Washington, June 15 : A New York-based company is offering Internet users a chance to play an prank on their friends, telling them about an online video that suggests that they have been nominated for US President.
Paltalk, a video and voice-enabled Internet chat application company, has created a fake news feature that comes with an option for a netizen to paste his/her friend's name as the Presidential hopeful in the video.
All that one needs to do to play this prank is to fill an application form with the name(s) and email ID(s) of the person(s) with whom the prank is to be played.
Once the procedure completes, the Web site sends an email to the friends named in the application forms, telling them about the news.
"The reason we did the viral video is that politics is so hot right now, and we thought we could subtly promote the company and at the same time have some fun with it," Wired News quoted Joel Smernoff, Paytalk's president and COO, as saying.
The campaign was created by the New York City branch of Vanksen, Culture Buzz, a global marketing company headquartered in Luxembourg.
"It was one of my sick ideas. I thought it would be nice if everyone could have a chance to be nominated to be a frontrunner," said Thierry Daher, CEO of Vanksen, Culture Buzz New York.
Daher's idea was to "intelligently build the client into the story line", and to get the idea across that "if you want to talk politics this election season, there's no better place to do it than Paltalk."
He says that to make it fun, and make people want to pass it on, the feature "puts the user at the centre of the experience. It's all about you and plays on your ego."
Daher says that the video clip uses Adobe Flash and is hooked up into a database, which enables the personalization seen in the video.
Russ Kick, whose name appears originally in the video as one opens the Web site, is the man behind The Memory Hole, the web site that posted the photographs of the flag-drapped coffins returning from Iraq that the Bush Administration took itself took, but kept secret and banned from being run in newspapers.