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Old Spice aims for viral return with series of awfully amazing prank sites

Did your friend just send you a strange link to a website which sells push up muscle shirts? Or perhaps one for leather sheets? Maybe it was a URL for a site which promises to increase the size of your neck. Watch out: it’s all a trick.

The viral geniuses behind Old Spice’s web hits are back, this time with a series of prank websites. Here’s how it works: you share a link (on its own or via the built-in social media options) to some very sketchy looking website, which your friend then visits. If they spend too much time flitting around some truly terrible features like a flickering lightning bolt header or cheesy moving girls in bikinis (or, heaven forbid, actually try to click on a link), the site will fall away to reveal a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa (the man your man could smell like) announcing a ‘internetervention’. Yes, it’s a thing.

In a series of videos (they’re customised to each prank site), Old Spice Guy chastises his viewers for trying to buy whatever dodgy product they were just looking at, suggesting that they should instead go out and buy some Old Spice. While some of the videos are a tad on the strange side, it looks like the Old Spice team has yet another shot at securing some viral shares and a heap of online buzz.

The design for the sites themselves is truly quite something. I mean, take a look at this stunning example of modern web design:

Old Spice neck workout machine

Here are all the strange creepy unique product sites they’ve created for the campaign:

With an ad which still ranks amongst YouTube’s most viewed, it’ll be interesting to see how this set of websites works out for the brand. That is, of course, if they can convince web users to visit (and click on) a series of dodgy looking sites for long enough to realise the trick. Otherwise, there is always this accompanying fake YouTube channel.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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