Tuesday, March 22, 2011

But I So Wanted to Believe It

In this day and age, with every technological advancement we make comes some a group of super nerds who can manipulate that technology for the good of evil. I now have to be careful of taking pictures with my phone because there's something called a metatag that allows people to see exactly where I was when I took the picture. And don't even try to log on to an un-secured wireless network or you risk having some evil hacker take over your computer, download all your passwords, empty your bank account, steal your identity, steal your wife, get you fired from your job and get your dog to turn on you.

But every now and then something comes along that you watch and say to yourself, how cool is that! Which is what happened to me this weekend as I came across an e-mail a good friend had sent me. The video showed a man hacking into the video billboards in Time Square and putting himself on the screens, using only his cell phone, a "transmitter," and a red balloon. I was amazed and applauded the genius of this man and immediately sent the video to other friends of mine to enjoy.

Well, turns out the whole thing was a hoax. You see, there's this thing called viral advertising that has taken off in the past few years. Ad agencies create something so unbelievable and stick it on the internet in hopes of it going viral and making news. Which is exactly what happened here. The video was all set up for the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper. There is no hacking into Times Squares video boards but rather the company behind all this paid to show the videos at specific times giving the impression they were being hacked. Twice in the clip, the mans broadcast interrupts an ad for the movie, something I caught the first time I saw it but didn't put two and two together.

And so, while I am somewhat dissapointed that there was know super technology allowing people with cell phones to hack into giant computer screens, I must applaud the genius of the advertising agency. And so to them I say, well played my friends.

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