A Ringtone That Really Gets Under Your Skin?

by Bruce Stewart

Make of it what you will, but a new site has popped up devoted to the promotion of Pherotones, which are presented as a sort of oddball, audible cousin of pheromones, which naturally you'll be able to use as ring tones on your cell phone. The site lures us in with the convincing tagline "You've heard of Pheromones, now try Pherotones!" and gripping personal testimonials like this one from Derrick of NYC,

I wasn’t much of a ladies’ man before Pherotones. Now they call me ‘Mr. Lady.’

OK, I'm in. I wouldn't want to disparage Dr. Myra Vanderhood of the Auditory Institute, RTP, a "world-traveled intimacy expert", heck she even maintains a blog chronicling her new Pherotone project and offers up an "IM the Dr." link on the site. There's also a (disputed) pherotone Wikipedia entry. Of course, this is too hot for mainstream science!

But since I knew our intrepid readers would want the latest scoop on this exciting new discovery, I couldn't resist having a quick chat with the good Dr. this morning. Probably not surprisingly, she appears to be taking this all very seriously:

bruceETel: can i ask you a couple of questons?

DrPherotone: Shoot! Fire away.

bruceETel: what are pherotones and how do they work?

DrPherotone: That's an excellent question. How they work remains to be seen, and although I am convinced of their existence, many people in the scientific community are not.

DrPherotone: Essentially, think of pherotones not a s sounds, but inaudilbe sounds within sounds. You can hear them, but they are there.

bruceETel: Can inaudible sounds really stimulate someone's erotic nature?

DrPherotone: Now, my hypothesis is that specific sequences of these iinaudible tones can trigger a response in the human brain via the sacculus, in the inner ear.

DrPherotone: I believe they can. I have some...uh, um..some let's say personal anecdotal experieince with their power.

bruceETel: what exactly goes on at the Auditory Institute, RTP anyway?

DrPherotone: Right now, a lot of work! Our website just went live yesterday, I'm up to my ears in emails and IM's...it's crazy here today.

DrPherotone: But in general, we gather, study and craft pherotones, and experiement with their effects in volunteers we get from the local universities.

bruceETel: why do you think pherotones too controversial for mainstream science?

DrPherotone: Because sex and attraction are involved, research money is hard to come by. Luckily I am an awesome fundraiser and grant writer! But anything unproven, that involves human sexuality is controversial in science. You get accused of grandstanding, of going for the headlines instead of the truth...It's how it has always been. Look at what they did to Kinsey.

My biggest question remains if one ringtone can make me irresistable why on Earth can't I buy one from this site?? I asked her that too, and while she can't really talk about it and she's "not in it for the money," plans are definitely in the works. I think an opportunity is being missed here, it won't be long before these pherotone ringtones are all over the P2P networks. Don't tease me like that.


2006-01-18 22:39:31
It's a viral marketing campaign created by the advertising agency McKinney Silver. The website is registered to them.

Shockingly they have even created a false wikipedia article about "pherotones." But didn't realize that their IP address (a Mckinney Silver one) is logged when they revised it.

2006-01-20 11:47:14
Also, if you look at the meta keywords for their site, the list includes 'Humping grandma'.


2006-01-20 12:16:04
What a scam!
2006-01-20 17:05:22
And let's not count out some of the site's other keyword phrases: "wedding kiss," "gay wedding," and "over eighteen." Now, combine all that, along with "humping grandma" into a sentence!
Mark C
2006-01-20 17:12:09
Just look at the last question on the faqs page.

Q: Is this site part of a marketing campaign?
A: Yes it is. Thanks for your interest. Please check back to see further developments about Pherotones!!

2006-01-21 22:44:39
"Q: Is this site part of a marketing campaign?
A: Yes it is. Thanks for your interest. Please check back to see further developments about Pherotones!!"

They added this after they were found out. It wasn't there before. Check out the source code. They simply copied and pasted.

2006-01-21 22:46:05
All you have to do is read the bottom of every page:
Pherotones are not intended to be used as a supplement, dating aid, vitamin, pump, extender, enhancer, relationship builder or love maker.
The people appearing in these images are just models and are being used for illustrative purposes only.
2006-01-29 21:50:48