It doesn't matter whether I visit friendster, MySpace, various trackers, or other normal, ad-driven sites, I am bombarded by the same couple dozen ads for true.com. Much like the old Yahoo! Personals ads I'd see when checking my email these are all gender-directed (I am not shown any ads of men, even at sites where I am not logged in and have no gender-specific identity), so much like with those Yahoo! ads I decided to collect all the ones I could over the course of a week or two and, much like with my Freckles project, present them all side-by-side.
In total I collected 29 ads; some of these duplicated that ads I posted back on December 14. One site I frequent uses a type of vertical banner ad to fill the right-column ad space, and from time to time I saw True ads there; in total I found only four, two of which featured models easily identifiable from other ads.
The naming scheme for the files was systematic and not terribly creative. In addition to the resolution of the image in question (300x300, 300x250, 160x600 pixels for example) the file name usually contained a shorthand notation for what the model was wearing, though one dealt with the football theme (“pass” and “football_girl”). Another image was called “nicegirl” in one ad but “boyshorts” in another. Other designations were blonde_lookaround, brnhair_bigbelt, cowgirl_whitetank, greentubetop, pigtail, railing, redsuitbaby, furcoat, pinkshirtjeans, redsocks, tiedupshirt, whitebuttondown, blacktankcamo, jeanskrt_beach, brownhat_scarf, makegreendress.
Variations on a Theme: 300x250
I was lucky to find twelve images in each of two size categories (300x300 and 300x250), though nine of each would have perhaps made for nicer tables, being able then to make 3x3 matrices rather than 3x4.
In addition to the unrealistic looking models (see the football themed ads in particular), it is worth noting the outfits, which are for the most part not everyday wear—only the jeans ensembles could perhaps make that claim.
Some of these fell into some nice patterns or sub-categories. For example I ended up with two of the football-themed images, which I could use to balance a row. This worked out even better in the next table.
Variations on a Theme: 300x300
As mentioned above the images fall into a number of sub-categories. In terms of format there are those that incorporate a fake HTML search form (see the last rows in the table below). Others, especially those in the 300x250 size category, split the image in half, with a dark color and text on the left and a model standing in the right half, usually shown thigh or waist to head.
While a number of colors are used, it is worth noting, perhaps, that blue is very infrequent, playing a prominent role only in the last image of the second table and in the text boxes of the fourth in the first table; in a few other images it is the color of jeans, which are, however, de-emphasized. In the above table, I managed to put together a row (the 2nd) of pink-themed images
Nuts & Bolts
Whenever I visited friendster or MySpace over the course of the past few weeks and saw an add for Truetm I right-clicked and saved the image, at least whenever possible. I am sure I missed some photos that are no longer in circulation, and I suspect new ones will be published soon, so treat this collection as a snapshot of sorts, representing the first two weeks of January, 2007.
The images fell into two main categories: images that had a height of 300 pixels and those with a height of 250 pixels. All of the images in question were 300 pixels wide. Four vertical images (160 wide, 600 high) and a single magazine ad style image (430 wide and 600 high) were also found and downloaded.
Most of the images were originally named with a content description followed by the image resolution; I renamed them by affixing the prefix true followed by 3x2 for the 300x250 pixel images, 3x3 for the 300x300 pixel images, tall for the 160x600, and large_ad for the magazine style image. To these a numerical suffix (01 to 12 for the 300x250 and 300x300 pixel images, 01 to 04 for the tall images) was added.
—January 10 2007