For a few amazing moments, a Dutch engineer flew free as a bird, calling it the “best feeling I have felt in my life.”
Jarno Smeets took to the air for 60 seconds by flapping his custom-made bird wings.
“I have always dreamed about this,” he says on his YouTube page.
He got the idea from sketches of a flying bicycle drawn by his grandfather, who never actually built one, reports Wired.
It’s an emotional experience just watching this video. But, is this just too good to be true and actually a BVMP — branded viral movie production? Brent Coker, an Internet marketing expert at the University of Melbourne thinks it is.
First, the Wii and other products being mentioned are accordant with the attributed lifestyle of Smeets and the other tech-savvy guys on his team.
Additionally, the video has strong emotional appeal: At the end, Smeets tells viewers, “At one moment you see the ground moving away, and then suddenly you’re free, a really intense feeling of freedom. The true feeling of flying. A [bleeped] magical moment. The best feeling I have felt in my life!”
Also, the video appeals to a wide network of people — young DIY types as well as anyone who has ever dreamed of flying like a bird.
And Finally, it combines two approaches that work well together in viral ad campaigns, according to Coker’s research: In the video, viewers see something extremely surprising, and they’re also likely to imagine themselves being friends with Smeets and his collaborators and sharing their ideals. These four attributes are a recipe for success according to Coker.
So, is this and ad and who’s behind it? Coker told Life’s Little Mysteries that any of the companies featured could have commissioned the videos, with Nintendo being the most likely. But so far, none are coming forward.
I guess, Time Will Tell.
What do you think?
UPDATE: 5:30 AM – This post was actually written two days ago and set to go live this morning a few minutes after midnight. It turns out that this actually was a hoax.
Jarno Smeets is actually named Floris Kaayk, and he says he’s really a Dutch CGI artist, Gizmodo reports. He acknowledged as much on a Dutch TV show. He says his video is in service of a documentary project about online media. The hoax worked because “it’s everybody’s dream to fly,” Kaayk said, according to Wired.