Franklin Templeton Brings A #PrintableVideo For World Environment Day

Investment firm Franklin Templeton has come up with a printable video for World Environment Day. The idea set to change the world's paper consumption habits is an online prank campaign to go paperless

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What if you could print a video? Now why would anybody want to print a video is beyond me, but still, what if we could just be able to print a video. I have pulled out frames from a video and then got them printed at the local printer, but what if you can print an entire video!

Today investment firm Franklin Templeton ran a promoted tweet on my timeline. The promoted tweet spoke of a #PrintableVideo that could change trends in the world. And with today being ‘World Environment Day’, the idea looked even more suspicious. Claiming to be the world’s first printable video, it led to a ‘CtrlP.co’ site.

Check it out for yourself and try printing the video. Processing… rastering video… recoding… realigning… sending print… and you encounter a fatal error. Franklin Templeton then lectures you on some alarming environment statistics about trees, while asking you to shred the habit of printing. A ‘Spread the word’ button enables sharing the site on Facebook. The site features Twitter and Facebook sharing icons too.

Additionally, investors with the firm have been suggested to switch to E-statements. The ‘Switch to E-statements’ button takes you to a form where you can enter your name, email and contact number.

The brand is also running a promoted trend for the campaign hashtag, apart from sharing the website on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

Here’s the video embedded in the website. The CTRL P team behind the innovation explain the benefits:

On #PrintableVideo and brand pranks

To execute a prank, you need to make it believable. When all the world goads you on going paperless every World Environment Day, here is a brand asking you to print a video. The idea seems as illogical as it is preposterous for a brand to suggest. Had it not been World Environment Day today, I would have looked at the printable video in new light; it would come across as a believable innovation, given its uses for printing comic books, etc.

That said, once you get to the website and click print, you are in for a surprise, if you had expected to have that video printed. Else, you are left wanting for more. At least, the #PrintableVideo campaign could have created some buzz a few days prior to World Environment Day, rather than the abrupt message to go paperless. Executing a prank campaign is tricky, and it gets even trickier when it is to communicate a social message.

When ICICI Bank wanted to launch its pan-India drawing competition for a social cause, it launched the ‘Magic Pencil Project‘ without associating itself. The project managed to created a believable stir on social media about the existence of a pencil with which you could draw anything to bring it to life. The competition was revealed only later, when the viewers were waiting to get their hands on a magic pencil.

Franklin Templeton’s World Environment Day initiative #PrintableVideo, far from being believable, will only bring mixed responses on social media. It might gain the views and the email ids for the brand, however.