With so many screens vying for consumer's attention, marketers are going to great lengths to catch our eye…even if it means scaring us out of our wits. On today’s show, a look into the prankstervising trend, where passers-by become unwitting props in extreme ad campaigns.
Plus, while we may think we remember the first day of kindergarten, current research indicates that accurate childhood memories begin around the age of seven. We’ll talk about the phenomenon of what Freud called childhood amnesia, and what our brains choose to forget.
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9.3.14: Prank Advertising, Childhood Amnesia & Simulating Surgery
It's a brave new world for advertising. In an attempt to vie for viewers scattered attention these days, ad agencies will do pretty much anything to cement brand awareness in the minds of consumers. Enter the age of "prankstervising." If you can get someone to scream, chances are you'll get them to remember, or so marketers believe. Here are a few of the best/worst prank ads.
1. Telekinesis prank in a coffee shop for the remake of Carrie.
Happy April Fools! All jokes aside, we have a no-fooling show with a look at all sides of pranks, hoaxes, cons, and the experts who study and make them happen. Whether you're the creative pranker or the reluctant prankee - we've got the April Fools show for you. Oh, and don't forget your headphones! You know, just in case you can't listen inside your plastic-wrapped car.
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April 1st. A day dedicated to rubber bands on faucets, tinfoil-wrapped cubicles, plastic-wrapped cars, and universal remotes. A lot of terms are thrown around in connection to April 1st - prank, hoax, practical joke, con, gag, shenanigan. While we can likely agree that all of these terms have some aspect of "fooling," how do they differ in nefarious-ness? So let's get down to it - how do pranks, hoaxes, and cons differ from each other, and what are some of the best?
Public radio has a long history of pranking listeners on April 1st. Like the time listeners complained in droves to NPR about a story on farming whales in huge pools in Bellesville Illinois. And that time Weekend ATC reported the exciting discovery of Beethoven's lost 10th Symphony.
Today on Word of Mouth, we delve into the consequences of solitary confinement. Then a trip to the Internet reveals that cyberspace is chock full of fakes and fails; Photoshopped images can quickly become viral and shared as authentic. But history is full of giant hoaxes, too, as we learn from Nate Dimeo of the Memory Palace Podcast. Then we hear about The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure, which isn’t one of those Darwin Awards-style coffee table books. It’s a real government document that catalogs bribery, graft, and other infractions in the Department of Defense. Finally, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited the Jackson biathlon range - the only dedicated course in New Hampshire - to find out more about this unusual sport.
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As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."