I Can't Believe I Fell For It. Again!

I Can't Believe I Fell For It. Again!

Chefs & Experts

I Can't Believe I Fell For It. Again!


As The Monkees once sang, I’m a Believer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

A few months back, someone forwarded to me one of those email video clips that seems pretty amazing until you discover later you’ve been suckered. Usually you get the debunking message from someone to whom you passed the video on down the chain.

This one was of a young high school kid who did a remarkable and funny impression of President Bush. Or so I thought. After forwarding the video to a massive group of friends, colleagues and relatives, I was notified in a reply from one of them that the young man was merely lip synching to one of Will Ferrell’s SNL Bush bits. Ah, now it seemed so obvious. How did I miss that?

Which brings me to this morning. A friend sent an email with an incredible video clip of a ball girl at a minor league baseball game who makes an astounding catch of a long foul ball down the left field line. She scales the wall in two Spiderman-like steps, leaps and makes an unbelievable grab. But of course, I believed. (But then, as a child I clapped to revive Tinkerbell.)

The baseball crowd and announcers go nuts at the ball girl’s ‘miracle catch.’ Naively impressed, I once again forwarded the video clip to friends, colleagues and relatives.

And then I find out again, within minutes, that I’ve been snookered. Again. Me, a guy who’s been in advertising and communications for most of his adult life. I really should be able to spot things like this.

But, I’ve got to say this viral video was well done. Created by Omnicom Group’s Element 79, the film was made using a stunt girl and cables that hoisted her into the air. About 100 people who attended the Fresno Grizzlies game that was played earlier that evening were employed as extras for the ‘crowd,’ and several of the players remained for the film shoot.

The sponsor? Well, watch the video and see if you can figure out the viral advertiser behind the hoax.

Did you see it? Strategically placed next to her chair on field is a bottle of Gatorade. It’s a textbook execution of viral marketing, intended to be spread by word of mouth—and email forwarding. From what I understand, this clip has experienced some 350,000 hits on YouTube.

So, at least I’m not alone in my gullibility. But I won’t fall for it again.

Who am I kidding? Of course I will.


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