Sportswear brand Hi-Tec reveals itself as the perpetrator of the online prank.
A three-minute long video dubbed “Liquid Montaineering” has garnered significant attention since launching in April. The video depicts men talking about a new challenge – managing to run across a lake or stream – as if it were the next counter-culture sport. Its humorous yet professional tone and high production quality seems to have provoked curiosity as to its purpose and source, and helped it amass over 4.45 Million views since its launch. On June 1st, sportswear firm Hi-Tec revealed itself as the source of the viral hoax.
Created by Amsterdam-based CCCP, the video has been discussed on thousands of blogs, as well as on TV shows in nations including Japan, Brazil and Korea. It has even notched a spot on the top 100 favorite all-time viewed global sports clips on YouTube.
According to Simon Bonham, Hi-Tec’s group head of marketing,
“The idea was to take a traditional form of marketing and totally turn it around on its head, in the process capturing the fun, spirited side of our brand.”
This is another recent example of how a brand can use social media to facilitate a compelling, engaging idea becoming “viral”. Of course, that requires the idea to be interesting, entertaining, or curiosity-provoking to be worth spreading to begin with. But it also demonstrates an idea where the objective is quite clearly to increase the brand’s awareness, or positive attributions to it. It will be interesting to learn if Hi-Tec ever expected this to impact its sales results in the short-term. Or if the increased consumer perception that its water-repellant products can almost help you walk on water – or at least stay dry around it – is enough, for now.