Brands such as TNT and Carlsberg and are taking attention-getting marketing stunts -- "prankvertising" -- to new and ever-riskier levels, writes David Gianatasio. Carlsberg called people out of bed at 3 a.m. to prove their loyalty to buddies who supposedly lost money in a poker game, and TNT staged elaborate hoax gun battles in public. Both stunts were organized by Belgian agency Duval Guillaume. "The level of 'over the topness' has definitely risen. Agencies are desperately trying to get people to pay attention in a desperately crowded environment," says Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor of popular culture.
Advertisers try stunts to prompt social sharing, earned media