The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
Walk and Talk Hoax Caller — Nokia offers a product they call the 'Walk and Talk Hoax Caller.' Their ad copy describes it as a hands-free voice changer for your mobile phone. "Prank call Anonymous Calls Winding up your mates and enemies. The fun really begins when you plug in the Hoax Caller and switch the unit on." Yeah, buy this product and you too can be just like the creepy-looking loser in their ad making obscene phone calls to young teenage girls. I wonder what marketing genius picked out this sinister…
Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004.   Comments (10)

Society for the Protection of Plants — The Society for the Protection of Plants wants you to know that cutting or injuring plants in any way is Murder. So stop mowing the lawn or walking across the grass, for crying out loud. This anti-vegetarianism ad was created by Max over at Maxigumee Land. And yes, of course, it's a spoof. He has a full gallery of these anti-vegetarianism ads. (via Adrants)
Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004.   Comments (7)

Ass-vertising — First there was head-vertising. Now there's ass-vertising, which appears to be just as real as headvertising was (which means that, as odd as it seems, it actually is real). The concept behind assvertising is pretty simple. Slap an ad on an attractive woman's ass. I guess men are looking there anyway, so some advertiser (Night Agency, to be specific) had the brilliant idea to put the ads where the eyes are focused. Even though assvertising is real, tADoos (which are corporate-sponsored…
Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2004.   Comments (0)

Hunting for Bambi Officially a Hoax — It's official. Michael Burdick, the guy behind that whole 'Hunting for Bambi' thing that turned into a media circus about a year ago (you remember, the Las Vegas company that claimed to be hosting paintball games in which you could hunt naked women), has finally admitted that the whole thing was a hoax. Not that anyone was in much doubt of that. As part of a plea bargain deal "Burdick acknowledged that claiming the paintball hunts were real was part of an advertising strategy for the…
Posted: Thu May 27, 2004.   Comments (1)


Afterlife Publicity — As Gawker reports, a great 'take-this-job-and-shove-it' email has been making the rounds recently. It's penned by Bob Rubenstein, a publicist for a record label, who lost his job soon after the lead singer of the band he was supposed to promote, Pre)Thing, died of a heart attack. Bob, embittered for being fired, dishes some dirt on the company he was canned from, revealing how they brought in a psychic to talk with the departed spirit of the singer to see if he'd be willing to do any…
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Katz, Cohen & Phelps — Are you a woman who needs a really good divorce lawyer? Then check out the law firm of Katz, Cohen & Phelps where their motto is "Is he cheating? Let's nail him." Actually, that's not really a law firm. It's just another fake website used to promote an upcoming movie, in this case The Laws of Attraction starring Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan. In this case, it's a really half-hearted attempt at a fake website. I mean, that's obviously Julianne Moore posing on the website, and they…
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Petition to Stop the Godsend Institute — I talked about the Godsend Institute (the website of a cloning lab that's really a promo for an upcoming movie of the same name) a few days ago. I said that I really didn't think the site was that convincing. But maybe others have been fooled by it because someone started an online petition to ban the Godsend Institute. Of course, I'm not above suspecting that the petition was started by the movie studio itself as a way to generate faux controversy. This was a favorite ploy of P.T.…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Godsend Institute, and other movie sites — A few people have written to me about the Godsend Institute, which is supposedly a Massachusetts fertility clinic that offers human cloning as an option for its patients. Its website is quite slick and well produced, but the Godsend Institute is, of course, not real. The site is part of the advertising campaign for the upcoming movie Godsend starring Robert De Niro. Wired published an article about this yesterday. Ever since the Blair Witch Project succeeded in creating such a buzz…
Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2004.   Comments (2)

Bimpco — Bimpco offers a variety of ingenious products that will help you to keep your cellphone bills under control. The site is really a front for Cricket Wireless, but it's amusing.
Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Mini Cooper Autonomous Robot — Colin Mayhew, an engineer at a British division of BMW, decided to convert a mini cooper r50 into an autonomous biped robot. The results are quite impressive. In particular, check out this video. The no-frills design of the page makes it seem quite believable. But sleuths on Slashdot have determined that it's a hoax. The url is registered to an ad agency working for BMW. (via Things Magazine)
Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2004.   Comments (80)

Dragon Hoax Was a Hoax — Back in January I posted an entry about what I called the Almost Great Dragon Hoax. It described a tiny dragon that had been found in a jar of formaldehyde in a garage in Oxfordshire. Supposedly the dragon had been created in the nineteenth century by German scientists trying to hoax their British counterparts, but the joke had been spotted by the British and placed in the trash... only to be recovered from there and end up years later in the Oxfordshire garage. Now it turns out that…
Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2004.   Comments (1)

David Manning Update — In 2001 Sony Pictures got caught promoting its movies by using glowing quotations from a non-existent movie critic named David Manning to hype them. When the non-existence of Manning was pointed out, Sony pulled the ads, but to this day it has maintained its right to have printed the quotations, claiming they were protected as free speech. Yesterday Los Angeles Justice Reuben Ortega disallowed that defense. His remarks were notable: [if the case against Sony succeeds] "no longer will…
Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004.   Comments (0)

I Can Still Tell Your Wife, Bill — The advertising agency Yarnbird is trying to make a name for itself as a creator of viral content. It invents odd sites that appear to be the creations of weird, eccentric people. The hope is that the popularity of the sites will provide publicity for Yarnbird. One of its previous sites, that I've linked to before, was My Son Peter. Another site that people have been linking to recently is I can still tell your wife, Bill. It appears to be created by a woman who's mad at Bill, a…
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004.   Comments (3)

Shards O’ Glass — Sitting here watching the Superbowl, and out of the blue a hoax website is featured in one of the ads: ShardsO'Glass.com. This company supposedly sells freeze pops embedded with shards of glass. It's a satire of how cigarette companies sell products that they also know are bad for people's health.
Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2004.   Comments (8)

Headvertising — Need to make a little extra money? Would you be willing to slap an advertisement on your forehead and parade around all day displaying it? The management team at Headvertise.com is hoping that you would, especially if you're a college student. Headvertise seems to be the creation of some students at Johnson & Wales University, and I'm betting it's either a joke, or some kind of bizarre class project. But who knows! I have seen stupider business plans in my day. (Link via J-Walk).
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004.   Comments (5)

The Almost Great Dragon Hoax — A tiny dragon, pickled in formaldehyde, has been found in a garage in Oxfordshire. Its origins trace back to the 1890s when it was given to the British Natural History Museum by German scientists. Evidently the Germans were trying to play a joke on their British counterparts by getting them to believe that this tiny dragon was real. But the British didn't fall for it and threw the dragon away. Luckily someone saved it, and somehow, years later, it ended up in the Oxfordshire garage.…
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004.   Comments (1)

Caravaners Revolt — Bob and Denise are caravaners. In other words, they live in a caravan as they drive around the country. But they resent the way non-caravanners treat them. For instance, the way people in flashy sports cars sometimes make rude gestures as they speed by their caravan on the road. So Bob and Denise are organizing a campaign "to secure equality and respect for caravanners." They're hoping to mastermind a 'ring of aluminum' that will circle London on June 5th, created by thousands of…
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004.   Comments (0)

Where Is My Gnome, Part 2 — A lot of people have been emailing me to let me know that the Where Is My Gnome site is part of a viral web campaign by Travelocity, but I've been too busy and never got around to updating that entry. But here's an article that explains the Gnome campaign.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2004.   Comments (2)

Where Is My Gnome — Bill has lost his garden gnome. Someone stole it from his lawn. Now he's hoping that you can help him find it. There's even a 1-800 number you can call if you have any info, but Dani, who told me about the site, reports that if you call the number "a nervous sounding man asks you to leave a message if you have information about his gnome, then before the beep, he says 'Mom, if this is you, hang up now.'"
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003.   Comments (1)

What Brand Are You? — This is one of those cases where a joke supposedly becomes reality. An advertising company (The Design Conspiracy) created a joke website called What Brand Are You?, whose purpose was to spoof the bizarre brand names that companies are increasingly dreaming up—names such as Aviva, Diageo, and Corus. Visitors to What Brand Are You could type in their name, their 'core values,' and their goals, and the supercomputer powering the website would then spit out a personalized brand name free…
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2003.   Comments (1)

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