EXCLUSIVE: Inside the 'Rings' Prank That Has Scared Up More Than 200 Million Views
By Raphael Chestang
A prank video showing the girl from The Ring terrorizing unsuspecting customers at a TV store has gone viral in just 24 hours, and ET has the details on how the stunt came together.
In the video, customers are shown a wall of TVs at an electronics store, but one of the screens turns a bit too lifelike when Samara, played by Bonnie Morgan, crawls out of it and onto the showroom floor.
Marketing agency Thinkmodo was the brains behind the viral video, which has been viewed more than 200 million times on Facebook and another million times on YouTube.
"One of those TVs we rigged so that when the TV moves up and we distract people to look to the side, it reveals the actual character from the movie whose image is being played on all the other TVs at the same time," Thinkmodo co-founder James Percelay tells ET.
The video is meant to promote The Ring sequel, Rings, opening Feb. 3, and it's just the latest attempt at marketing glory from Thinkmodo. The company was also behind the "Devil Baby Attack" video in 2014, promoting Devil's Due, as well as 2013's hugely popular, "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise," for the movie Carrie.
While they have done pranks like this before, none of them garnered quite the same response.
"In some cases, people reacted with laughter, but it was really nervous laughter," Percelay says. "Others ran out the door, and we had to rein them in."
Videos such as these seem to be replacing more traditional movie promos, and Percelay explains why Thinkmodo's approach can be more powerful than a trailer.
"Studios do a great job in promoting their movies, but it's somewhat conventional," he says. "Audiences are really expecting to somehow participate in a video more -- to comment on it, to share it. This kind of video really engages audiences."