A video on YouTube depicting a ball girl at a minor league baseball game making an unbelievable catch is actually a shelved ad for Gatorade.
The ball girls superhuman leap was actually done by a stuntwoman who was helped into the air by cables. The accidental viral video has received more than 3.5 million hits on a variety of Web sites within the last month.
The ad was created by the Chicago- based ad agency, Element 79, which says on its Web site that Gatorade shelved the ad because it wanted to move the "brand in a different direction."
Element 79 explains the idea behind the ball girl video. "This piece was part of our final production for Gatorade: a carefully-staged campaign designed to break virally and build an audience with three remarkable ‘is that real?’ scenarios."
Gatorade and Element 79 maintain they are not the ones who posted the video on YouTube and other sites.
In the clip there is no mention of Gatorade, but there is a bottle of Gatorade that is visible at the bottom of the chair when the ball girl returns to her seat.
Gatorade is of course happy about the free publicity. Gatorade spokeswoman Jill Kinney told theLA Times, "We’re thrilled with the response it’s getting. It had the desired effect of ‘Wow, is that real?’"
"What we’ve noticed from the comments is that if people know it’s not real then they’re still entertained."