Blog Posts

How a Pig Rescues a Goat To Promote a New TV Series

posted by
Filed under: Publicity Stunts

Editor’s note: Media literacy alert!

  • Stunt went viral in September of 2012 and is reported in the NY Times the day before the TV series for which it was created premieres,
  • Producers avow that the media was never their target and they did nothing to promote the fake video,
  • This is a great example, in the evolution of marketing, of guerilla hoaxing tactics being co-opted for commercial purposes

  • From Nancy:

    Really Cute, but Totally Faked
    by Dave Itzkoff
    New York Times
    February 26, 2013

    It seemed too adorable to be fake, but it was too good to be true.


    On Sept. 19 a 30-second video appeared on YouTube, depicting a baby goat that had become stuck in the pond of a petting zoo and that was heroically rescued with a helpful nudge from a pig that swam out to it.

    Within hours the video had been posted around the Web; it had been shared with the Twitter followers of Time magazine and Ellen DeGeneres; and it had been broadcast on NBC”™s “Today” show and its “Nightly News” program, ABC”™s “Good Morning America” and Fox News, where the “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said of it, “You couldn”™t do this at Warner Brothers as a cartoon and make it seem more realistic.”

    But the video was thoroughly staged. It was created for a new Comedy Central series, “Nathan for You,” with the help of some 20 crew members, including animal trainers, scuba divers and humane officers, and required the fabrication of a plastic track to guide the pig to the goat (which was never in jeopardy).

    Video by jebdogrpm

    That a faked video had been so rapidly disseminated by unskeptical news outlets was both surprising and dispiritingly familiar to professional experts on the news media. (more…)