ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Best Fails So Far

The “Fight ALS (aka Lou Gehrigs Disease) with the Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign has been wildly successful, raising more than $94 Million dollars in just a few months to help raise awareness and find a cure for this debilitating disease. Millions of people all over the world have been videotaped letting someone pour ice water over their heads (or doing it themselves). And in their enthusiasm, there have been some spectacular fails:

Devil Baby Attack

From Tim Jackson: Special effects are creeping into the real world: A beautifully constructed prank used to advertise a new horror film, “Devil’s Due”. Wait ’till one of these causes a real heart attack.

Devil Baby Attack

An animatronic “devil baby” in a remote controlled stroller goes on a rampage through the streets of New York City and hidden cameras record people’s reactions.

Watch the video:

CNN Weighs In on Online Hoaxes

From Joe King:

2013: The Web’s year of the hoax
by Doug Gross
December 4, 2013

News alert: Some things you read on the Internet are not true.

As obvious as that may seem, and as savvy as you’d think we’d be a decade after deposed Nigerian princes began e-mailing us with the promise of vast riches, 2013 has turned out to be the Year of the Online Hoax.


And, guess what? Most of us seemed to love every minute of it.

In just the past week or so, the Web has been duped by the viral rise of a snarky Thanksgiving Day airplane spat, a not-so-poor poverty blogger and a Twitter feud between a comedian and a salsa company.

And it’s no accident. Media experts say there are multiple factors at work when these sweet little lies rocket across the Web in what feels like mere minutes.

Continue reading “CNN Weighs In on Online Hoaxes”

Pranks That Sell

From Joe King

Why Terrifying Pranks Make the Best Advertising
by Claire Suddath
Business Week
November 1, 2013

A few weeks ago, a two-and-a-half minute video called Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise circulated online. The clip offered a behind-the-scenes look at how a team of filmmakers played a prank on unsuspecting New York City coffee shop patrons by building a fake wall, outfitting an actor with a wire and harness, and then cuing an actress to freak out in public and use her magical powers to suspend the guy in midair. The coffee shop was a real coffee shop”””™sNice in Manhattan”™s West Village””and the looks of horror on customers”™ faces were genuine. The prank was funny and fascinating, and has since been watched more than 46 million times on YouTube and discussed on both Good Morning America and CNN (TWX).

It”™s also, technically speaking, a commercial. Watch the video here.


The prank and resulting video were a promotional stunt for Sony Pictures”™ (SNE) Carrie remake; this becomes evident when the movie”™s title and release date appear at the end. It was produced by the viral marketing firm Thinkmodo, which in February made a similar promo for The Last Exorcism Part II. In that one, Thinkmodo scared hair salon customers by making the image of a possessed-looking woman appear whenever they looked in the mirror.

On the Today show, hosts Natalie Morales and Matt Lauer talked about the demon-in-the-mirror stunt and then pranked their own NBC correspondents with it. “That”™s millions of dollars worth of air time for our client, and it was free,” says James Percelay, co-founder of Thinkmodo. “We figured out a way to get their name mentioned without so much as a media buy.” Continue reading “Pranks That Sell”