Feature

The 'liquid mountaineering' ad hoax

In a new viral video, South African adrenaline junkies appear to run on water. A new sensation... or a clever advertising campaign?

A convincingly amateur video clip of a new extreme sport called "liquid mountaineering" quickly went viral last week — purporting to show how certain, gifted South Africans can run on water. Their "secret: They run "on a slight curve," so that their feet skim across the surface like a stone. The clip, a sly ad for Hi-Tec's new waterproof shoes, fooled at least one local news team and, no doubt, countless viewers. The problem with such "theoretically harmless" viral marketing campaigns, says Maureen O'Connor at Gawker, is that the discovery you've been fooled turns your initial intrigue into something "no more joyous than finding the perfect pair of 'broken in' jeans at Abercrombie." Tom Cullen at Asylum is less concerned: As manipulations go, this one delivers. Let "yourself suspend disbelief for a moment":

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