Convincing people to wear life vests can be tricky, even if it seems like common sense. So, to drive home the importance of water safety—and plug its Izeber 50 floating model—French water sports brand Tribord invented a canned beverage called Wave, then dubbed it "the worst drink in the world" and offered it to passersby on a seaside boardwalk.
Prank scares got an extra boost this past Halloween week as online audiences sought out viral videos that would provide thrills and frights.
You probably have a few friends so opinionated about the sourcing and quality of their food, part of you wants to test whether they'd really know the difference between crap and cuisine. You love those friends, but you also think they're being snobs, and you'd just love to troll them hard.
Roderick Russell was a bit shocked by just how personalized the ads on his Facebook page were becoming. In the right-hand rail he started seeing messages for cures to a unique malady of his—he's a professional sword swallower but has trouble swallowing his vitamin pills without gagging.
Halloween is more than a month away, but SA Wardega scored big on the viral charts this week by unleashing a mutant spider-dog on unsuspecting people.
Few trends have dominated online marketing in recent years on the level of prankvertising and other real-world marketing stunts.
The makers of "Lord of Tears," a well-reviewed Scottish indie chiller, definitely ruffled some feathers with a pair of pranks that brought the film's evil "Owlman" into real life. In the first and less elaborate stunt, Owlman popped up on Chatroulette, where he set some teeth chattering with fear, though most users just seemed amused. (By Chatroulette standards, he's actually not so bad.) More recently, though, the beaked beastie nested in an an abandoned children's hospital that's reportedly a favorite haunt of sightseers and photographers. "Lord of Tears'" director Lawrie Brewster explains: "Whenever we got a heads up somebody was heading this way … we would get our hidden cameras ready to record what happened when they encountered our Owlman lurking inside. We did not expect the reactions we filmed, and had to cut short the second prank as our victim became too distressed. He was eventually fine in the end and even had a cup of tea with us!" "Distressed" is putting it mildly. Some hospital explorers seem ready for the psych ward after encountering the Owlman in the building's dilapidated halls. Some will insist the prank was faked, and indeed a cursory search of Google turns up no mentions of an abandoned St. Mary's Children's Hospital, which seems odd if it's such a popular destination. (There is, however, an abandoned St. Mary's asylum in Stannington.) And of course the reactions are almost too perfect. Regardless, the video has proven scary popular, generating almost 1 million views in a few days and lots of buzz for a relatively small film. So I'd call Owlman's latest flight a wise move indeed.
We've been had. It turns out that one man's heroic billboard crusade to prevent celebrity divorce was actually a hoax by WEtv to advertise its new show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. We caught up with WEtv President Marc Juris (pictured below) to find out how he hit the zeitgeist and tricked media outlets across the nation: AdFreak: Is there a real J. Robert Butler? Mark Juris: You're speaking to him. No, he's a fictional character we invented, played by a real actor. Whom you made up a whole backstory for about his daughter's divorce … Because the most important thing you have to remember is that the audience is incredibly smart. We created a whole character, a persona and a motivation. Thought about why he would do this, what he expected would be the response. I think the inclination is to have him say some outrageous stuff, and we pulled all that back and had him be more realistic. How did you hatch the hoax? We went through a couple of ideas. We thought, "Could we make these billboards poking fun at celebrity couples who had divorced?" But it just felt too much like an overt ad campaign. And that’s the problem with overt campaigns; people just drive by them and just keep going. So we thought, "How can we really do this?" What if we made an organization that seemed ridiculous but could be real and serious?