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Clever viral marketing? Or cruel prank?

LG has been showing off how life-like the picture on their monitors and TVs can be for about a year or so using several YouTube accounts.  It all started with this elevator shaft prank:

Luckily for the brand, no one had a heart attack during filming. 

Their most recent prank in Chile pushes the envelope even further. Here’s the setup: LG swaps out a window in an office with one of its televisions showing the city in the background. Job applicants then come into the room to interview for a position only to see the world coming to an end outside.  (As if job interviews weren’t nerve-racking enough?!)

A good prank-marketing tactic can be the perfect asset that drives traffic and builds a healthy link profile.  However, it can also be a double-edged sword as Hyundai learned the hard way. There’s a fine line between funny and offensive, but if a brand stays in line with the overall marketing strategy and hits the right notes, they can build a loving audience.  

What do you think? Clever or cruel? 

~ Walid Elshahed, Web Designer, The S3 Agency

Ed note: Despite it’s apparent effectiveness to show how realistic its screens look, I do think LG has stepped beyond the limits of taste with this last effort.


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