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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
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)

Charlotte Church/Liam Gallagher Pepsi Ad — Status: Hoax It's been very widely reported in the past few days that singer Charlotte Church and Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher will be paired up in a new ad for Pepsi. According to the report: the unlikely pair will head-up a lucrative advertising campaign, which will feature the OASIS frontman "teaching" Church how to trash hotel rooms and smash instruments while enjoying a selection of alcoholic drinks mixed with the cola beverage. A PepsiCo source tells British newspaper the Daily…
Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005.   Comments (4)

Cillit Bang’s Barry Scott — Status: Fake Person Hoax forum regulars are familiar with Cillit Bang (a brand of cleaner) and its over-the-top advertisements. Now it seems that Barry Scott, the fictional Cillit Bang spokesperson, has materialized in cyber space with his very own weblog. As if that wasn't enough, Barry Scott has also begun leaving comments on other people's weblogs. Tom Coates, of plasticbag.org, reports that after he posted an entry about his father, whom he hasn't seen in over thirty years, Barry…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (15)

Liquid Oxygen Skin Cream — New Scientist has flagged a product whose promoters are guilty of making a few misleading claims. It's Neaclear facial cream, and it's advertised as containing a "powerful combination of liquid oxygen, vitamins C & E, sage, chamomile, seaweed and rosemary, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and hydroquinone." The company even boasts that they're the first company "to combine stabilised liquid oxygen into all of its products." New Scientist notes that "We have certainly never heard of a skin…
Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005.   Comments (15)

Advertising Cliches — John Camm, writing for the BBC, has compiled a long list of ways in which life as it's portrayed in advertisements differs from real life. For instance, in advertisements: Men are obsessed with sex but will forego sex in order to watch football or drink beer. Any act of male stupidity (e.g. walking across a clean floor in muddy boots, putting the dog in the dishwasher, etc.) will be met with a wry smile, not genuine annoyance/anger. If you work for the emergency services, you are a…
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005.   Comments (10)

Fake Registration Day — A movement is underfoot to undermine news sites that require registration in order to read their content by submitting fake registrations en masse: We, the undersigned, wish to demonstrate the pointless nature of forced web site registration schemes and the dubious demographic data they collect. On November 13th we will each register an account using fake details at one or more of these top 10 offending sites: www.nytimes.com www.washingtonpost.com www.latimes.com www.ajc.com
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2005.   Comments (15)

Google Content Blocker — Here's a good idea: Google Content Blocker. It allows you to block all that annoying content, so you only have to see the ads: Google's mission is to organize the world's advertising for maximum exposure to Web users. Unfortunately, annoying Web content often overwhelms the page, causing many users to become distracted and overlook the ads. That's where Google Content Blocker comes in. It effectively blocks all Web site content, leaving only the advertisements... After you install…
Posted: Fri May 13, 2005.   Comments (5)

Wal-Mart Advertisements — There's an interesting Q&A in today's Stuart Elliott column in the NY Times: A Reader Asks: I have a question regarding Wal-Mart's advertising. Do you know if Wal-Mart actually uses employees in its ads or does it hire actors? I've wondered about this myself. Are there really all these happy people working at Wal-Mart? Elliott's response: The people appearing in the television commercials and print advertisements for Wal-Mart Stores are actual employees, according to Wal-Mart and…
Posted: Tue May 10, 2005.   Comments (41)

M’azing Commercials — The TV commercials for a new chocolate bar called M'azing show people doing amazing things in order to earn a bar of M'azing chocolate. In one commercial a guy balances a washing machine on his jaw. In another one a girl twists her legs all the way around her body in a way that really doesn't look possible. You can see all the ads here (quicktime and wmv format). Someone wrote in to Stuart Elliott's advertising column in the NY Times asking if the movie with the girl doing the thing…
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005.   Comments (33)

Perfect Housemate — This craigslist ad posted by a man searching for a roommate has been doing the rounds. The man starts off sounding kind of weird when he describes himself as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeons whose staff "is somewhat dubious of my methods", but then he progressively begins to sound weirder and weirder as he lists the rules that his "perfect housemate" must follow: "You must brush your teeth at least twice a day", "On every third-Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house…
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (11)

Bovine Unite — The cows are plotting something. They're meeting in secret COWncils. They're even keeping blogs. I'm not sure what it's all about, but it seems that 05.05.05 is the date when the cows will show their hand (or hoof, as it may be). (via Metafilter)
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005.   Comments (57)

Last Resort Retrieval — A few of you have noticed the strange ad that is now running on my site (in the left-hand column) for a company called 'Last Resort Retrieval' that claims to specialize in recovering stolen art. Yes it is a hoax site, or rather it's part of a marketing campaign for a product other than a company that recovers stolen art. But that's about all I can say about it, because I'm supposed to keep the secret (since they're paying me to put the ad there). The thing is, I really don't think it…
Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2005.   Comments (12)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.