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  #1  
Old 03 October 2007, 03:11 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Cell Phone iPhone publicity stunt

Comment: There is a great deal of suspicion about the Ipod story in which
a young man, 'Mark Rebillet' has his place in line bought out by an
'enterprising' woman who shows $16k in cash to a reporter during an
interview with which she plans to buy out the store and sell the phones on
ebay.

To everyone's delight, at&t allows only one per customer and the $800 she
paid the kid is lost due to general ignorance of the policy on her part.

This sounds a lot like viral marketing on the part of someone, and indeed,
I had seen a link to this kids profile as an actor on IMDB. I can't find
it now though, perhaps its been removed. In any case, his dialogue and
camera comfort add to the suspiciousness of this piece. I would like to
know if this was a real event or a staged publicity stunt. If the later,
I'd like to know what news team either supported/produced it or was taken
in by it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQQS8pGw1M0
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/...d-iphone-tale/
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  #2  
Old 03 October 2007, 03:23 AM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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Quote:
I'd like to know what news team either supported/produced it or was taken
in by it.
That would be Fox 4 News. There's a bit of a clue at the end of the video when the reporter says "Steve Noviello; Fox 4 News."

Whether it really happened - I'm skeptical, since the cameras seem to be set up in the right place at the right time. But what do I know?

Last edited by Eddylizard; 03 October 2007 at 03:30 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03 October 2007, 04:55 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Cell Phone

Looks completely staged. I don't buy it.
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  #4  
Old 03 October 2007, 04:32 PM
talk2sparky talk2sparky is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Looks completely staged. I don't buy it.
I don't know. Having worked in television news, it's a totally viable fluff piece. The news crew could have sent out a reporter/cameraman to get some footage of the people waiting in line for iPhones. The reporter saw a potential story unfolding and followed along. It's very feasible, but it certainly could be a fake.
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  #5  
Old 04 October 2007, 01:25 AM
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Saw the video live on Fox 4 news and can verify that the story aired as a real story.

Linky here. Despite the site name (myfoxdfw.com) this is truely the correct website for this local Dallas station.

Mrs.
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  #6  
Old 07 February 2009, 05:50 AM
SerenaSong
 
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Default iphone stunt

This was definitely a publicity stunt - no one was $16k these days-- but whose...apple or ebay's?

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  #7  
Old 15 April 2009, 12:51 PM
Bloopy
 
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Amusing. Sounds like the kind of stunt that Improv Everywhere would pull just to entertain people.
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  #8  
Old 17 April 2009, 05:41 PM
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Starla Starla is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenaSong View Post
This was definitely a publicity stunt - no one was $16k these days-- but whose...apple or ebay's?

This first aired two years ago, when "everyone" was flush with cash and spending frivolously.
If it's a stunt, of your two choices I think it would have been funded by Apple. They have motive to create demand and make it look like their product is out-of-control popular. More likely, I think it would be an improve group or some kind of attention-seekers. Still a stunt, but not funded by a major corporation.


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  #9  
Old 17 April 2009, 10:05 PM
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lynnejanet lynnejanet is offline
 
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The video seems to have been pulled down. I wonder if Fox 4 News realized it was staged?
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  #10  
Old 18 April 2009, 05:26 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Vanishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnejanet View Post
The video seems to have been pulled down. I wonder if Fox 4 News realized it was staged?
Maybe they just take videos down after a few months. It's not really "news" after half a year has passed.
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  #11  
Old 18 April 2009, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starla View Post
If it's a stunt, of your two choices I think it would have been funded by Apple. They have motive to create demand and make it look like their product is out-of-control popular. More likely, I think it would be an improve group or some kind of attention-seekers. Still a stunt, but not funded by a major corporation.
Apple is a company that builds their strategy around creating a huge amount of hype around their products to maximize their sales. However they don;t go around with viral marketing campaigns like that. It goes completely against the controlled nature of Steve Jobs.

Lets face it, the iPhone had a huge amount of demand the first time around even when it cost 400 dollars and had half of the functionality that it does now. They simply made the second version much much better. That created demand in itself. Apple announces these things at their keynotes and uses those events to create the initial interest followed up by traditional advertising (they even show off the ads during their keynote).

THe demand is really high on its own and most of the people sell it on ebay or craiglsist for that reason alone (usually they are sold for overseas usage). AT&T and Apply heavily discourage multiple iPhone purchases (by clearly limiting quantity) specifically so that people cannot simply resell them and that they can meet customer demand adequately.

When I heard this story I was already familiar with the existence of the unofficial resell markets where people would buy them, hack them, and sell them overseas at a huge markup. It was clear that this was a woman who thought she could game the system and stupidly was denied. Not a marketing gimmick or a viral campaign for anybody. Just a news report that takes advantage of the huge demand for Apple products that defy all other trends in the computing industry. Apple launches for products are a big deal.
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