Hey, have you seen the video that shows how if you point a few cell phones
at popcorn kernels and dial them all at once they'll pop? Sorry, folks, but
it just isn't true. Turns out it's all a viral marketing stunt (and a hugely
successful one, at that) from Bluetooth headset maker Cardo.
Throughout the week, inboxes have been flooded with "You gotta see this!"
messages from people who'd seen the YouTube sensation. The video (watch the
original here; the various videos have all been updated and are now labeled as
"made by Cardo Systems") shows a group of friends carefully pointing their cell
phones at a quartet of popcorn kernels. When all the phones begin to ring
simultaneously, the kernels explode into popped popcorn. Delicious! Dangerous?
While it says nothing about the issue, the video is supposed to get you thinking
about radiation. If cell phones can do that to popcorn, imagine what they're
doing pressed up against your face. Ideally, Cardo would like you to then start
thinking about buying a Bluetooth headset... ideally one of its models.
Now Cardo's coming clean, possibly a little worried about the panicked response
some viewers have had to the video. (As well: Other videos, equally faked with a
straight face, have followed.) In a statement the company says, "The 'cell phone
and popcorn popping campaign' is completely untrue and a joke. It has been seen
by over 4.1 million users already and has become a sort of global urban legend
as it continues to be tried throughout the world."
Of course there's still the matter of: If it wasn't cell phones popping that
corn, what did? Theories have ranged from hair driers to hot plates to police
department microwave radar guns to CGI. There's clearly something under that
table. Who puts a tablecloth on the coffee table, anyway? Alas, the mystery
continues. When I asked Cardo's PR rep which was the truth, he said, "You know,
I donít actually know."