Deceptions and impersonation: the marketing campaign Hawkers and Forocoches

Deceptions and impersonation: the marketing campaign Hawkers and Forocoches

Does anyone remember the viral marketing campaign yeti? The hoax perpetrated by Hawkers, Forocoches and self-organization of the station Aramón Formigal-Panticosa ski had the invaluable help of my friend and his account Forocoches, without his knowing anything. So the campaign surreptitious advertising was perpetrated by impersonation of one of the users of the most famous of Spain forum.

Our story begins with a proposal by users Forocoches initiative, forococheros , as well call themselves, so that a company could make glasses forococheras for all concerned. They began to request quotes and contact with several companies, until he came Hawkers. The Alicante company offered them to manufacture thousand glasses at a very attractive price and, of course, users decided to take the plunge and select the winning design by vote.

Soon, appears a great banner Hawkers advertising in announcing Forocoches close cooperation between the forum and the company. Many users unhappy with the abandonment of the web by Electrik , its administrator, began to create topics in protest plagued memes and hilarious gifs. In his view, only changes were made on the web if it was for an advertising motif. He never designs your beloved forum was improved. As if that were not enough, he came Hawky , the community manager Hawkers, creating a topic to appear and answer questions. It was the straw that broke the camel, started The night of the long Hawkers , as is still remembered.

tempers were running high, and the threads of protest filled the general forum. A Hawky soon close the account because of the multitude of reports from outraged users. Hours later he reappeared, this time being immune. What began as a humble initiative foreros own ended up becoming a major advertising agreement.

protests by forococheros continued to increase and Electrik took up the matter closed issues and accounts that were against its commercial movement, which affected heavyweights community. One of them was my friend Jose. I remember how I commented that he had “fallen” to create a thread in protest. His account, created in 2006, was blue_dragon. He called invitation and created a new one: gombi , to continue reading and writing in Forocoches. So far so “normal”.

The viral marketing campaign

January 29 this year. The user Kangaroo creates a thread in Forocoches claiming to have seen a yeti in Formigal. He inserted two photos and wrote: “I play the account there is something really loose, I know what I saw … do you forocoches check it out”. The control wires are very common there, that is, lies told in fun way to entertain themselves forococheros. But this was meat multipage thread, like a yeti really. In addition, the account was 2006, not had created that day for trolling, had about 14,000 messages and would not fall quickly due to the moderation system the forum that rewards seniority of its members.

Capture the original thread with the first entry written by Kangaroo .

the thread began to gain traction, came the memes , the Judeo-Masonic conspiracies and the first media at national level like the ABC or World – began to echo the news: the user Kangaroo Forocoches claims to have seen a yeti in Formigal. Interestingly, a few days to jump the news, the responsible for the ski resort of Formigal-Panticosa made the following statement:

statement released by the company that manages the ski resort of Formigal.

Forocoches thread begins to promote aggressively, also @AramonFormigal despite logic invite not communicate that there is a yeti in your ski.

Forocoches began to echo any news arising from curious “discovery”.

Various famous joined in spreading the “news” by what appeared to be innocent tweets in which only the thread or news that he did echo was linked.

The web postureo Spanish also spread the news and several international media began to communicate by questioning the curious discovery Formigal. Forocoches continued to retweet any broadcast made, the thread was already a snowball that kept growing and Kangaroo was especially active in the thread, updating the original post with. there was no yeti in Formigal: news and resolving doubts

A few days later suspicions are confirmed skeptics. It had been a viral advertising campaign conducted by the Formigal ski resort, Forocoches and Hawkers to promote special glasses for winter sports. For the wrath of fellow members were not scammed older, Kangaroo offered to make a small contest with attractive prizes by way of consolation. Many took it something like “We have laughed at you and half of Spain, but here you have an iPhone and other gifts that you may calméis”. Hawkers is more known for its ambitious marketing campaigns and hype generated in social networks. They are his specialty, and Forocoches was the best place to conduct an international advertising campaign of this size investing very, very little money.

The three-way agreement between Aramón Formigal, Forocoches and Hawkers had several famous in its portfolio by surreptitious advertising as Fonsi Nieto, a regular contributor to Hawkers, and an extensive list of media gullible media that echo a fact that, by itself, was quite absurd were made.

the impersonation

But the Internet does not matter what you do, a few days later everybody forgets. Except my friend Jose. In one of their breaks between classes college you decide to enter your account, blue_dragon . But she could not access. He reached password three times without success. All data were good. He tried to recover your password via email and found he no longer had its related email. It was very rare. Puzzled, she decided to seek “ forocoches blue_dragon ” in Google. His surprise was great.

Captures made where Google links clearly accounts <. em> blue_dragon and Kangaroo

messages he had written for nearly a decade had another author: Kangaroo . The famous forero who created the thread Hawkers viral campaign with the yeti of Formigal. He could not believe it. He entered his profile, he discovered that his registration date was the same as that of your account blue_dragon and certified that the user identity in the forum was the same. Was his own, with their messages, which were still at that time in the forum.

Capture profile blue_dragon before Forocoches administrator account is appropriated for advertising purposes. / Webarchive

Capture Profile Account my friend, this once new name and avatar. Account list to create viral advertising.

The administrator lazy Forocoches maneuver left many loose ends to tie up. The first: do not change the user identity. The second, not knowing that in their own appointment forum permanently leave the name that had an account at the time. In the following screenshot demonstrated again that Kangaroo is actually a usurpation of the identity of my friend in the forum.

Capture that evidence Kangaroo is actually banned account my friend Jose.

All posts my friend remained in the forum, as if it had been Kangaroo the true author. It was not the mind and life of Jose, was a new subject created to deceive foreros. The message list reveals how the account was “resurrected” six months later for the publicity stunt:

Message List in the Kangaroo account. Published before thread Formigal were my friend.

Your private messages still stored there since the account closure does not prevent access to them. We will never know is whether the new owner read them.

Why not use an account?

The first thing I did was ask why the manager did not create an account specifically for the advertising movement. Immediately I answered myself, it was obvious. needed a certain age has to thread Formigal not fall quickly due to reports, it is how the forum. Besides, he needed a personality already created, an apparently normal to give credibility to the bizarre history Forero. He must believe that the simplest thing was resurrect a long-lived closed account. I think anyone would realize that by changing the name and avatar in seconds would already have everything done and Hawkers tickets in his pocket. wrong.

Kangaroo was another user. Normal Someone who does something extraordinary happens. Forero investigated him, but found no markings or suspicious activity linking. How would they find if they were the experiences of Jose throughout his 10 years in the forum?

Enter action gombi Account that Jose was to continue foreando, the send a message to Electrik asking for explanations. Also creating a theme telling what happened putting both the rest of the forum.

Jose Private message sent from your account gombi to Electrik asking for explanations.

The theme picks strength, they begin to leave the indignant users and the page counter continues to grow. There was too much evidence.

Electrik gets nervous

The illustrious creator of Forocoches realizes that your brilliant plan began to make water. Sluggishness when using a closed account could cost you. Begins to act defensively, erasing the thread gombi and closing your account. But the fire was lit and ladles lacked sufficient water to extinguish it. They began to create more threads and a server in a message published everything that happened thanks to the testimony of Jose. The thread lasted lasted the same as my own: one minute clock. The forococheros still in their determination to enact the truth and many were also banned after a few seconds, even began using threads with creative titles unrelated to the event to try to escape the censor fist Electrik. fell dozens of fellow members, and the issue is over, “forgetting” this Saturday afternoon.

But it was not quiet. He decided to delete the account Kangaroo and all its messages, so did the gombi account. Frightened, the administrator does not want a trace of his wiles. Even changed the authorship of the original message, which ceased to be Kangaroo to be Hawkers Co.

Now the thread, incidentally, remains closed and the original author is no longer Kangaroo is Hawkers .

His desperate attempts not help much. Internet is difficult to put out fires: articles newspapers are mentioning Kangaroo , catches continue to show identity theft and records show who was Kangaroo . This is how prepared Forocoches viral marketing campaign Hawkers. Deceiving its users, closing the critical accounts and stealing the 10 year life of the account of my friend

We lead. Others follow , says the slogan of Hawkers. Perfect, but at what price?

Bibliography (May 10, 2016). Deceptions and impersonation: the marketing campaign Hawkers and Forocoches. Recovered from