What would you do if you saw a man strangling another man in an elevator? Would you step in and help? Would you call the authorities? Would you run like hell?
Some pseudo sociologists-turned-filmmakers decided to test people’s reactions to this shocking scenario in an online video called “Elevator Murder Experiment.” [videoembed id=119136]
It's actually an advertisement for “Dead Man Down,” the latest film from the original “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” director Niels Arden Oplev (and starring Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell). The YouTube clip was created by viral video marketing agency Thinkmodo. So far, it has more than 2 million views.
"At no point was anyone in danger, even though it looks like it at some points,” Michael Krivicka, co-founder of Thinkmodo and director of the “Elevator” video, told Metro World News. He hoped it would spark debate.
“Social media is the new platform to reach movie goers," he says. "A TV spot can only be watched. That's it. A YouTube video, however, can be shared, emailed, commented on, liked, etc. There is great power in that.”
"It was a very controlled production," he adds.
All but one of the reactions were completely real, claims the director, including the guy who uses a fire extinguisher. In order to tie the project to the “Dead Man Down,” the last subject -- a man who shows up with his dogs and films the murder with his cell phone -- was actually an actor.
The staged part mimics a key scene in the film were one main character witnesses another lead character strangling someone to death. She too records the incident on her phone -- and later uses it for blackmail.
There are other subtle clues that tie the viral video to the movie. Krivicka said the last word flashed before the viewer sees the movie title is “revenge,” another key theme of “Dead Man Down.
But many commenters seem confused, with many saying it could have gone all wrong if a bystander had a gun—or calling it out as a fake. That's OK with Krivicka. “There is a big difference between advertising and viral marketing,” he says. "A viral marketing video is designed to start conversations around the movie.”