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Prank-vertising: If it Turns Into Viral, Then Congrats!

Do a prank while advertising a brand? Maybe that sounds like a not really good idea. But is it just a joke? Then you’re wrong.

Prankvertising is a marketing and advertising strategy that involves pranks and humorous or unexpected situations to engage and entertain the audience while promoting a product, brand, or campaign. This form of advertising aims to create memorable and shareable content that can go viral, create buzz and increase brand visibility.

In short, this strategy aims for a successful word of mouth or viral by sharing relevant marketing content. Maybe it’s usually done on some opportune events such as April Fool’s Day, but that was the old way. Now, every brand can do this strategy randomly. Because the point is just to go viral or become the talk of the netizens.

The concept of prankvertising gained popularity with the rise of social media platforms, where humorous and attention-grabbing content tends to spread quickly. Brands leverage the element of surprise and humour to capture the audience's attention and make a lasting impression. Prankvertising campaigns often involve staging scenarios in public spaces, on the streets, or in controlled environments where unsuspecting individuals become part of the prank.

For the social media case, prankvertising aims to attract attention and awareness to increase the brands’ visibility. It tends to be more cost–efficient yet gains a good amount of reach.

But does this strategy always create a good result? Well, there are two possible outcomes from this. Either it turns into a viral on social media; which is the main goal. Or it turns into a backfire for the brand itself.

Prankvertising is commonly and globally applied now. But for an example from the local brand, recently the iconic burger chain, Carl’s Junior Indonesia did a prankvertising that surprises its loyal customers. They announced the sad news of closing. Turns out, it was just a prank and they’re back with a new announcement, which is a good news that they’re not closing.

So, how to make prankvertising successful? First, it has to natural and believable, it has to be triggering like “what???”, and then it has to be mysterious; show only half of the ‘fake’ information. Lastly, you have to be engaged with the time duration.

If a prankvertising goes well, it is not impossible to increase the sales number.

Have you seen a prankvertising before? What do you think about that?

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