Blog Posts

Consumers: Get Ready to be Marketed by April Fools Day Pranks

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On the art of the April Fool’s prank
by Diego Vasquez
Media Life Magazine
March 29, 2011

It has to be far-fetched enough to raise doubts

If you didn’t happen to remember that the news was coming out on April Fool’s Day, it sounded plausible. On April 1, 2010, Starbucks announced two new sizes called the plenta and the micra, joining such existing sizes as the grande and venti. The plenta, Starbucks said, would hold 128 ounces of coffee, or roughly six times its biggest size at the time, while the micra would hold 2 ounces. Social networking sites were abuzz over the news, while hundreds voiced their approval or disapproval on the Starbucks web site until they realized the whole thing was a joke. Like the best April Fool’s stunts, it was just realistic enough to be possible, but just ridiculous enough to be questioned. In this case, most people laughed it off as a clever marketing stunt, but not all April Fool’s stunts are as well received. In some cases, it can do damage to an advertiser’s brand. Three days before April 1 arrives, Grant Powell, founder and chief executive officer at the digital agency Pomegranate, talks to Media Life about how advertisers can pull off a smart stunt, which ones have worked in the past, and which ones didn’t.

How can advertisers walk the fine line between showing a sense of humor on April Fool’s Day and not alienating their customers?

There is indeed a very fine line between a well-received prank and one that will leave customers upset. (more…)

How to Hack a Video Screen

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

Video: How To Hack Video Screens In Times Square
The Gothamist
March 14, 2011

This YouTube video claims to reveal a simple, ingenious method for overriding video screens broadcasting ads in Times Square and elsewhere. Is it real? Well, it certainly looks that way, so if this is fake you’ve got to them credit for verisimilitude. According to the video, all you need to hijack the Times Square ad phantasmagoria is an iPhone, a video transmitter, and a video repeater “which takes any signal coming out of the iPhone and boosts it and enhances it.” This gadget overrides any video screen that it’s being held next to, if the YouTube is to be believed:

So is this for real? One YouTube commenter calls bullshit: “The dongle can’t get enough power through the headphone jack to transmit a video in such good quality 20 meters or more through the air and the massive electro smog on Times Square””just for example. lets don’t talk about the controllers of the screens.” But another expert writes, “I do some motiontracking and I don’t think its fake. The balloon is translucent and interacts with the video source.”

What do you think: viral ad for the newest iPhone, CNN, and NYC tourism; or an exciting new development in the world of culture jamming? Tune in later week, when YouTube user BITcrash44 promises to explain how he made the prototype.

Google Demo Slam: How to Mess with Your Friends

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Submitted by Julian Tippins: Upload an animated gif to google search’s background features to mess with your friends.

Google Demo Slam: Animated Gif Background
by Julian Tippins and Richard Langhorne

Ray’s Pumpkin Carving Tutorial

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Check out Ray Villafane’s tutorial for making outrageous pumpkins

If you have yet to try and carve a pumpkin in a 3-D manner you need to. Its fun and everybody enjoys a cool pumpkin. Unfortunately they begin to rot less than a week after carving so be sure to take plenty of pictures. You can experiment with ways of preserving them but I find nothing works better than a nice photo. Some chefs that I have carved for put lemon juice on the faces to help slow down the natural molding process that will occur. Read more…

Click here for more photos

thanks Tony

Video Projector Pranks: When One Equals Two

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Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Media Literacy

As seen on Laughing Squid, posted by Aaron Muszalski on April 6, 2010:

Matthew Weathers, a Mathematics and Computer Science Professor at Biola University in Southern California, has a charming talent for surprising his students with clever video projector pranks.

For a tutorial on how Matthew Weathers creates these video projector pranks, click here.

The Magic of Liu Qian… Exposed

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Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Illusion and Magic, Instructionals

An amazing magic trick performed on CCTV for Chinese New Year 2010:

Liu Qian – Magic Show on 2010 Chinese New Year

Within hours, the trick was exposed online. So much for the keeping the magic of the mystery!

thanks Linda

The Fart of the Prank

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From Randy Sarafan at

Tweet When You Toot: The Twittering Office Chair

tweetwhenyoutoot-200The Twittering office chair “tweets” (posts a Twitter update) upon the detection of natural gas such as that produced by human flatulence. This is part of my commitment to accurately document and share my life as it happens.

For more in depth theory, please see the next step entitled Theory [This link takes you to the tutorial].

See the results of the toots of your labor on Twitter.

More fun with Twitter:

  • Best Man Pranks Newlyweds by Broadcasting Their Bedtime Business to Twitter, by nzk0 from
  • Computer Prank Instructional

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

    From Gigafide of

    Phone Booth Removal Instructional Video

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    Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals

    From Public Ad Campaign, posted by Jordan Seiler:

    This instructional video teaches you what you need to break into a phone booth, and how to do it. Remember it is illegal to tamper with private property even when it’s in your public environment, assaulting your senses with messages you couldn’t care less about for things you don’t need.

    Fake KMart PS3 Slim Ad For “Quick Internet Fame”

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

    From, August 13, 2009:

    K-Mart PS3 Slim Ad proven fake in 6 steps – Neogaf forum plays prank

    fakeslimadCheeky Neogaf does it again, but we don’t think we’ve ever fallen for their pesky pranks.

    First they created concept art for the PS3 Slim, which is now the media’s standard image for Sony’s presumed console, and now the Neogaf gaming forums have created the ads to promote it. All they have to do now is actually build it and sell it in the shops…

    Today Gizmodo reported on a K-Mart promotional ad featuring a 120GB PS3 Slim, priced at $299.99. Sure, the website noted that they thought it was “shenanigans,” but now we can prove the ad is false, with Neogaf’s chubigans as the cheeky culprit. He explains his methodology (with images after this link): (more…)

    Scam Alert

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    Man steals people’s banking information Video

    via Walkinc1, thanks Lea

    How to Enlarge Your (or Someone Else’s) Breasts

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    From TutCast Design Training:

    Breast Enhancement

    thanks Roger

    Campers Unite and Prank-on

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Just for Kids, Pranksters

    While You Were Sleeping: The Art of Camp Pranks
    From SparkLife, by Kathryn Williams, June 9, 2009

    campprank-200We recently posted about preparing for summer camp, which inspired Super Summer Sparkler rockgod2009 to ask, Hey guys, what are some good relatively clean pranks to do on girls?

    You are in luck, rockgod2009, because this contributor just so happens to have ten years of summer camp pranking experience up her wizard sleeves.

    As any prankster worth her whoopee cushion knows, pranking is an art. (See Looking for Alaska.) There are a few ground rules:

    1. Don”™t be too mean. There is a fine line between making someone laugh and making someone cry. The fun fades quickly when you find yourself scrubbing bathrooms or explaining to your parents that you got kicked out of camp for supergluing a kid”™s butt cheeks together.

    2. No one should get hurt. This includes both victims and pranksters. If the caper involves scaling walls, dropping hammers, or shooting staple guns, it probably falls under the “Bad Idea” column.

    3. Consider your audience: age, gender, general sensitivity. If they cry at ghost stories, they will probably not find it funny to wake up to a Scream mask hovering over their sleeping head. Guys are terrified of feminine products; little girls probably won”™t get it.

    Now that we”™ve covered basic guidelines, let”™s explore some classics. Nothing new, but they”™ll work every time: (more…)

    Prank How-To From Rich Praytor

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    From Rich Praytor twists the kitchen tap in order to prank random house guests – even his mom.

    How to Prank Guests with a Splash

    via Bukisa

    How To Booby Trap a Water Bottle

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    from ThatFunnyInterweb, via ManticoresMoustache