VIDEO: MS Office Rigged With Alarm (Candid Camera Prank)

In this video, a copy of Microsoft Office is rigged with a touch-sensitive alarm and a secret camera that tapes what happens when people around town try to pick it up. Usually they become extremely shocked and lose control of their muscles, dropping the box, shuddering, and even losing their balance. I can’t blame them, that Clippy scares the crap out of me too. Whether it’s just a straight up prank or some kind of anti-software piracy viral video, one thing is for sure: I am amused.

[YouTube via Business Insider via Gizmodo]


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  1. Dean says:

    Yeah, and if you pick it up trying to see if there is any indication of whose it is – that is trying to find the owner to return it – you’re shocked! Ridiculous.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Or even the fact that it’s in the middle of the street or the stairs means that it’s in someone’s way. Either someone’s left it behind or it’s litter and trash – in which case, good citizens would try to toss it into the trash can or at least get it off the street so people don’t have to keep walking around it.

      • goodpete says:

        I agree, most of these people probably didn’t have any dubious intent when they picked it up. And regardless, if there is no indication whose it is, then it’s basically like finding a 100 dollar bill on the street. It’s generally fine to keep it.

        That being said, it was a prank. There are often pranks that target people doing morally ambiguous things. You could argue that it might encourage people not to pick up litter, but honestly, you’re splitting hairs there. It’s funny. Laugh. ;-)

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          It is a prank, but it’s not even that funny because it looks staged.

          • Grogey says:

            I agree, allot of it looks staged. I can see Microsoft having done this as a “viral”

        • wickedpixel says:

          “It’s generally fine to keep it. “

          unless you find it at a bar in Redwood City

    • [MG]LooseCannon says:

      I believe my response would be to stomp the crap out of it.

    • TornadoRex says:

      Good lord it’s a joke. Laugh and lighten up.

  2. IphtashuFitz says:

    If I came across this thing and its siren went off I’d probably stomp it into a pile of trash.

  3. snazz says:

    this HAS to be a microsoft marketing video… those reactions are way too fake looking to be a real hidden camera

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Agreed: The guy picks it up and almost falls down the stairs, the woman picks it up and falls down in an Indian style sitting position.

      Too edgy and over-animated.

  4. dangerp says:

    I’m going with Microsoft viral video. The product placement is too obvious and blatant, and who else would name their video “Microsoft software prank with alarm”? Why even put Microsoft in the name?

    I don’t think it’s fake though.

    • bitsnbytes says:

      Yep. The subtext is that supposedly everybody wants it. If I see a box of MS software standing in a doorway where people can fall over it, I’ll make sure to kick it to the gutter.

  5. goodpete says:

    On a side note, it’s generally a bad idea to leave containers full of electronics abandoned in public places. You’re libel to wind up in Gitmo.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Yeah, remember the Aqua Teen Hunger Force viral marketing campaign? Apparently Inignot and Err are terrorists.

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      libel = to defame someone
      liable = subject to legal charges

  6. George says:

    should of left it on top of some text books at a park bench or outside table; because a software box placed in obvious view like that makes me think….. BOMB!!!!

  7. MikeF74 says:

    That guy on the stairs could have really hurt himself.

  8. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    Faked? Possible, but a loud alarm really does trigger a strong response.
    Stupid? Absolutely. If it is trying to say don’t steal software, they shouldn’t have staged the box to look lost. If it is a prank, it is kind of lame!

  9. ellmar says:

    Consumerist math…
    Vaguely spylike musical intro + conspicuously positioned product placement + actor-ish overreactions = lame viral marketing attempt.

  10. ajmccoll says:

    Viral marketing or not, that had me LOL’ing. It didn’t make me want to buy MS Office, though.

  11. Bye says:

    That has scared me so much that I’ll never touch a Microsoft product again!

  12. steveliv says:

    i’m not sure if it is fake/real but i has been edited. it’s pretty obvious they added in the siren sound, as there is no sound/doppler distortion when it is dropped and thrown around…perhaps they weren’t using the best hidden camera and had to kick it up a notch :)

    • SerenityDan says:

      one of them dropped the box before the alarm even started, so either fake or sound was out of sinc

    • Wburg says:

      Definitely. The sired started on the bench before she even picked it up, and for someone else it didn’t start until it was at eye level off the ground.

  13. CapitalC says:

    Now… if it were left in a BAR by a drunken Microsoft employee, would Gizmodo pay money for it?

  14. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    You know what’s also hilarious? Filling a soccer ball with cement and leaving it on a sidewalk or some such place.

    I mean, the ones who break their foot kicking it only got themselves to blame for kicking a ball that wasn’t theirs, right?

    …and then we have the hijinks you can create with razorblades and subway doors…

  15. coreydean says:

    FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! So obvious. Must be some type of viral campaign attempt by Microsoft.

  16. AngryK9 says:

    I just want to know how to build that alarm. That would be AWESOME at work!

  17. yankinwaoz says:

    Wow… remember what happened in Boston when someone made some home made electronic devices? The city shut down because the police thought they were bombs.

    They are lucky that the police didn’t charge them terrorism.

  18. DigitalShawn says:

    From how I understood it was it simply set off an alarm when you touched the box, not actually shocking you physically, but more as an unexpected response. But yes, it looks extremely staged, unless everyone of those people jump at the slightest loud noise.