Anatomy of a Hoax: How (and Why) We Tried to Fool Everyone

September 29, 2008

Recently, we decided to play a bit of a trick on a bunch of folks.  Clients, friends, and acquaintances were all victims to our scheme.  No, we weren't trying to channel Orson Welles and cause a panic—but we were trying to prove a point.

Hopefully, we got your attention. Still, many may be wondering how we pulled it off; some may have missed it entirely. Because Digett is all about removing complications and restoring authentic conversation, we've decided to deconstruct our spoof and give you the details.

Digett: Interactive Fruit and Marketing, is born

We have many talents here at Digett, some unrelated to our chosen profession. One of our recent staff additions has a rather unique ability: fruit carving. We're not talking crude jack-o'-lanterns here; this is the kind of stuff you see in posh hotels and high-end resorts. Curious? Take a look at some of his work. Naturally, we seized upon such a unique medium and decided to "reinvent" ourselves as Digett: Interactive Fruit and Marketing.

To create the spoof identity, we needed some convincing collaterals. The logo, seen above, was a simple twist on our real logo; a little work in Illustrator and Photoshop provided the necessary edits. From there, we crafted an email newsletter announcing our exciting evolution and delivered it using the same tools we employ on our clients' behalf.

Of course, every worthwhile fake business needs a website, so that came next. At first glance, the Digett Fruit site appears to promote an honest endeavor. Indeed, there was some discussion about whether the hoax would backfire if it appeared too complicated or genuine. We really didn't want word getting around that we'd gone off the deep end.

Why go to the trouble?

That's the million-dollar question. Times are a little tough right now, and that can cause people and organizations to make hasty—or even unwise—marketing decisions. Some slash budgets. Others make an even bigger mistake by unnecessarily reinventing their message in ways that inaccurately portray their core strengths or services. In most cases, such tactics produce unintended consequences.

Ultimately, we wanted our hoax to convey an important point. Reinventing your message shouldn't mean resorting to gimmicks or portraying your organization as something it's not. Your markets want authenticity, not sleight-of-hand or parlor tricks. Digett can help you freshen your marketing messages and techniques without desperate measures.

Are we forgetting something?

Okay, you got us there. We also wanted to use the Digett Fruit hoax as a unique way to reveal our own site's redesign. In our defense, it goes hand-in-hand with our previous point about reinventing your message. We truly could have stuck with the fruit carving idea; I'm not joking when I say Joe is talented.

But that's not our passion, and it doesn't accurately portray what Digett is. No, we decided to repurpose our site in a way that better reflects who we are today and where we have come as a firm. Our goal is for this site to better represent our expanding range of our abilities and how we want the opportunity to utilize them to help you tell your story.

That's the whole truth—no smoke, no mirrors. If that gets you thinking you're reading to explore new opportunities, let us know.