A marketing agency convinced 20,000 people to watch a puddle.

Marketing Agency Somehow Convinces Tens of Thousands to Watch a Freaking Puddle

Marketing Agency Somehow Convinces Tens of Thousands to Watch a Freaking Puddle

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Jan. 6 2016 12:50 PM

Marketing Agency Somehow Convinces Tens of Thousands to Watch a Freaking Puddle

screen_shot_20160106_at_12.47.52_pm

Screenshot from Periscope.

Sometimes the Internet shows you things you had no idea you wanted to see—a dress for people to argue over for days, for instance, or a pair of llamas on the llam. Sometimes, though, it gives you a puddle. A freaking puddle.

On Wednesday morning, tens of thousands of people tuned in to watch a live-stream of people attempting to cross a puddle in Newcastle, England. Nearly 20,000 people were watching the Periscope feed when it went dark at around 5 p.m. local time (noon ET). By then, though, what was dubbed the #DrummondPuddleWatch had become a national story in the U.K., with the Telegraph calling it an “Internet sensation” and the Guardian labeling it a “national talking point.” And whom do we have to thank/blame for this? A rather bored marketing agency it turns out, via the Guardian:

The masterminds of this ever-so British viral hit is marketing agency Drummond Central. Managing director Beth Hazon told the Guardian that she and her staff have watched people from a window in the top floor of their building in Jesmond Road, Newcastle navigate the puddle for weeks now. On Wednesday morning, copywriter Steve Wilkes suggested they set up an iPhone and live stream it for the day. “Every single day, we’ve been watching people try to get over this puddle—it’s been raining quite a lot,” she said.
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The firm says that the live-stream is not part of any campaign—it’s just a puddle. We live in strange times.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.