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I Was Merely Acting!

April 6, 2009  

Set the scene: An attractive blonde Australian sits on the edge of her bed in an all-white bedroom and awkwardly begins a homemade video produced for YouTube. After a few false starts, she says, "Before I go any further, um, I want to make something really clear to everyone, okay? I'm not a stalker." She proceeds to tell a story of a man she saw at a café and how their orders were mixed up. "He's smart and funny and we had this … connection," she says bashfully.

She explains how he left his black jacket behind, holds it up to the camera and says she wants to return it to him or someone he knows. "It's beautiful, and it's got silk lining, beautiful striped interior, um, smells good … like him."

The video went viral and even garnered serious press coverage before it became apparent that there wasn't a shred of truth to the romantic tale. In fact, an ad agency had created the piece for the clothier Witchery, and was a subtle advertisement for the company's jackets.

According to Mumbrella, the deliberate subterfuge generated an angry response in the blogosphere.

Your Marketing Inspiration comes from an Australian blog called Acidlabs: "I think the concept, which borrows heavily from real life, is very clever. But there's one problem. It told us fibs. It pretended to be real. It's not. It aimed deliberately to deceive. The whole campaign [presented] sock puppets as reality. And that's where it breaks down."


More Inspiration:
Paul Williams: Don't Force It: Roam Before You Pave
Mark Goren: Let the Top Online Content Come to You
Susan Solomon: A Marketing and Communications Opportunity

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