even consider clicking on one of these ads. There’s also one that keeps popping up on Facebook that says “A PELL GRANT IS A LOAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY BACK!”. Umm…

    • lim says:

      I’m having a hard time deciding which is worse: the insanely happy dancers moving all over the place or this guy. Sitting. Watching. WAITING.

      When I first saw him I half thought it was going to be one of those ads where you move your cursor across the add and the hair magically becomes luxurious, soft and sexy or, better yet, removes it.

    • spamtasticus says:

      That is exactly what this was intended to do. I bet you they have focus groups sitting around in a room looking at grids of images and or animated gifs. They then click on the one that grabbed their attention first. They then use the one that got the most points in the next ad campaign. Once that image starts to loose it’s novelty they either select the next best or run another exersize.

  6. Preyfar says:

    It’s LowerMyBills. It doesn’t surprise me one bit. They have the single WORST ads I have ever seen in my life, hands down. Their LowerMyMortgage ads usually have a silhouetted naked woman dancing on them, or some stupid clip that’s set into a loop/reverse/loop and… it’s awful.

    • MsAnthropy says:

      LowerMyBills = Experian, I believe. So not just the worst ads, but the worst, and least consumer-friendly company out there, as well. Ugh.

  7. jeffbone says:

    Wow, California really must be in financial trouble if they’re using Charles Manson to refinance the prison system.

  8. qbubbles says:

    THANK YOU!! I was gonna write earlier today about the dude, but got distracted. I’m glad someone else is noticing this.

  9. snazz says:

    they are just trying to get your attention so you notice their ad and read their message. apparently it worked, because we are all talking about it.

  10. Bargaineering.com says:

    It got your attention didn’t it? :)

  11. Ben Popken says:

    I think the message is “don’t be like this guy”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Or at least stop talking to him before he orders his “family” to kill people, lest he calls you up.

    • JonStewartMill says:

      I thought the message was “Firefox and Adblocker ftw”. At least that’s what it says to me.

  12. Julia789 says:

    He looks like our dear friend at the end of his months-long cross country trail hike. Boy did he need a shave and a haircut. Cleans up real nice though. :-)

  13. datamyt3 says:

    I may have a chance in modeling after all!

  14. burnedout says:

    He makes me think Manson family more than Mountain man

  15. Starrion says:

    What amazes me is that people continue to click on this dreck and fall for the numerous scams.

  16. Guppy06 says:

    It’s Jesus! Repent!

  17. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Shit. Pose for ONE picture for some extra dough and there it goes on the INTERNET. Sheesh.

  18. Aesteval says:

    Don’t forget the “Obama backs insurance regulation” ads, he’s in them too on weather.com with a pseudo driver’s license. Seriously, it may get attention but that doesn’t mean it has the intended advertising effect. But then again I see “Obama backs” whatever and my brain instantly filters the ad into the ignore region because you know Obama’s bound to have a better way to express what he backs than through sleazy internet advertisers.

  19. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    I saw the word “Ho” in the picture, and thought it was another of those poorly designed Christmas ornaments.

  20. Nighthawke says:

    Ads? What ads? Firefox and AdBlockPro is my good friend. And can be yours to if you let them in your home.

  21. subtlefrog says:

    Clearly, under all that hair, lies Bob Saget. So yes, they are trying to appeal to Moms everywhere.

    Or is it Kenny Loggins?

    I can’t tell.

  22. gitmo234 says:

    Okay I’ve been debating signing up for the past few months. I check this site a few times a day for new articles and this one was the last straw.

    For some reason this advertising network has caught my eye. Then again, I’m also fascinated in techniques spammers use, and statistics about spam networks etc. So I’ve found myself wondering time and time again who is the man behind these ads that says “hmm let me put a mountain on the ad and see if that works”

    Typically these ads come from http://www.lowermybills.com which you can see in off-white print at the bottom of some of the ads. They often also have computer drawn women walking together (like an animated .gif file almost). They also sometimes have about a 3 second loop of women doing things like dancing, talking, etc.

    The ad content is all virtually the same but the pictures change.

    Why oh why Consumerist must be I be obsessed with finding out and researching things like these?

  23. GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

    Finally!! Every time I see that ad I keep thinking that business is the last place I would go to conduct business if this is their ‘target market’. I think this is backfiring on them. I might look but if the next emotion that follows are fear and loathing, I think it is a sign that a new ad agency might be in order.

  24. cash_da_pibble says:

    It’s Rasputin.
    Back from the Dead.

    Or Rob Zombie.

  25. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    I think the message is very clear…..Jesus will be coming soon…so….hurry before you miss your chance to refinance and the bailout has ended….

  26. SunnyLea says:

    Obviously, he is the result of drowning in debt and then failing to refinance.

  27. okcancel says:

    Personally, I think that picture would work better for the “who googled you?” ads.

  28. weedpindle says:

    He’s selling auto insurance also

  29. Urgleglurk says:

    I thought it was Charles Manson…

  30. jesusofcool says:

    God the Obama asks Mom to go back to school ads are SO annoying!

  31. wickedr says:

    I just found him as well! I was checking out the weather on weather.com and his driver’s license showed up.


  32. kaceetheconsumer says:

    Perhaps the small fuzzy creatures who make their homes in his hair and beard are the ones posting his picture all over the place.

  33. fpage77 says:

    I thought he was a caveman the first few times I saw the ads out of corner of my eyes.

  34. texbob says:

    They are obviously targeting the hippy Mac users, otherwise he would be wearing a nerdy suit and glasses.

  35. Raeth says:

    Isn’t he one of the vikings from the Capital One “What’s in YOUR wallet?” ads? :P

  36. sickofthis says:

    I’ve wondered about that myself. There are all KINDS of weird pictures in those ads.

  37. Telekinesis123 says:

    Perhaps they are trying to intimidate you to break up the cynicism related to clicking on online ads?
    Could also be the absurdity of it peaks peoples interest, in a world of clones the one that isn’t stands out.

  38. Michael Bauser says:

    My girlfriend has been complaining about that ‘Obama asks Moms to return to school” ad for a couple of weeks.In contrast, I get a “scholarships for dads” advertisment on Facebook once in a while that shows a cartoon of dude sitting on a couch having a cocktail, which is odd, because I don’t have any kids.

    But this does remind me of the various dating service advertisements I’d see on Facebook before I updated my account to say I was in a relationshp. I’d see several different ads (“Mature Singles,” “College Girls,” “Christian Singles,” etc) that shared the same pictures — usually busty woman who didn’t strike me as especially mature or especially Christian. Sometimes, I’d see the same picture on two diferent ads on the same page. (Also, it wasn’t well-targeted advertising, since my Facebook profile says I’m an atheist.)

    Anyway, these companies are the bottom feeders of the targeted ad game — they’re buying cheap pageviews for demographics nobody else is bidding on, and posting lowbrow junk to make some pennies.

  39. MrHacks says:
  40. saltyoak says:

    Sub prime contenders. So easy the BANK said he could do it.

  41. Winteridge2 says:

    I am totally confused: is it the Geico caveman, Osama Bin Laden, a homeless person, or JC himself? Message lost on me.

  42. vesper says:

    I thought of the alt band, Sound Garden. LOL.

  43. jenakle says:

    Jesus died for your debt