This series documents my adventures in ultra low-budget, grass roots marketing attempts to drive traffic to my game portal sites, with the hopes of breaking even at $33 a month. For other articles in the series, visit the Pimp My Portal special feature page.
When i was ten years old, the immortal film classic Monster Squad taught me what to do when faced with the snarling and bloodthirsty presence of the Wolfman:
That’s all fine and dandy. But what happens when you need to disable Dracula, the Creature, or the Mummy? We know Dracula’s got nards, because he’s always having kinky sex with hot lady vampires. i’m not so sure about the Creature … he probably reproduces in some weird, gross fishy way involving tentacles, spurs and egg sacs. Bleh.
Gah! Where’s the “unsee” button??
Now, the Mummy is an interesting case. i think that his junk would be all shriveled up like dried figs, and he’d be immune to a good boot to the old babymaker.
From the decaying, decrepit Mummy, it’s a hop, skip and a lurch to zombies. Can you reduce a zombie to a groaning heap by giving its manberries some welly? Truly, a question for the ages.
With that very question in mind, i wrote a script for a cute, confident Fiverrer named Fearlesss. She’s a very popular seller, and is constantly busy shooting testimonial videos for weight loss pills, affiliate marketing sites and SAT prep courses. Such is Fiverr.
i just wanna squeeze her cheeks.
With all of these ZombieGameWorld.com testimonial scripts, i tailored the text to suit the (perceived) personality of the performer. This is the script i sent to Fearlesss:
Hi, girls. Are you as concerned about the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse as I am? Many of the techniques you may have learned in womens’ self defense classes may not work when you’re battling the reanimated undead, so I’m here to offer tips on how you can modify your self defense training to protect yourself from a zombie.
Tip #1: Kick it in the genitals. You may have heard that to disable a male attacker, you should punch or kick him in the groin and run away. The problem is that zombies could be male OR female, and due to bodily decomposition, they may not have any genitals. Instead of lashing out towards the groin area, try this: knock the zombie to the ground with a shovel, plant your foot in its chest cavity, and kick its head off its shoulders.
Tip #2: Some of you carry around a whistle that you can blow to alert anyone nearby that you’re being attacked. But during the zombie apocalypse, everyone else may be too busy fighting zombies to come to your aid. Even worse, they may be dead. Instead of blowing an ineffective whistle, try this: borrow a flamethrower from a local glass-blowing shop, turn it to “HIGH”, and incinerate twelve of the undead bastards in one broad, sweeping motion.
Tip #3: Try one of the over 200 zombie combat simulations at ZombieGameWorld.com to prepare for the coming onslaught.
ZombieGameWorld.com: check your braaaaaaaaaains at the door.
Now, i’m not sure if she was drunk on her first beer when she shot it, but the resulting video has more mistakes in it than a standing-room-only adoption agency. Regard:
Highlights include Fearlesss teaching us many “tuneeks”, and telling us to “kick its head off with its shoulders”. Common to many Fiverr testimonials, we also have a major case of DES: darting-eye syndrome, where the fact that the performer is reading from a script three inches below her webcam is painfully apparent. It’s like she’s watching cars on a highway, or a tennis match featuring the Flash vs. Speedy Gonzales.
Once More Into the Gig
i felt super scummy about it, but i actually asked if she could re-shoot it for me. i suggested she split the script up into three sections. If she screwed up, she could just reset and keep on going.
The resulting re-shoot was too large to upload to Fiverr, so Shifty-Eyed Suzie uploaded it to a dodgy-looking filesharing site. i tried many times to download it before concluding that she’d botched the upload: only the first few kilobytes of the file had survived the transfer.
i provided Fearlesss with my FTP info and asked, politely, if she could please upload the re-shoot there. i didn’t hear back for a looong time, because she was busy filming stuff for other buyers. When she finally got back to me, it was with a flimsy story about how her portable hard drive had been stolen.
Sure – terrible things happen to good people. But i found it interesting that when another Fiverrer bowed out of a gig, it was due to a swiped video camera:
How convenient …
So, either Fiverrers are especially prone to theft, or loss of technology is the modern-day equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”
Lemons -> Lemonade
i contacted the Fiverr customer support staff, telling them that Fearlesss had failed to deliver the work, and could they please refund my five dollars? The response was, essentially, “tough nuts” . Since i had been accommodating enough to let the resolution stretch past 12 days, my money was unrecoverable. Lame, Fiverr. Lame.
i did my best to salvage the video, snipping the flubs where i could and adding some images, along with the tagline:
i just earned my Boy Scout badge in Turd-Polishing.
i felt this script was actually strong enough to double-down on. These were my earliest days with Fiverr, and i wasn’t sure if these people were going to deliver. So i hired a Russian seller to perform the same script, and perhaps even translate it into her native tongue if she was up for it. She wasn’t.
Here’s her crack at the bat in English:
So which of these ladies was more worth the money: the cute American, or the quietly off-putting Russian? Take our poll, and you could qualify for a chance to win the right to say you took our poll.
A Fool and His Money
The World’s Most Meager Marketing Budget took a double-whammy with these self defense videos. Here’s the update:
Original investment: $100
* ZombieGameWorld tagline voiceover – $5
* Show Us Yer Bewbz! – $5
* Zombie Funk – $5
* Advertising on Some Dude’s Car – $5
* Zombie Self-Defense: American Version – $5
* Zombie Self-Defense: Russian Version – $5
What the Eff?
This wasn’t the only unfortunate outcome in my Fiverr adventures. Another seller went wildly off-book and didn’t respond to my re-shoot request. As with Fearlesss, the Fiverr customer service team turned a blind eye to it all. Next up, a curse word-averse seller sucks the swears out of my script, and doesn’t even have the decency to call me the next day.