Virus Buster 2010 (or Uirusu Basutaa, to keep true to the busted Engrish pronunciation) is an all-new antivirus software from Japan. In a country where most people are either computer-illiterate or close to it*, these guys sure as hell know how to rile up their target audience.
Take a look at this advert, for instance. Translated, it would sound something like this:
1 out of 30 Mac users have already been infected with a virus once! A new virus for Mac appears every 2.5 seconds! More and more Macs are infected every day! ...Download our trial software, kthxbai.
The text is bad enough (I'd like to see a link to any believable statistic that says viruses spawn faster than bunnies in heat), but what really gets me is the skull. So, if you get infected with a virus, your computer will become self-aware and think it's a pirate on top of that. Right? Right then.
Clicking the advert takes you to an even more ominous-looking page, where the key element is this banner. What does the banner say? Let's find out...
WAIT A SECOND! THAT MOVIE MIGHT BE DANGEROUS! "Eeeeh?" (says the chick). "I thought that was a movie, but when I tried to open it, I got a virus!?" (the rest of the banner is just gibberish about how Virus Buster supposedly does the same job as every antivirus out there, but better)
So, scaring your customers into buying your products is the new rage. Gotcha. But the "fun" doesn't stop here.
The "Buy NOW!" button opens a pop-up window with a quick survey in Flash. "Answer these five simple questions, and we'll pick the BEST product for you!" says the big, bright text. Okay then.
First question: "Do you think you're good with computers?" I picked "Yes".
Second question: "When you tried calling a tech. support office for a software or machine, you either called outside working hours or your time was wasted with pointless things, which made you MAD!" I saw where this was going, so I picked "No".
Third question: "You use your credit card a lot". Uh, what does that have to do with anything? "No."
Fourth question: "You think of yourself as absent-minded." Excuse me!? "No."
Final question: "When you buy stuff, you always go for the best offers." That's a no-brainer. "Yes", of course.
For all my hard work, I got slapped with a page recommending a copy of Virus Buster for only $120. Classic! The other, more advanced copy of Virus Buster, complete with basic PC and Mac support (sort of like Virus Buster for dummies, in other words whatever most Japanese would go for) would have amounted to around $160.
Reh!? The best antivirus programs in the world (as seen on TopTenReviews.com) all have plans for Over 90--I mean, under $50, and come with optional Japanese-language support! What the eck**!? And don't even get me started on the free antivirus programs out there (Avast!, for instance).
In conclusion, there is one more thing left to be said, really...
Dear Virus Buster 2010,
The Pwn3d! team (Red, Failb0at and MNP)
PS: Feel free to sue, and we'll feel free to laugh.
* It's true. Half of my 40 or so classmates had never touched a computer before the compulsory IT class we took in first year.
** Obvious World of Warcraft reference is obvious