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Selling fear, scaring consumers and mocking advertisers

Advertisers have long been toying with covert crowd sourcing, taking unsuspecting consumers and placing them at the centre of a campaign. It’s a great idea, albeit you need an original concept to pull it off.
Get it right, and the potential for that content to go viral is huge. Everyone enjoys watching a good prank, and few people are put off when they know it’s all in aid of promoting a brand. Hence the reason more and more firms are using this idea for their own ends. A fast rising trend in the marketing world, it’s also been long overdue for a spoof.
With that in mind we were delighted to find this video by creative agency John St, amusingly entitled exFEARiential. Taking the whole thing to previously-unimaginable extremes in order to make us laugh, those responsible explain: “We don’t do flashmobs, we do mobs.??? A wry dig at all those surprises hurled at the public in the name of making a corporate impact, take a look at their work below. Oh, and if there was any doubt as to exactly who they are mocking, we’ve embedded some of our favourite, far more serious examples of this model for your perusal too. Enjoy.

Heineken – The Candidate
1724 people applied for a sports event internship, and then Holland’s biggest beer brand decided to spice things up a little. From holding hands with interviewees to discussing pay rates after passing out, this is priceless prank-TV stuff.
TNT- Push To Add Drama
On a quiet, unassuming square in a quiet, unassuming town, TV executives placed a big red button people just had to touch. Queue Hollywood-style getaways amid gunfights and an entire American football team running amok. Impressive.
LG- The End of the World
Before this we had TV-lined elevators tricking people into believing the floor was collapsing, but LG upped the game with an audacious attempt to bring on armageddon. We can’t help feeling a little sorry for the unsuspecting participants.
Carrie- Telekinetic Coffee Shop
Although not the drivel many people expected we still say this prank trailer for the new version of Carrie is better than the film itself. Whether a set up or not it remains a great example of site-specific theatrics.

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