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Viral Videos or Well-Disguised Advertising?
By: ML Haynes
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If you haven’t heard about the stolen laptop and the deadbeat dude that boosted it, you’ve been asleep this week. There’s a Tumblr page with blow-by-blow descriptions of the theft, the lack of help from the local cops and — wait for it — images of the thief taken with the on-board camera by an installed app built to identify just such a evil-doer.
Such Astroturf marketing is becoming more common at the same time it’s becoming less distinguishable. And to those in the biz who make it their work to blur those lines, we salute you. Who hasn’t had the client request for a “sure thing viral campaign”? Who hasn’t hoped that a bit of creative “magic” will take off and rack up hits in 6-digits and then some? To all of us, here are some stealthy contenders aggregated by Todd Wasserman and Mark Book. Can you tell which is which?
Evan Longoria’s Crazy Bare Hand Catch (Gillette)
How To Hack Video Screens On Times Square (Limitless)
Walk On Water (Hi-Tec)
Kevin Durant Is Moving In Right Now (Nike)
Bike Hero (Guitar Hero)
Are You My Man In The Jacket? (Witchery)
Rear View Girls (Levi’s)
Butterfly Attack (Qualcomm)
Danish One-Night Stand (VisitDenmark)

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About the Author

ML Haynes, hybrid creative and interactive director, pixel pusher and wordsmith, strategist and activist, thinks out loud here. Follow her on Twitter.

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