Who is This Man?

By Matt Van Hoven 

How creepy is this guy, seriously? I know what you’re thinking &#151 no this isn’t a composite sketch of TVNewser’s Kevin Allocca. It’s a figure known as “This Man” &#151 and there’s even a Web site (thisman.org, tagline: “every night throughout the world hundreds of people dream about this face”) dedicated to explaining the mystery surrounding this ugly, way-too-eyebrowed figure.

Before giving away the secret, here’s some of the lore behind thisman.


A psychiatrist treats a patient who claims to have seen “this man” in a dream. The patient makes a sketch and leaves it on the shrink’s desk. A few days later, another patient recognizes the image as someone from his/her dream. Pretty soon, others realize that they’ve seen the guy too, and each claims that he somehow brought them comfort in dreams.

Soon a couple thousand people (not all in that office) come forward, having seen the man in dreams. Everyone’s friggin’ seeing this guy in their sleepy adventures, and he’s always making them feel good. Example:

“I have never had homosexual relationships or even fantasies. But I dream about having sexing with this man all the time. I must admit he has a lot of imagination and he pleases me. Sometimes when I wake up I discover I have had a nocturnal emission.”

OK that one was a bit out there compared to others, but you get the idea. There are a bunch of theories about who “This Man” is: God, an archetype of all our collective helpers, an actual dude who can enter your dreams (possibly created by a corporation!), an amalgamation of people we’ve seen/met. Whatever the case, it’s all bullshit, says ASSME &#151 a scheme concocted by Italian “guerrilla marketer” Andrea Natella.

“He’s a ‘sociologist specializing in marketing’ and once wrote an article about the ‘origins of the subversive use of the hoax in Italy.; He runs GuerrigliaMarketing.it, where he defines ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ as ‘a set of non-conventional communication techniques that achieves maximum visibility with minimum investment.’ Natella also states on his site that the ‘memetic virus can replicate itself in the minds of consumers.’

“You know, like a slightly creepy-looking sketch of a dude on a website with all sorts of implied, strange backstory. Like ThisMan.org.”

As if you didn’t already know it is a hoax. Click on over to ASSME to get the rest of the story about Natella.

Note: @browntown messaged us via Twitter to say, “Oh wow…I haven’t thought about Flash Face for years.” Flash Face, for those of you who are unaware, is a basic software program that lets users build their own faces. We took a few minutes and recreated this man as best we could. Not bad eh? Natella could have put this together the site in a matter of hours, we’d guess. Though we didn’t get it exactly right, the components are all there.

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