This video supposedly shows one brave soul – German engineer Bruno Kammerl – shooting down a giant plastic water slide before rocketing high into the air off a ramp at the end of the slide and landing safely in a small kiddie pool high on the hill.
Soon after its release in August 2009, the video went “viral”, attracting over a million views in just a few days. The slide project dubbed the “Megawoosh” was featured on a website that supposedly offered details about the slide and its founder, Bruno Kammerl.
However, although this is certainly a very entertaining video, it does not depict a real event. In fact, the video is part of an elaborate advertising campaign designed to promote Microsoft Office Project, a project management program.
The video was created using a stuntman along with clever video editing and animation techniques. In an article about the advertising campaign published on the NewTeeVee website, Janko Roettgers, notes:
Here’s the back story of the waterslide video in a nutshell – or at least, what we were supposed to believe: German engineer Bruno Kammerl came up with a special type of neoprene material dubbed Softslide that his web site describes as “almost frictionless.” Kammerl’s goal was to build the longest and most exciting waterslide in the world. He started off with some tests, published videos about it on YouTube, and publicly searched for investors. Then an “influential sponsor” came along and made it possible to test the slide in the German Alps, which led to the video we’ve all seen.
Roettgers explains that marketing company MRM finally “owned up” to the prank admitting that it was a viral campaign for Microsoft Germany.
As another YouTube video reveals, the initial part of the sequence was created using a stuntman secured on a rope. Roettgers notes that the portion of the video supposedly showing Bruno flying through the air is actually an animation. To make the spectacular landing sequence, the crew filmed a stuntman jumping into a pool from a wooden platform. The separate sequences where then joined together and polished via some clever editing to create a slick seamless whole.
Viral advertising videos such as this one are a relatively new trend in advertising that has shown itself to be a very successful method of promoting a product or service. Such videos tend to generate a lot of debate and speculation thereby affording the advertised product or service a great deal of exposure.