Video case study: “Rings” horror stunt terrifies late night TV shoppers (and gets 250m views)

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To market the new horror movie "Rings," the makers Paramount scared the living daylights out of shoppers at an electronics store in White Plains, New York, becoming a massive social media success in the process.

In footage uploaded to Facebook on Tuesday, customers in a TV showroom are tricked into believing that the film's villain, Samara, is crawling out of their television sets.

The 30-second clip - entitled 'There’s no escape from Samara' - has already been viewed more than one million times and has gone viral, with thousands of petrified viewers left triggered by the joke.

It begins with a shop assistant testing the various features of devices on a wall, with potential buyers expressing mild interest in return at the demonstration.

It's only when he claims to amp the settings up even further, that the raven-haired character is seemingly brought to life and crawls through the screen.

According to a behind-the-scenes video, the prep for this elaborate prank meant building a fake wall inside a real store in upstate New York, then covering it in televisions showing trailers for Rings.

Hidden behind one of the lower television screens was a hidden compartment where an actress dressed up like the creepy Samara would emerge to scare customers, riffing on the premise of The Ring's video viewings.

As would be expected, the customers react accordingly to the blood-chilling prank.

The video was massively successful, getting 250 million Facebook views in a day.

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