Plenty on social media think so, but the store is staying mum+ READ ARTICLE
An electronics store in the U.K. posted a video on Thursday called “Customer Fail!” that has gone viral and been shared by publications across the world. But is there more to it than meets the eye?
HBH Woolacotts, an electrical retailer with branches across southwest England, uploaded the video to their YouTube channel showing a customer examining a television display at the front of one of the stores. The customer accidentally knocks one of the televisions over and the three others in the display soon follow suit.
Over $6,000 of equipment was damaged, the store said in a tweet on Thursday that made light of the accident. The video has since been covered by U.S. outlet CBS, Esquire in the Middle East and the Gold Coast Bulletin in Australia, and racked up over 3 million views on YouTube. However, some social media users have been left questioning the video’s authenticity and wondering if the whole thing was a marketing stunt.
Viral videos and social media stunts have been used before as part of marketing strategies. However Elliot Walker, Director of Coast 360, a marketing company based in the Cornwall region where HBH Woolacotts owns several stores, commented that the retailer was not likely to have the budget to pull off the video as a sophisticated fake, due to it being “a relatively small company.” Walker said “It would have been a huge effort to make that look as real as it does.”
TIME contacted HBH Woolacotts directly but was unable to gain a comment on the video or its authenticity. An unnamed employee at the store in question said “All we’ve been told to say in relation to that video is ‘no comment’.”