Audiences consume viral video content like a fat kid in a candy store. It’s no wonder brands and businesses are wanting to satisfy this craving. A viral video means an enormous audience reach and marketers are looking to take advantage by filling social media feeds with promotional prank videos.

This prank approach fits right in with the entertainment content consumed on social media. Audiences will laugh, tag their friends with phrases like “This is so funny!” or maybe “You’d totally fall for this!”, and the best of these videos will be shared to personal profiles to show all their followers/friends. Sharability skyrockets with a viral video. Comedy is universal feel-good content that can be shared across age-groups, demographics, psychographics, etc. which is why brands have utilized pranks to create this shareable social media content.

The brands that seem to use the viral prank video approach the most are movies. Usually, action or horror films use this tactic. They have an exact goal in mind of turning the movie’s element of fear into a funny prank. They ask the question, “What would you do if you were in this situation?” If you witnessed a telekinetic teen attack bystanders, or if you saw that a flash freeze was imminent via the news, how would you react?

This first video gathered over 68 million hits to promote the remake of the famous classic horror film, Carrie.

Here, the action film Geostorm (which depicts crazy weather events destroying cities) tries its hand at the viral prank trend.

Besides films, products have also fit strongly into this trend. LG, the electronics company, used two prank videos in two different countries to promote the ‘realness’ of their tv screens. The first was placing their TV screens on the floor of an elevator to mimic falling tiles.

The second video by LG involved using their TV as a fake window and simulated a meteor falling on the city. Reactions to this one are golden.

One of our personal favorites is a prank video geared to understanding the design and marketing process of ad agencies.  What if the ridiculous questions bad clients asked of creatives was also asked of everyday business-owners, park-goers, taxi-drivers, and the like? It’s funny, but also teaches customer’s how to better work with marketers.

Prank videos have always been popular, and they bring a brand right to the forefront of a customer’s mind. Many brands are using prank viral video marketing to boost exposure and sales. Is your brand suited to this humor-based marketing tactic?