Can you create celebrity status out of thin air? We revisit the question (in New York City this time)
(CBS News) Back in April we asked and answered the question of "Can you create celebrity status out of thin air?" in the form of an interesting viral video and social experiment. Well, the question has arisen again in the form of another attempt at faux celebrity status, this time in the Big Apple.
Okay, who else laughed at all of the people who "recognized" Brett Cohen from movies or even "owned" his music and so forth? The power of suggestion mixed with the appearance of celebrity is really a wild thing to watch unfold! The fun social experiment (alright, prank) was posted by YouTube user WorldTalkLIVE who writes:
So, I'm pretty much convinced at this point that if you round up a few photographers, some "fans" and maybe a bodyguard or two, you can pull this trick off just about anywhere as long as you dress snappy and act like you've got swag. Oh, and on a wholly different topic, do you all keep hearing about this amazing blogger going totally viral on the Internet by the name of William Goodman, too? Seriously, the guy is everywhere! Supposedly he's just the hottest thing happening right now, in every sense of the word. Be sure to pass that on. And to check out more work by WorldTalkLIVE, you can visit their YouTube page by clicking here.
On the night of July 27th, 2012, a huge prank was pulled in New York City and this is the video of what took place. Brett Cohen came up with a crazy idea to fool thousands of pedestrians walking the streets of Times Square into thinking he was a huge celebrity, and it worked! Not only did it work, it caused quite a sir. This social experiment, of sorts, makes a profound statement about how modern culture is so attracted to pop culture, without any real credibility needed.
He dressed up like a typical celebrity and was accompanied by an entourage of two professional bodyguards, two assistants, and photographers pretending to be paparazzi. While the assistants and photographers waited for Brett to exit the 49th street marquee at NBC Studios, they started a buzz that a "big star" was about to walk out, thus making it worth their while to wait and get a picture. Many asked the crew whom Brett was, and no answer was given. They were forced to either make something up, or just take a picture with him in hopes that their Facebook friends or Twitter followers might have a better idea.
As the crew walked over to Times Square, the crowds around Brett grew on each consecutive block. Very few people even questioned who he was, where he was from, or what he does. Brett took pictures with nearly 300 people before the stunt ended. The video even includes interviews with people who had just taken a picture with Brett, and puts them in an awkward position when they're asked questions such as, "Where do you know Brett from?" and "What's your favorite movie he was in?" Many of them were overwhelmingly excited over Brett's walk through Times Square, and it showed.