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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
The Frosties Kid Is Dead — Status: Urban Legend A recent ad for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes shows a blond-haired kid dancing around singing "They're going to taste great!" I think this is a British ad. At least, I've never seen it here in America. And all the references to it I've found occur in the British press. For instance, David Whitehouse writes in the Guardian: Pity the poor Kellogg's marketing department... all they wanted to do was make an advert in which a chirpy young scamp would skip his way through the…
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006.   Comments (102)

Hooker-vertising — Status: Hoax Yahoo News! reports on a hoax website, http://www.instoresnow.nl, created by a Dutch design student, Raoul Balai. It pretends to be an ad agency that offers advertising space on the bodies of prostitutes. It also offers to place ads on zoo animals. Big Gary points out that this is basically a variation on the old 'advertise on my forehead... or other body part' stunt. (Imagine brothel patrons or zoo goers having to wear body-ad blockers.) Yahoo News! reports: "I was…
Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006.   Comments (4)

Miele Billboard — Status: Photoshopped This image of a billboard for Miele vacuums has been circulating around. It's a cool concept for an ad... an enormous vacuum sucking a hot air balloon out of the sky. However, this billboard can't actually be seen anywhere in real life. It's an ad concept dreamed up by Jon Kubik, a student at the Miami Ad School. (via Adrants)
Posted: Sat May 27, 2006.   Comments (0)

Air Pollution Marketing Campaign — Status: Probably photoshopped These pictures doing the rounds supposedly show a "guerilla marketing component from a campaign designed to gain public support in an effort to reduce the pollution released by particular powerplants in Chicago. The shape and text was created by power-washing filthy sidewalks using a large stencil form." It would be a clever idea for an anti-pollution campaign, except that these photos look photoshopped. The border of the image seems a bit too…
Posted: Mon May 08, 2006.   Comments (11)


Monster Truck Church Commercial — Status: Not an official ad An amusing monster-truck-style radio commercial for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Birmingham is doing the rounds. "This Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! It's a sacramental showdown at St. Andrew's Episcopal..." It's not a real ad, in the sense that it's never been aired. Nor was it created by the church. As Church Marketing Sucks reports, it was created by Mike McKenzie, who's a St. Andrew's parishioner: "It wasn't with the intention of making a commercial--I was…
Posted: Tue May 02, 2006.   Comments (3)

‘Lickable’ Breyers Ad — Status: Hoax You may feel that you need to scrub your eyeballs after seeing this supposed ad for Breyers ice cream, so if you click on the link don't say I didn't warn you. (The ad is disturbing for what it suggests, not for what it actually shows.) However, the ad definitely isn't real, which is obvious if you read the text on the right-hand side of it. I don't know who created it, but it wasn't Breyers. Unfortunately the image is now circulating around the internet in a reduced size…
Posted: Tue May 02, 2006.   Comments (73)

Steaming Coffee Manhole Cover — Status: Undetermined (but probably real) This outdoor advertisement transforming a New York City manhole into a steaming cup of coffee was apparently created by Saatchi & Saatchi for their client Folgers. The question is: was this actually done in real life (i.e. were vinyl covers placed on top of manholes), or has the picture simply been photoshopped? The picture itself seems to have been first posted at coloribus.com, and someone has posted a comment there claiming to be from Saatchi…
Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006.   Comments (17)

Google Adsense Bus — Status: Fake This photo of a London bus displaying Google Adsense ads was posted on the Digital Point Forums on April 2nd. It since has been making its way around the internet. It's definitely photoshopped. The white google ads show no variation in color or shadowing. It was probably some kind of late April Fool's Day joke. Still, it would be a clever form of outdoor advertising. (via Fresh Creation)
Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006.   Comments (4)

Need A Hand With Your Bag? — Status: Strange guerrilla marketing campaign Brussels Airlines has been experimenting with a bizarre campaign to raise awareness about the threat of getting pickpocketed in airports. Their agents have been covertly slipping plastic hands into the bags of people who aren't paying enough attention to what's going on around them. Imagine opening up your bag and finding a hand in there. I think I'd freak out. The campaign was created for Brussels Airlines by the agency LG&F. (via Coolzor)
Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006.   Comments (19)

Fake News On Your TV — Status: advertising disguised as news In Hippo Eats Dwarf I discuss Video News Releases (VNRs) and how their use means that a lot of the news we see on TV is either advertising or propaganda in disguise. (VNRs are video segments created by corporations or the government, that are then aired on TV news, often without their true source ever being revealed). RAW STORY reports that "over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (2)

Mr. Six Revealed? — Status: Highly possible The debate over the identity of Mr. Six, that crazy old guy who used to dance around in the commercials for Six Flags (Six Flags no longer uses him), has raged on for quite a while. Many were convinced it was Jaleel White, the actor who played Urkel on Family Matters. Others thought Mr. Six was played by a woman. But no one really had any clue, and Six Flags certainly wasn't telling. Now, at last, the mystery seems like it might have been solved. Paul Davidson…
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006.   Comments (5)

Fake Puma Ad Mystery Solved — Status: Update about advertising hoax Remember this racy PUMA ad? It was circulating around the internet back in early 2003. The rumor was that it had appeared in the Brazilian version of Maxim, but PUMA officials soon denied this, and further stated that their company was not responsible for it in any way. PUMA then threatened to sue anyone who posted it. (No one ever got sued.) This led many bloggers to speculate that PUMA was, in fact, the creator of it, and had spread it as a…
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006.   Comments (11)

McDonald’s Nessie Ad — Status: Advertisement Here's an ad for McDonalds featuring the Loch Ness Monster (or one of her cousins). I think the language they're speaking is Polish. (via Ceticismo Aberto)
Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006.   Comments (3)

Extra Virgin Mary — Status: Prank I'm about five days late posting this, but better late than never. An advertisement for an "Extra Virgin Mary Statue" slipped by the editors of the conservative Catholic magazine, America. The advertisement offered "a stunning ... statue of the Virgin Mary standing atop a serpent wearing a delicate veil of latex." The "delicate veil of latex" was a blue condom. America's editors didn't examine the accompanying photo closely enough to realize this. And so the ad ran in the…
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2005.   Comments (11)

Sony’s Fake Graffiti — Status: Faux-rilla marketing campaign In order to promote its new handheld game player, Sony is paying artists to spray paint fake graffiti on buildings in major cities. (They're also paying the building owners for the right to spray paint the graffiti, which consists of images of spaced-out kids playing with the new handheld device.) But according to an article in Wired, the fake graffiti has provoked the anger of some city residents, who have spray painted over the images messages…
Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2005.   Comments (8)

Ronaldinho Nike Ad — Status: Undetermined (but I'm guessing fake) Nike has a new ad featuring Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho. In the ad Ronaldinho puts on a pair of Nikes, juggles the ball a few times, and then kicks the ball towards the goal so that it hits the crossbar and bounces directly back to him. He does this four times in a row. And it's all shot in a single take. This has inspired a lot of discussion on the net, because it's hard to believe anyone could be skilled enough to do this. In
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2005.   Comments (56)

Cyber Monday — Status: Marketing gimmick Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when all the stores have their big sales. It's said to be the biggest shopping day of the year. Cyber Monday comes three days later, and (according to what I heard on many newsasts this year) is supposed to be the biggest day for online shopping, a phenomenon caused by millions of shoppers returning to work on Monday and looking for bargains online. But apparently Cyber Monday isn't the biggest online shopping day of…
Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2005.   Comments (9)

Breath Capture — Status: Real (but possibly a publicity stunt) Breath Capture is a company that's selling air. Or more specifically, they're selling tubes. The customers themselves are supposed to provide the air by breathing into the tubes. They promote these tubes as a way to "Capture the breath of a loved one or friend and keep them close. Forever." So it's a gimmick, kind of like pet rocks, or buying land on the Moon. But what gets me is this claim the company makes on it site: Breath Capture is a…
Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2005.   Comments (7)

Road Rage Video — Status: Commercial Someone emailed me a videoclip titled "Road Rage". It shows an old woman slowly crossing a road, as a guy in a sports car lays on the horn, trying to get her to hurry up. I won't ruin the ending, but it's pretty amusing. However, the video (in the version I received) appears to be an unscripted scene accidentally caught on video by an amateur. There's no identifying information to suggest otherwise. But since I was curious about whether the scene really was unstaged,…
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005.   Comments (16)

Great Pointed Archer Society — Status: Undetermined (but probably a hoax) Not many people like rats. But the members of the Great Pointed Archer Society do. As they proclaim on their very slick website: The immediate goal of this website is to replace the offensive name ‘rat’ with the untainted, and beautiful name Great Pointed Archer. By doing away with this all-to-common slur, we can begin to repair centuries of disrespect and hatred. After all, it’s not their fault they live in the sewer and eat trash. It's not…
Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005.   Comments (8)

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