With TiVo allowing you to skip right over commercials, marketing agencies are always brainstorming new ways to promote products to consumers in innovative ways. Thinkmodo, a viral video marketing company based in New York City, is quickly gaining popularity with their controversial promotional videos dubbed prankvertisements.
The latest viral video, featuring Hoboken actress Andrea Morales, was uploaded to YouTube on Monday and already has over 25 million views. To help promote the movie Carrie coming to theaters on October 18, the ThinkModo team created an elaborate prank in a New York City coffee shop where Morales acts as though she has telekinesis abilities during a fit of rage in front of fellow diners.
While it seems like the best marketing strategy in todayâ€™s society for its shock factor and ability to go viral, this tactic begs the question of when will the line be crossed? Some news anchors have commented that continuously exposing viewers to shocking advertisements like this will force us to become numb or accustomed to seeing erratic behavior in our everyday life.
One of the more controversial campaigns by Thinkmodo was to promote a 2013 movie, Dead Man Down. During almost the entirety of the two minute video, the viewer has no idea they are watching an advertisement. The clip starts out vague, simply asking what you would do if you were about to enter an elevator and saw a murder in progress. The question is followed by footage of random people encountering exactly what the question prompts and documents their reaction. The last few seconds of the video simply read Dead Man Down, followed by a link to the filmâ€™s website.
What if you actually did witness a murder but assumed you were being pranked so you didnâ€™t do anything?
Are companies like Thinkmodo geniuses or setting themselves up for disaster? Clearly by continuing to make headlines theyâ€™re doing something right, for now.