First there was prankvertising, now there is spoof prankvertising.

There are so many metatextual layers going on here that I might need to have a lie down with a cold compress applied to my forehead. 

But while I’m still relatively vertical, let’s take a quick look at the Canadian advertising agency John St.’s reaction to the latest trend in fear-mongering online videos.

I wrote about prank advertising earlier in the week, where I discussed the relative merits (or lack thereof) of six recent examples, then shortly after I was directed towards this series of online videos…

Welcome to the next level of advertising, welcome to exFEARiential:

'Most ads are dramatic. We want them to be… traumatic.’

This fake documentary into the process of how a morally bankrupt company has created a series of spiteful and highly reckless videos, beautifully skewers the current dubious trend. ‘We don’t create flash mobs, we prefer to create actual mobs.’

Here’s their spoof of NIVEA’s recent ‘Stresstest’ campaign featuring, of all horrors, a baby kidnapping.

'Fear releases adrenalin, which is directly linked to memory, so we’re literally searing our brand into their minds.'

So watch these videos and enjoy the hard-hitting satire over your lunch beak or, you know, steal some lessons from it and start your own vaguely malicious advertising campaign. Your choice.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 15 November, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (3)



OMG, I would most probably drop dead if someone would sneak up on me like that in the middle of the night! Can't tell if those are actors as well or if they actually scared them to get an authentic reaction!

almost 5 years ago


Sylvia Diaz-Montenegro, General Manager at Leelo

I do wish that the NIVEA campaign runs to a total disaster. You can not scare someone like that for the sake of selling your products. Among other things, I am a mother. I am stopping to buy Nivea from today.

almost 5 years ago

Robert Yardy

Robert Yardy, Marketing Manager at MMT Digital

This is a brilliant p*** take out of those cheesy "prankvertising" campaigns...the victims are actors....its not real!!

almost 5 years ago

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