n. Using hoaxes or mischievous acts as part of a marketing campaign.
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A cabbie takes two supposedly unsuspecting riders on a stunt-filled journey of terror. …In reality, of course, this is nothing more than prankvertising.
—“Oh goodie, another hilarious example of prankvertising,” Campaign, January 06, 2017
Costs are relatively low and the chances of going viral high with 'prankvertising,' says CBC Ad Guy.
—Bruce Chambers, “Advertisers use pranks to shock, amuse and sell products,” CBC News, March 16, 2016
In the age of viral content, advertisers are going to increasingly dramatic lengths to make sure their commercials get views, likes and shares. "Prankvertising," ads that (purportedly) subject unsuspecting folks to wild practical jokes, are the most recent fad that marketers have ridden to viral success. …The devil baby is hardly the first prankvertisement to go viral.
—Victor Luckerson, “Selling Schadenfreude: Inside the World of 'Prankvertising',” Time, February 20, 2014
2010 (earliest)
Great Heineken Prank-vertising: Soccer Match vs. Classical Concert
—Alexander Charles, “Great Heineken…,” Twitter, March 17, 2010