Moviegoers stunned by VW's 'don't text and drive' ad (or are they?)

In an attempt to put people's heads in the moment, moviegoers get a text, just as the action on the screen unfolds. But is it all a setup?

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And suddenly.... MadOverAds/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

For many people, texting and driving is just too tempting.

They're used to eating burgers and driving, arguing and driving, and rubbernecking and driving.

The bonus with texting and driving is that you don't miss a thing. Until you don't miss the car in front of you.

Unsuspecting moviegoers in Hong Kong have possibly texted and driven once or twice in their lives.

However, thanks to a fascinating escapade by Volkswagen, they arrived at a movie theater thinking they were just watching some short film before the main feature started.

They watched a car, from the driver's perspective, driving down an empty road.

The people in the movie theater looked relatively bored, supping on their large cardboard cups.

And then so many of them got a text message from what the YouTube summation reveals to be a location-based broadcaster.

This all seems nicely dramatic, a wonderfully interactive way to make people at least think about texting and driving.

It also might make some think about the insidiousness in location-based communication.

There's another disturbing thought. Did this many people really have their phones still turned on at the theater? Don't most people at least mute their phones, so that, at best, they vibrate?

Certainly not in all cases, but there's a tinge of suspicion here.

Still, as the very best makers of viral video -- such as Thinkmodo's Michael Krivicka -- will tell you, it doesn't matter so much whether the video is something of a setup. It matters how it's shared.

And this one, in various iterations has already enjoyed almost 1 million YouTube views in just a couple of days.

Will anything change the texting and driving habit, though? That, I suspect, is a very difficult task.

 

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