Does 'prankvertising' work? - KMSP-TV

Does 'prankvertising' work?

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Watch closely as people on a job interview mistakenly think the TV hanging on the wall behind the employer is a real window. What is really going on in this now viral video is that LG Electronics is trying to sell you a television. This viral video has gotten millions of views since it was posted Monday. It shows a new way advertisers are trying to get you to buy their products known as "prankvertizing."

Dan Merritts, the CEO of the marketing firm EF Sharp, says the ads trigger emotion and take the product directly to where the buyers are looking: YouTube. The videos steal a page from "Candid Camera" or more recently MTV's "Punk'd."

Some of the videos are elaborate hoaxes. In one viral video selling deodorant, actors set up a young woman in an airport by posting her picture on a newspaper and television as a wanted fugitive. The prank ends authorities stop her and ask if she is sweating.

We know millions are looking at these ads, like one that puts a TV on the floor of an elevator; the rider doesn't know it is not a real floor.

The ads are clearly getting attention. But does that translate into people going out and buying a new television or some other product at the center of one of these provocative ads? Advertisers are banking on it.

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