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Bank's crazy pranks freak out good Samaritans

  • National Australia Bank pulls elaborate, congratulatory pranks on unsuspecting shoppers
  • Verdict: Cool and creative, or teensy bit creepy?
Bank's crazy pranks freak out good Samaritans

This is cool, right? In a kind of, sort of dystopian-type way. National Australia Bank has been doing some pretty unique viral marketing pranks that employ elaborate sets, hidden cameras and lightning-fast technical manipulations. It's designed to highlight the importance of honesty, but from the looks of it, it's done a pretty good job of freaking people out as well. 

The basic setup is, the crafty folks from NAB put together a fake scenario to lure in unsuspecting patrons. In the video below, it's a lost sunglasses storyline, but they've also set up an entire coffee kiosk, where the barista "accidentally" gives back too much money in change. 

For the sunglasses bit, a person conveniently dropped their glasses outside a shopping mall, close to a fake "Lost and Found" booth. When the random good Samaritan picked up the sunglasses and dropped them off at the booth, hidden cameras took pictures of the target. An innocent inquiry about the finder's name was quickly entered into fake advertisements and news reports, and even piped onto a cake. As the honest shopper walks away, things begin to look a little strange...

"Wow, I'm on TV! I'm on a cake! Wow, I'm...everywhere. Now this is awkward."

At the end of the shtick, a banner unfurls that reads, "Honesty Shouldn't Go Unrewarded." In case you thought it was just for show, NAB has also compiled some heartening statistics from their experiments. When a barista gave back too much change, nearly everyone immediately returned the money. When the NAB crew filmed unsuspecting strangers happening upon a wallet stuffed with cash, 88% of the finders tried to return it, even without a fake Lost and Found to turn to. It's all tied in to NAB's "Honest Credit Card," which, though apparently honest, probably does not have the capacity to return your sunglasses, and wouldn't look as nice on a cake. 

What do you make of NAB's uber-social-experimentation? Would you be amused or freaked out, or maybe a little bit of both?

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