Activision Viral Video Outed

Activision, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

This sort of thing just tickles me: A video was posted to YouTube containing a (pretty obviously fake) news report showing a failed assassination attempt on a Russian scientist. While obviously an attempt at a “viral” video, it was not immediately clear who was behind the scenes.

Well, if they were hoping to remain hidden they’ve failed.  What I love is how one dogged blogger found them:

I attempted to discover who is hosting the site, but all I was able to uncover was that it is hosted by mediatemple (great hosting service, but this tells me nothing). I then did several searches for content from the site: MIR 12, Nikolai  Demichev, etc and was once again unable to turn up anything.

I moved on to MIR 12’s twitter account, and finally got somewhere. The first twitter followers were all from LA. After a few minutes looking at their profiles, and doing a few linkedin, and facebook searches, I realized that the followers were comprised of employees of the LA office of ad agency DDB, and viral video seeding company Feed Co. A quick look at DDB’s site reveals Activision as a client – the most likely client to approve this type of work. Also, Feed Co has collaborated with Activision in the past, and worked on the recent Bike Hero viral, which I covered in an earlier post.

It all lead very cleanly right back to Activision, who is hoping this viral campaign will build buzz for their upcoming game.  The question is whether or not knowing who is behind the video matters in terms of marketing potential.

Oh, here’s the video:

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4 responses to “Activision Viral Video Outed

  1. Roger Canaan

    There was a site for the news organization which made me think it was real.

  2. Tempest

    If you look at the MIR-12 homepage, and then check out the terms of use at the bottom of the page, activision is listed in there.

  3. Me

    If you look at the terms of use at the bottom of it lists Activision as owner of the site. Found it in 5 minutes…

  4. I knew it wasn’t real right away. You know how? As every Russian would be able to tell you, they gave Natasha a male surname.

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