I consider myself quite internet-savvy. I’ve seen most memes and scams come and go, so it pains me to admit that I have been taken in by one.
Yes, I’m afraid my initial entusiasm for Terry’s Chop Shop is now tainted with the belief that it has just been a viral marketing campaign all along. Bloody clever one all the same!
I guess I had my suspicions early on, but it seemed quite genuine – the Cornetto ad was the kicker. At first I was delighted with his success, but after watching the footage a couple of times, I started to see the credibility gaps.
Had I visited Terry’s MySpace page I would have seen it straight away, but I hate MySpace so I didn’t look at it. Wish I had – it’s pretty slick… waaaay too slick!
Other reasons to be suspicious:
- Dates: it’s all happened so fast. Joined Youtube: September 2007. First Flickr pic: September 2007. First blog post: October 2007, mentions “It’s what’s inside that counts” (wasn’t that a previous Cornetto slogan?). Two topics on his MySpace profile, both started at almost the same time by people from Sydney associated with ‘media’.
- Cuttaburra: it’s in Queensland, not New South Wales. There are a few credibility gaps in the early flickr photos too.
- All the videos, apart from the first, seem to have been done on the same, or similar days in a location that looks very much like the cornetto set with a block that looks very much the same and even water splash that suggests the same conditions.
- This whole ‘Big Day Out’ photo shoot – nice timing. Very nice timing!
- You never see the full axe stroke. Now, if Terry is, as he claims to be, an axeman, he would never hide his skill, but even in the first video, we see the axe lift high, then ‘cut’ to a close-up. The stroke is so true in the later ones – I’m not even sure it’s a human holding the axe.
Yes, I’ll admit, the evidence was there all along. It’s still good fun, but I’m afraid it’s just another, more colourful, version of the ‘Will it blend’ guy.