The promotional power of pranks

More and more brands are buying into the ‘prankvertising’ trend. Is it a sustainable model for drumming up publicity?

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Brands are a little bit ahead of the game, though. They’ve been pulling pranks for months, with the intention of snagging the attention of often-distracted online observers.

As far back as March, companies have been fooling their poor job applicants. Heineken made an entire campaign out of its weird interviews that involved fake heart attacks and other unorthodox tests. Last month, LG pushed the pranks-on-applicants envelope even further, making them think they were seeing the end of the world outside a window when they were really seeing video on an LG TV.

The phenomenon, which even has a name now—”prankvertising”—has really ramped up since then, perhaps because of Halloween. A few recent examples are pretty spooky, anyway. For example, Benjamin Moore paint hired painters to do a job in a creepy house and then played every trick in the book to scare them out of their wits.

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