Viral Marketing: The Carrie Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise Prank
How would you react if you saw someone slam a guy against the wall and lift him up? Freak out? Laugh? Run away? You’d probably do all of the above which is what some patrons at the ‘sNice coffee shop in New York City did when they saw this very same thing happen.
The first thing that may come to your mind is that this is a prank or some elaborate hoax or maybe an advertising campaign. If you said the first and the last one you would be right. This whole thing was a set-up from start to finish by the people of Thinkmodo, the minds behind the Times Square TV screen hack video.
This was an advertising project requested by the company that created the new Carrie movie that will be showing in theaters come October 18th. Actually new is relative because while the actors and actresses in the movie are new, the story is not. The original Carrie was first shown in 1976.
Watch the Viral Video:
Knowing that they had to create a big buzz for the movie the people at Thinkmodo decided to go all out. What it meant was commandeering a coffee shop somewhere in New York City and then retrofitting it so that it becomes the perfect tool to release some telekinetic mayhem.
This included setting up a fake wall and putting visual effects that will make any major movie studio proud. They also auditioned for the actress to play the power wielding main character as well as the unfortunate victim and some of the ‘innocent’ bystanders.
But then again, the star of the show isn’t really the actress or the rest of the people that are in this from the beginning. The real star of the show are the real ‘innocent’ bystanders (or rather their reactions) who come in off the street to get their coffee fix and see the whole thing.
A little over 2 minutes long the video starts out with a behind the scenes look at what Thinkmodo did to set the whole thing up. The reason they did this instead of jumping right into the prank was because they wanted the viewers to be in on the prank.
By sharing the behind the scenes story they turn you, the viewers into an accomplice. This in turn pulls you in such that you now want to see what happens as a result of all this preparation. This means that because you’re hooked, you’re staying for the whole thing.
The scene starts off innocently enough with the main protagonist on her laptop drinking her coffee. A man on the next table bumps into her table causing the coffee to spill all over her laptop.
As to be expected, there was an exchange of words because who wouldn’t be angry when someone destroys our laptop. It becomes heated that soon the man is sent flying up the wall which is when the real action begins – the reactions of the unknowing prank victims.
As with anything that has to do with telekinetic powers tables are moved about and books are flying off the shelves (no not the selling kind). Customers are also running about and you catch the look of the ‘victims’ as they see all of this happening in front of their eyes.
You’ve probably seen the video. You’ve probably even shared the video. It won’t be surprising since as of this writing there has been over 36.5 million views since the video got uploaded to YouTube 7 days ago.
What does it mean? By definition, a content goes viral if it spreads very fast on the internet much like a virus would be spread in the real world. Based on the number of views it certainly has spread far and wide.
According to Thinkmodo founders James Percelay and Michael Krivicka for content to go viral, such as this video for example, the idea within it has to really be new. It also has to be engaging and also easy to search for. Because it’s new, when you search for it you will find it because there’s no other video quite like it.
Viral content also has to be newsworthy, so the media picks it up and turns it into a story. For them, having fascinating and entertaining content is the key to what makes content go viral.
Viral content has other characteristics that lend to its success.
- Exceptional content. It needs to be a meme or an idea, behavior or style that spreads from one person to another. These ideas then spread and replicate like any virus out there.
- Appeal to influencers. Without influencers the spread will not be so widespread. Influencers really have a say on whether content is good enough to go viral or not. In this case, based on the amount of write-ups and stories about the video it seems that the influencers were all pretty hooked on the idea.
- Easily shared. If you can’t show it to other people then it won’t go viral. The reasons viruses are so dangerous is because they are easy to spread. The same is true here. If you can spread the content easy then it can go viral. YouTube is an ideal spreader. So are other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Also see: Top 100 Viral Marketing Videos
Strong emotional drivers are perhaps the final push that can make something go viral. The stronger the emotions that are being triggered by the content the stronger the impulse will be to share it.
The emotion of interest is the one that should be focused on in order to make content go viral. That’s because it is the central motivation for engagement in creative and constructive endeavors. This means that in order to get someone to engage with your content, you must first pique their interest. Only then will you trigger his impulse to share the content so it can go viral.
By the looks of it, the Carrie prank has piqued a lot of interest for it to go viral.
Viral Marketing: The Carrie Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise Prank by Mark
Are pranks like this the new way for content to go viral? Does it really matter? Let us know below in the comment section.