Most people enjoy a good prank video, and with the increases in camera technology the quality of these videos are certainly on the rise. Because of the popularity of these videos, online marketing companies have started using them to create viral videos to help promote upcoming films and products. As you will see from some of the examples below, this can be a really cost effective way of marketing your film/product and creating a real buzz.
Looking at the upload dates of the original videos, they are typically released around 9-10 days prior to the release of the film/product. This must be the point of the highest amount of buzz, even though the video will continue to get many more views afterwards. You may well have seen some of these before, but here are a few of my favourite.
This is a brand new video that has only just been released on YouTube, so at the time of writing this it only has 301+ views. I expect this to change very quickly. The video features a somewhat realistic animatronic baby, that is left crying on it’s own in a pram. When an unsuspecting member of the public goes to investigate, the baby jumps out of the pram snarling and even vomitting to scare the life out of the prankee for the hilarious benefit of the viewer. Not only do I expect this video to become viral pretty quickly, but it also created a real stir in New York at the time of filming. Note, this prank was to help promote the upcoming film “Devil’s Due” out this month, which looks like a modern day adaptation of Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby”.
Telekinetic Coffee Shop
This video has been out for a while, and at the time of writing has accumulated a staggering 52,759,453 views since it was uploaded on the 7th October 2013. This time New York coffee shop customers are the victims of a Telekentic prank, where a young girl publicly uses her powers on someone who accidentally spills coffee on her laptop. Just as the video starts to reach it’s climax, the true reason for the prank is revealed as the remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie” is advertised.
LG Ultra HD 84″ TV Prank
It makes sense to use a scary prank video for horror films, but this fairly ingenius prank for LG’s new Ultra HD 84″ TV works really well. Not only is it a very amusing video, but also promotes the quality of the TV resolution for realism which will be a key USP. This video has 15,255,772 views at the time of writing, and takes the form of a job interview. The Ultra HD TV is behind the interviewer disguised as a window. During the interview a meteor falls from the sky and crashes into the City, terrifying the candidate; something that wouldn’t be possible on a normal widescreen TV.
Curse of Chucky
Back to horror films! This prank video also caused some controversy, asking the question if the pranksters had perhaps gone “too far” in scaring their victims. In this video, which has had 12,293,820 views at the time of writing, the victims are filmed at a train station sat down next to a “Curse of Chucky” movie poster. All of a sudden, there is some evil laughing and someone dressed as “Chucky” bursts through the poster and chases them with a plastic knife.
So there we have it. These are just a few of our favourites, and I’m sure there are many more out there. With results like the Carrie example at over 50,000,000 views it is a fantastic way to create truly viral content which can be invaluable exposure. Case in point, I had no idea about the “Devil’s Due” film or the “Carrie” remake until a friend shared the video on Facebook. I’m sure this will be something we will see a lot more in the future.