Lately it seems every day is April Fools Day in the world of advertising; so many ad campaigns are based around pranking ordinary people. Due to the success of YouTube viral videos, prank campaigns have become the latest rage among advertisers.
In Latin, ad vertere means to "turn the mind toward." Today, companies don't just try to "turn the mind toward" their products, they attempt to "blow the mind toward" their products. With all the different ways we are bombarded with advertising all day long, it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd, so companies have begun to use Stormin' Norman's tactic -- the element of surprise.
LG's most recent prank involves bathroom humor and pretty girls - what could be better? LG monitors were installed at eye level above urinals in a men's restroom. When guys showed up to use the facilities, the screens became active showing hot babes who appeared to be appraising the men's junk. The monitors projected such lifelike images that most men got a little stage fright. On average, 25% failed to pee at all.
LG not only loves bathroom humor, but apparently they enjoy making people poop their pants, as well. LG installed a false floor of monitors in an elevator and recorded people flipping out when the floor appeared to be falling away underfoot. The reactions of the riders are classic, but LG should feel lucky they did not have to clean up those life-like monitors, afterwards.
Carlsberg Beer's viral prank involves rousing unsuspecting people from their beds in the middle of the night with a panicked calls from their friends, who claim they are in serious trouble and need immediate help. The person claims they have lost $400 playing poker with some serious dudes in Chinatown and don't have enough jack to pay up. They ask the friend to bring them the money quickly or physical harm will come to them. The friends do indeed bring the money, and then have to run a gantlet of obstacles and hazards to reach their friend in need.
Any friend who accomplishes this feat is a friend indeed - or at least was, prior to being punked.
Nivea ambushed several people in an airport concourse with a dastardly, multimedia barrage that made it appear as though each one was wanted by the police for varying reasons. Newspaper headlines, TV monitors, and PA systems were all used to freak out the unsuspecting targets.
Like the airport is not stressful enough.
A Very Dramatic Town Square
Turner-owned TNT placed a big red button in a town square somewhere in Belgium, and goaded people to push it. When they did, the square would suddenly erupt in chaos as actors appeared out of nowhere and began acting out scenes ripped from medical and legal dramas.
We will give TNT credit where credit is due - the network's tagline of "We know drama" is clearly true.