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Prank-vertising

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Last week LG released a prank-vertising commercial to promote their new Ultra HD 84” TV. The glory of the Ultra HD television is that the picture is 4x greater resolution than the standard HD TVs on the market. While this can be difficult to showcase effectively on TVs that do not have such a high resolution and on mobile and tablet screens, LG decided to show the reactions of people watching images on this technology, specifically, a meteor crashing down just outside the window, which is actually the Ultra HD screen outfitted to look like a window with an outside view.

This spot is getting a ton of buzz as people watch the reactions to these unsuspecting people. The buzz has left some to wonder if the reactions are truly genuine or if the spot features paid actors. And if the reactions are genuine, are using scare tactics an ethical way to market a product?

I’m not so worried about the scare tactics being ethical. Everyone can use a good scare now and then, right Michael Windle? I mostly have an issue with using the setting of a job interview. If the talent were regular people, looking for a job, it seems unfair to lure them in for use in this spot, if an actual job was never actually on the table.

I’m hopeful that the people featured in the spot were compensated, and I’m sure they were, especially since this ad is getting so much play. If not monetarily, perhaps they were compensated with an 84” Ultra HD, which is currently retailing for $16,999.

Where do you stand, is this commercial unethical or is everything fair in televisions and marketing? If you were in this commercial, would you take your compensation in cash or TVs?

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