Go big or go home, right? Brands everywhere are going over the top to impress consumers and grab their attention. To do this, they’re coupling pranks with video advertising strategies to create compelling content that goes viral. While some marvel at the creativity, others argue that prankvertising goes too far. Regardless, the power of the latest trend in video advertising is undeniable. Here are some of our favorite prankvertisements.
Telekinetic Surprise in a Coffee Shop
While prankvertising has been popular around the globe, it’s only recently made its way into the mainstream USA. This prank in a coffee shop plays on people’s paranormal fears as a young girl angrily shows off her telekinetic powers. Books fly off the shelves, tables blast across the room, and a man is thrust into the air. The hidden cameras capture the horrified reactions of real customers.
Of course, this was just part of an elaborate prank to advertise the release of the movie Carrie. Still, the prankvertisement was so effective that it garnered hundreds of thousands of views within 24 hours of its upload.
It’s the End of the World!
Wanna talk about shock value? LG recently hid an 84-inch HD TV in the wall where the window should have been. They then invited job candidates into the office for an interview. Unsuspecting applicants were panicked as they looked out the “window” and saw a giant meteor destroying the city behind them. As the room went dark, the prank victims believed that they were in the middle of the apocalypse.
What makes LG’s prankvertisement so effective is the fact that their product is at the center of the prank. The ad ends with the caption, “The world’s first 84 inch Ultra HDTV. Welcome to ultra reality.” The video now has 14 million views on YouTube.
Prankvertisements Aren’t Always Scary
Prankvertisements have gotten a bad rap for scaring unsuspecting people out of their wits. Toys R Us, however, reminds us that prankvertisements can be uplifting and positive as well. Toys R Us tricked a busload of children into thinking that they were going on a boring field trip to learn about trees and nature. But instead of turning up at the state park, the bus pulled into the parking lot of the celebrated toy store. To make things even sweeter, each child was able to pick a toy of his or her own choosing. Of course, video cameras captured the entire ordeal.
Department of Transport
The UK’s Department of Transport wanted to shock viewers and really get them to think about the consequences of drunk driving. Just to warn you, the video above is very shocking, but certainly gets the message across effectively.
Imagine waiting for your flight in the airport, only to see your face suddenly plastered on the televisions with a giant “WANTED” sign. NIVEA Deutschland stressed the importance of deodorant by placing unsuspecting victims into an extremely stressful situation. What would you do if you found out the authorities were suddenly after you?
Whether or not your brand decides to engage in an elaborate prankvertising campaign, the reality is that humor resonates with audiences.
How will your brand use shock and humor to delightfully surprise consumers?