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.