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Fake police hunt stresses ad gag victims
Photo: YouTube screenshot

Fake police hunt stresses ad gag victims

Published: 19 Feb 2013 06:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Feb 2013 06:42 GMT+01:00

Innocent members of the public have been tricked into thinking they were the victims of a nightmare mix-up for a German advertising gag, which put their pictures on a fake news broadcast saying they were being hunted by the police.

The gag was designed to promote a series of deodorants supposedly specifically marketed for use in stressful situations.

The victims were lured into the Hamburg Airport by "friends" and left to wait in a specific area, where the gag team were able to take a long-range photo of their face. This was then put into a mock-up of the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper, which itself reported on the prank on Monday.

An actor then sat opposite the victim reading the newspaper, making sure the large "wanted" picture of them on the front page was visible to them and other people in the waiting area.

By the time the actor had walked off, the picture was being used on a fake news broadcast being played on the television screens in that part of the airport. An announcement was also made over loudspeakers, saying the wanted person was considered dangerous and should not be approached.

A video of the gag shows people sitting next to one young woman subject slowly realizing she is in their midst, while visibly stressed, she protests her innocence.

Two fake security guards then approach the victim with a case and after asking whether the person is feeling stressed, they open it to show the new products.

Producer of the Nivea products, German cosmetics firm Beiersdorf, put a video of the gag on Youtube where it has been seen more than 2.5 million times.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:06 February 19, 2013 by lucksi
Those innocent victims had better be paid actors. Actually, I cannot fathom that they weren't actors. You'd need an ambulance and real police if you pull that crap with me.

Yeah, yeah, internet tough guy talk detected.
10:32 February 19, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
Good job they didn't try this in America.Someone with a gun might have shot those being tricked as the announcement claimed they were dangerous.I think they would have a good claim against the company for public defamation of character.This could have easily backfired and ended in tragedy.Sorry Not funny.
14:40 February 19, 2013 by iche
They would of never let this happen in Amerika unless everyone had a gun with them.
15:56 February 19, 2013 by adam.müller
Some idiots could have shot these innocent victims. Its plain stupid. SUE the company for causing mental stress.
16:15 February 19, 2013 by liorabs
I didnt watch the clip.

I WOULD SUE IF POSSIBLE. I would sue for harassment, for mal reputation, for mental agony, for mockery by (theoretically) 7.5 billion population of the world, etc.
17:16 February 19, 2013 by jkipr
"suspects" were lured to the airport by their friends. With their help we were able to check the participants in order to exclude any danger due to health issues and ensure that they can stand such a stressful situation. Furthermore, the moment of stress didn't last long. The candidates were informed quickly afterwards and got insights to the whole action. They were excited about all the effort behind the scenes and all candidates accepted to publish the spot.-NIVEA
19:31 February 21, 2013 by raandy
What kind of logic was used in developing this add? Idiots!
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