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The power of a good story

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 11th August 2010

We all love a good story. It’s one of the fundamentals of human nature on which a lot of marketing (and especially PR) is based. And if you love a good story, chances are you will have been taken in by the “Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office (33 Photos)” post.

Well today, Techcrunch has revealed that the whole thing was a hoax.

Despite this, the stats reported by creators John and Leo Resig are impressive! Site traffic went from 15,000 uniques to 440,000 uniques in a single hour and there were 238k Facebook shares and 31k tweets.

It just goes to show, a story that really taps into the minds and desires of an audience can go viral in a big way.

As Resig states:

“People, particularly journalists, underestimate America’s appetite for a good story. This story wasn’t primarily done to see how many people in the mainstream media we could hoodwink (though that was fun), it wasn’t done for the publicity, money, nor was it a slapdash reaction to some JetBlue clown; it was done purely for the entertainment of the people first and foremost. The purpose of the hoax was to entertain and inspire, not to inform, so what difference does it make if the story has a single ounce of truth?

As for Jenny – the model used in the shoot – internet fame beckons. She already has a million Facebook friends and numerous Facebook groups dedicated to her. Step over Old Spice man, the web has a new celebrity du jour.

Danny Whatmough