Verizon Wireless Botches “Candid” Viral Video Attempt

Time to test out your “is it real or fake” instincts. Watch this video where a random Verizon caller is surprised when that Verizon Wireless “Can You Hear Me Now” guy shows up with an army of Verizon people personifying the Verizon network.

Is it truly candid, or is our “victim” an actor?

  • Shaky camera
  • Genuine surprise and laughter from victim
  • Natural crowd reactions

Mercy, this looks like an amateur prank. This guy’s been punked by a big corporation with the world’s worst logo. Yey.

  • So, um, how’d they get a lavaliere microphone on the victim?
  • Isn’t Verizon lucky that one of the first things out of the victim’s mouth is, “it’s the network”? Yeah- That’s probably what I’d say to a friend, if a bunch of people in construction hats started following me. “It’s the network,” I’d say. I’d probably then work up a gag about reduced call drops and virtual tributaries that allow for ad/drop multiplexing of subrate traffic.

Lesson learned? This would have been a clever bit, but don’t dupe the viewer. Either the joke’s on the victim (the call recipient) or the joke’s on the bystanders (which would have been funny on its own). But this one makes me feel like the joke’s on me.

People are often trying to encourage me to mock a “candid” video, and even if you have a great actor like this guy (who laughs convincingly, which is extremely hard)… you can’t get away with the crunch because the crunch always gives you away.

Verizon Wireless Surprises Customer – Watch more free videos

14 Replies to “Verizon Wireless Botches “Candid” Viral Video Attempt”

  1. Clever, even if the bystanders were in on it… I think it’s better done than most, at lest better done than any I have worked on.

    That said, I’m a happy Verizon ex-customer. iPhone 3G was just too tempting…

  2. I think at least some of the bystanders were clueless; I saw some pixelated faces (mostly kids, I think). But, yeah. Definitely not impromptu. And not all that funny, either.

  3. I never cared for those commercials, some were cool, but it got old quick. I like the new “So you moved into the old Jone’s house?” “The dead zone” or something. That got me the first time. :o)

  4. 1. I think the crowd was totally punked. They looked clueless. And I did see pixilated faces, which I assume means they couldn’t get releases for those people. That was kind of funny but was spoiled by the artificiality of the guy on the phone.
    2. “It’s the network”? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! stupidest line in the history of fake viral video-making. Ok, maybe that’s an overstatement, but still. I’m just saying.
    3. That “hear me now” guy didn’t even look like the real guy on TV. That almost makes me wonder if it wasn’t something by that group that did the standing still at Penn Station video, or some other similar group.
    4. Intro and outtro give it away as clearly not a prank.
    5. There is no number 5.

  5. well the clear sound of his voice gave it away immediately. Still, this might have been sort of cute and funny if the telecoms weren’t just granted immunity for literally listening and following their actual users

    that just makes this even more creepy.

    [click] if you didn’t already know

  6. If you’re gonna make a commercial, make a commercial. Don’t try to hide the fact that it’s an ad. Just make the ad GOOD, and people won’t mind. When we used to do listener research about what people liked and didn’t like about the radio stations they listened to, it wsn’t that there were too many commercials, it was that there were too many S**TTY commercials…

    The other thing about this is that with the glut of wireless companies advertising out there, essentially saying the same things, most of us REALLY have to think hard as to which company is the one with “the Network,” which one has the surf-rock song that goes, “Woo-ooh, woo-ooh-ooh…” which one has the “Fave Five,” which one says “We connect with you,” etc., etc… This “unsuspecting victim” immediately knew WHY there were 200 people flanking him in a park…

    My first natural reaction probably would have been to look at my phone and say, “Oh, my God, I use Verizon?”

  7. Marilyn, that comment made me chuckle. I’d say giggle, but my voice is too low for that. I gotta stop taking those testosterone shots.

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