Nov 5, 2012, 11:09 AM EDT
By now you’ve seen the AT&T commercial that shows a football scrimmage in which a running back is hit by a defender, flips head-over-heels and lands on his feet, then continuing to run toward the end zone. Hello! Who are the ad wizards who came up with that one?, as Adam Sandler might say.
Credit BBDO Atlanta, an advertising agency who count Visa, the American Red Cross, GE and FedEx among their other clients. Stephen McMennamy, who uploaded the YouTube video that went viral at the beginning of October (more than 800,000 hits to date), is the creative director for BBDO Atlanta, which should be the first giveaway. Business Insider:
We contacted a BBDO spokesperson and he confessed that the video was in fact staged for AT&T.
It’s a cute ad. And seeding a fake “amateur” video on YouTube for more than a month before airing the ad that pays homage to it was strategic genius. But it ain’t real.
This sort of viral video trickery in sports advertising is not new, of course. The first such shenanigans I can recall occurred in 2008, when a video began making the rounds showing a ball girl climbing a wall to snag a foul ball at a Fresno Grizzlies Triple-A game. Many people thought that was real.
But, nope. It was really a Gatorade commercial, filmed after a Grizzlies game in which a stunt woman was hoisted up the outfield wall on wires.
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