Get MOH Blog Posts by Email
Recent Forum Posts
|•||Pretend chef on five morning TV shows 03/04/2014|
|•||Image of "Aurora from Space" going viral is a hoax 02/28/2014|
|•||Supposed Ghost Caught on Securtiy Cam at Britain Pub 02/22/2014|
|•||Anyone up for a challenge? 02/20/2014|
|•||Bruno Gröning Documentary Film 02/15/2014|
|•||Science, Pseudoscience, and Crap 02/04/2014|
|•||Fake Snow 02/03/2014|
|•||Tapeworms ≠ Weight Loss 02/01/2014|
|•||NASA sued for failing to investigate Martian Fungus 01/30/2014|
|•||Jan. 25th--A Room of Ones Own Day 01/25/2014|
Advertising | Animals | April Fools Day | Art | Bad Excuses | Birth/Babies | Body Manipulation | Books | Business/Finance | Celebrations | Celebrities | Con Artists | Conspiracy Theories | Crop Circles | Cryptozoology | Nessie | Death | eBay | Education | Email Hoaxes | Entertainment | Exploration/Travel | Extraterrestrial Life | Fashion | Folklore/Tall Tales | Food | Free Energy | Future/Time | Gnomes | Gross | Hate Crimes/Terror | Health/Medicine | History | Identity/Imposters | Journalism | Law/Police/Crime | Literature/Language | Magic | Mass Delusion | Military | Miscellaneous | Music | Paranormal | Pareidolia | Photos/Videos | Places | Politics | Pranks | Products | Pseudoscience | Psychology | Radio | Religion | Scams | Science | Sex/Romance | Social Networking Sites | Sports | Technology | Urban Legends | Videos | Websites | zzPhoto Archive | Large Animals | viral images
March, 2014 | February, 2014 | January, 2014 | December, 2013 | November, 2013 | October, 2013 | September, 2013 | August, 2013 | May, 2013 | April, 2013 | March, 2013 | February, 2013 | January, 2013 | October, 2012 | September, 2012 | August, 2012 | July, 2012 | June, 2012 | May, 2012 | April, 2012 | March, 2012 | February, 2012 | January, 2012 | December, 2011 | November, 2011 | October, 2011 | September, 2011 | August, 2011 | November, 2010 | April, 2010 | January, 2010 | December, 2009 | November, 2009 | October, 2009 | September, 2009 | August, 2009 | July, 2009 | June, 2009 | May, 2009 | April, 2009 | March, 2009 | February, 2009 | January, 2009 | December, 2008 | November, 2008 | October, 2008 | September, 2008 | August, 2008 | July, 2008 | June, 2008 | May, 2008 | April, 2008 | March, 2008 | February, 2008 | January, 2008 | December, 2007 | November, 2007 | October, 2007 | September, 2007 | August, 2007 | July, 2007 | June, 2007 | May, 2007 | April, 2007 | March, 2007 | February, 2007 | January, 2007 | December, 2006 | November, 2006 | October, 2006 | September, 2006 | August, 2006 | July, 2006 | June, 2006 | May, 2006 | April, 2006 | March, 2006 | February, 2006 | January, 2006 | December, 2005 | November, 2005 | October, 2005 | September, 2005 | August, 2005 | July, 2005 | June, 2005 | May, 2005 | April, 2005 | March, 2005 | February, 2005 | January, 2005 | December, 2004 | November, 2004 | October, 2004 | September, 2004 | August, 2004 | July, 2004 | June, 2004 | May, 2004 | April, 2004 | March, 2004 | February, 2004 | January, 2004 | December, 2003 | November, 2003 | October, 2003 | September, 2003 | August, 2003 | July, 2003 | June, 2003 | May, 2003 | January, 2003 | November, 2002 | October, 2002 | September, 2002 | August, 2002 | July, 2002 |
Status: HoaxYahoo 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've been trying to check out Balai's site, but it won't load. The increased traffic from being mentioned on Yahoo News! must be the reason.
Status: PhotoshoppedThis 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)
Status: Probably photoshoppedThese 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 well-defined, as do the lines of the text. Plus, if you're going to do this, where do you get the water and power source for the washer? (Unless you have a mobile washer hooked up to a van.) (via ads of the world)
Status: Not an official adAn 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 just goofying around," says McKenzie. "The idea hit me right after 10:30 mass--it's high mass, very formal liturgy. What would happen if you took formal liturgy and combined it with a monster truck rally?"
McKenzie then shared his creation with the church leaders, and from there it started doing the rounds. But it sounds like St. Andrews likes the ad, and may actually use it sometime in the future. At which point it would become a real ad. (via Julie's News from New York)
Status: HoaxYou 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 that makes the text hard to read, leading some people to think that it might actually be a real ad.
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 & Saatchi and confirming that the coffee-manhole campaign was real. But I can't find anything official from Saatchi & Saatchi in which they take credit for the campaign. Still, my hunch is that it's real.
Status: FakeThis 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)
Status: Strange guerrilla marketing campaignBrussels 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)
Status: advertising disguised as newsIn 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 informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content."
The article cites a VNR created by GM as a particularly egregious example of fake news. GM created a VNR that discussed how the internet has changed how people shop for cars, in which the claim was made that GM "introduced the first manufacturer web site in 1996." That's totally wrong, states the Center for Media and Democracy. GM did no such thing. Nevertheless, the complete unchanged VNR was aired on TV stations, without any indication being given to viewers that what they were seeing was a piece of corporate pr. On the prwatch website you can compare the original GM VNR with the almost identical version of it that aired on KSLA TV (in Shreveport, Louisiana).
Status: Highly possibleThe 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 has posted on his blog that Mr. Six was Danny Teeson, an actor who now appears on Queer Eye for the Straight Girl:
the confirmation came to WFME [Davidson's blog] just recently when a source who had worked with individuals that had helped film the Six Flags commercials let the identity of Mr. Six (assuming it was OK since the campaign was now over) slip. Six Flags, of course, still has no comment — and continues to deny the true identity even now that the floodgates are poised to open.
Davidson's strongest evidence, besides the anonymous source, is that a special-effects company listed Teeson on its website as an actor in the Six Flags commercial, before pulling the reference. But the reference lived on in the Google cache. Personally, I think it's a decent theory. And Teeson does kind of look like Mr. Six. But to be absolutely certain, we'll have to wait and see if either Teeson himself or Six Flags ever confirms this theory.
Previous posts about Mr. Six:
June 26, 2004: Mr. Six (in the old Hoax Forum)
July 14, 2004: Who is Mr. Six?
Status: Update about advertising hoaxRemember 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 subviral advertisement (i.e. a viral ad secretly produced by a company, which the company denies any knowledge of... allowing them to experiment with more controversial forms of marketing). But despite this speculation, the question of who created the image remained unresolved, until now. Peter Kim, former PUMA International Marketing Manager, has disclosed the inside story on his blog:
What really happened - a small Eastern European agency affiliated with Saatchi & Saatchi created the ads on spec, trying to win business with a PUMA subsidiary. They got nothing and emailed the ads to friends; from that point it snowballed. As you can guess, when the PUMA powers-that-be decided to get all corporate on the blogosphere, the whole thing exploded. Poor Pete M.'s (PUMA GC in the US) email inbox exploded with junk after that, with his name being on the cease and desist. No "Brazilian Maxim", no evil master plan (they're real but we'll say they're fake), but online store sales were up like CRAZY for a couple of weeks. Too bad we didn't even have the shoes in the ads in stock!
This is bad news for me, because I describe the fake PUMA ad in Hippo Eats Dwarf, but I leave the story about it open ended, stating that no one knows (or is admitting) who created it. Unfortunately it's too late to revise what I wrote because the book is already rolling off the presses. I guess that's the danger of writing about recent events. You risk getting outdated. (via Adrants)
Status: AdvertisementHere'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)