A Man Discovers He’s a Bot in This Amusing Warning About Click Fraud

CAB goes for humor to shine light on the epidemic

Click fraud is a big problem, but it's also an exceedingly boring topic. So, how do you liven it up to warn marketers about it? The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has tried a bit of comedy in the hopes that it will get more attention than a white paper.

Check out the video below—a fake newscast about a man who finds out he's a bot. And yes, the phone number at the end is real. Give it a try: 1-844-AM-I-A-BOT

We spoke to Danielle Delauro, svp of strategic sales insights at CAB, about the video.

AdFreak: Fun concept. Where did you get the idea?

Danielle Delauro: We present a lot to advertisers and agencies, and we always get questions about the extent of bot traffic online. We started out thinking, how can you tell when it's a bot? We started tossing around ideas, and the video took direction pretty fast.

What appealed to you about a fake newscast?

We've seen a number of networks tackle serious issues in a fake news setting, and do it successfully. We thought the setup would help us highlight a serious industry issue that is so pervasive it's almost absurd. On one level, you can't help but laugh.

Do you think this approach will break through where more rational attacks might not?

We hope so. There's been a lot of official reporting on the topic—white papers, studies, articles—that have exposed the issue rationally. We thought something funny could touch a nerve and get people to feel the issue rather than just think it, and then share it with friends and colleagues. It's a lot more natural to share a short video that makes you laugh than a long white paper. That's why the 1-844-AM-I-A-BOT number is important. It creates another level of sharable experience.

How committed is CAB to exposing click fraud? Is putting digital's purported reach in perspective a major priority these days?

We're committed to helping advertisers sell more stuff, so we're advancing reality in all things video. Marketers need real audience at real scale, and bots don't have credit cards. So we're prompting marketers to put the video options in the right balance, by putting audience claims in perspective.