Viral video hoax part of a sneaky marketing campaign

John Moe Mar 17, 2011

Here’s one of those “this is the world we live in now” stories. A few days ago there was this video making the rounds online that appeared to show some guys in Times Square taking control of all the video screens in the area – big ones, small ones, screens all over – using only an iPhone and a little electronic gizmo plugged into the top. They would walk up to the screen, press something on the phone, and then they’d be on that screen. It got picked up on tech blogs as this amazing new technology. Turns out everyone was fooled (except me! I knew it was fishy!) and it was part of a marketing campaign for the new Bradley Cooper movie Limitless about a guy who suddenly gets the ability to use 100% of his brain instead of 10%. The New York Times reports that the people who made it aren’t even all that experienced at advertising, they just had an idea that worked and filmed it on a shoestring.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.