This is something I meant to blog about literally forever, so here it is, finally. People who follow me on Twitter regularly might already be aware of this. This is about an amazing experience we made with a viral self-marketing campaign. First of all, check our video out, and then read and most importantly WATCH our “revelation” at TEDxVienna.
Our TEDx presentation – where the fake was revealed:
As you know, apart from my own film production company Nino Film, I am also partner in LOA Studio, a design studio that focuses on bringing together graphic design, video and animation to consistent brand experiences.
A while back we met up in Salzburg and I discovered that my buddy Lucas’s table looks just like a giant iPhone. That got us thinking. An hour later I was already shooting a video of the table with my 550D, onto which Stefan had put tracker points for later VFX compositing. Lucas and Stefan stood next to the table and mimicked iPhone gestures on a much larger scale.
Months later, after we realized how big this could be as a viral, Stefan found the time to put a lot of work into bringing the table to life by animating the iOS surface by hand in After Effects. He did a terrific job as he managed to make it look extremely real.
Our crappy Table Connect blog
Before we posted the video online, we tried to stir the interest by putting up an intentionally crappy blog (see it here), where we talked about fake technical specifications, and displayed mock-up images of the (fake) table. Last but not least we put up a countdown for the release of the video.
Without expecting it, Engadget already reported about the project before the video was even online. Then we knew for sure: this was going to be big. As usual with interesting Engadget reports, the largest IT blog on earth, loads of other sites copied the news and so anticipation spread wide on the web.
When we finally posted the video, it went to 1 million hits within 3 days, 2 million within a week – and on one day it even became the most watched video in the world!
Currently we have more than 3.5 million views on the original video
All of the big boys reported on our table ... screenshot from The Sun website
What followed were an amazing few weeks with tremendous interest in the fake product – we still get buying requests today. I kid you not, we would probably be rich if we were able to build that table. And so we actually tried to find partners to do just that, but these efforts lead to nowhere – so we decided to reveal our secret, and we had the perfect opportunity at TEDxVienna in late 2011.
Watch the entire revelation of our viral fake right here – believe me, it has an explosive surprise 🙂 … and don’t forget, everybody in the audience expected the “first live demonstration of Table Connect for iPhone in public”, so they were VERY surprised 🙂
Nino Leitner, AAC is a filmmaker, DP and film producer based in Vienna, Austria - yet mostly working around the globe. He focuses mainly on commercial & corporate work as well as documentaries, with an increasing number of fictional narrative projects.
For work enquiries only, if you want a quote on rates or hire Nino please contact him via office [at] ninofilm .net