Shock Advertising: Does Buzz Lead to Business?

New "prankvertising" ad trend aims to gain publicity and go viral with sadistic scenarios.
2:11 | 09/06/13

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Transcript for Shock Advertising: Does Buzz Lead to Business?
I'll admit I've been a sucker for the type of stunt, when you laugh you simultaneously ask yourself, does this make me a bad person? But is this good business? The plan was simple and diabolical. The people from lg tricked out an office in chile, putting one OF THEIR HD-TVs WHERE THE WINDOW Should be and wiring the place with hidden cameras. Then, they invited in unsuspecting job applicants who were confronted with falling meteors. The room goes dark. The victims feel around. The light comes on and the prank is revealed. This morning, it has millions of views. They're actors, people. Said one commentator. Overnight, lg told us they will neither confirm nor deny this speculation. This is the latest shock ad in a trend known as prankertizing. With advertisers scrambling to outdo one another, with elaborate, sadistic scenarios, designed to grab eye balls and go viral. Pepsi disguised jeff gordon and had him take a car salesman on a ing test drive. And check this out. Nivea singled out people in a german airport, and plastered their faces on newspapers and tv screens, saying they were wanted and dangerous. Turned out to be an ad for a new deodorant. What if somebody has a heart attack? What about the danger of alienating viewers? And then there's the question, do these ads even work? Do they translate into increased sales? People have no idea if it helps generate sales. That said, it does generate publicity. And you know, brands going, i hope the publicity would be positive rather than negative. Reporter: And there's the rub. Companies so badly want to create buzz these days that despite the risks and the moral concerns, prankertizing is likely to continue until someone files and wins. The deodorant ad seems like a candidate for that.

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