Advertising is, in the very basic sense, a means to communicate with consumers, both current and potential, by a company to publicise its products and services. It is a very dynamic concept and has evolved through the ages. From print to audio to visual and so on!

Pranks on the other hands are light hearted practical jokes, a little bit of mischief to raise a laugh. But what have pranks got to do with advertising? We will get to that, but let’s introduce another word first. Portmanteau. A portmanteau is a word that is derived from blending two distinct words and derives its meaning from those two words. An example would be smog. Smog comes from blending smoke and fog and therefore refers to polluted haze or fog.

Now, that we have introduced the three separate concepts, let us get you to the newest evolution in advertising – Prankvertising! And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.

Prankvertising is an advertising strategy that gets the commercial message across by tricking or ‘scaring’ an unsuspecting audience. Essentially, by pranking the target audience! According to Business Insider prankvertising is “riding on a push from marketers who believe that content creation is the best way to get and keep a brand in front of consumers online.”

Prankvertising is gaining popularity in this age of social media, as these campaigns typically produce highly memorable and more importantly highly sharable videos. Ensuring that the video will go viral, thus these ‘campaigns’ reach a vast audience on very little cost while additionally giving the company a ‘hip’ and ‘rolling with the times’ image!

Pranvertising helps a company reach a larger audience, unrestricted by geography or region. It helps cut through the noise as well. Print, radio or television adverts are limited by region – circulation or broadcast. A viral video has no such limitations in this age of social media. Prankvertising is the logical next step in the evolution of advertising.

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