Revealed: Who’s Behind Those Superhuman Job-Site Videos
We were wowed a few months ago when we first published a pair of YouTube videos that showed some amazing tricks on the job site. First there was the guy who weilded his tape measure like a frog catching flies to grab keys, turn off lights, and change the station on his radio. Then, we saw another video showing a guy crosscutting a 2×4 by throwing a circular saw blade like a throwing star.
So when I came across three more videos on YouTube yesterday demonstrating more superhuman job site antics (the above video of a bulls-eye shot and making the Mona Lisa with a pneumatic nailer), I knew something had to be up. I put my reporter hat on to get to the bottom of these string of videos and it didn’t take much digging around to discover that the joke is on us. Those aren’t real builders, they just play them on YouTube.
The Joke’s On Us
It turns out these seemingly real job-site videos are the work of Integrity Windows and Doors, a division of Marvin Windows (full disclosure: Marvin and Integrity are FineHomebuilding.com advertisers). The company created the videos as part of a viral marketing campaign, according to John Kirchner, public relations manager for Integrity.
“It’s been far more successful than anyone would image,” Kirchner said. As of this blog post, the videos have been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube, and they’ve been covered by national press from ESPN to yours truly.
Fun and Games
In addition to the videos, Integrity has created a blog and a series of online games that correspond with the videos. For example, one game lets you grab items from the job site with a tape measure. Another lets you nail falling money to a wall with a pneumatic nailer.
“All of the games are targeted to new features and benefits of new products from Integrity,” Kirchner said.
Now that we know this is a publicity stunt, I think we’ve got our answer as to whether these videos are real. Still, I had to ask.
“I don’t know how best to answer that,” Kirchner said. “I think we want to leave that up to the viewer to decide.”
So what say you viewers?
This is like learning there is no Santa. Not to be outdone by these guys, I've been practicing several of the skills they show. I found if you use a narrow kerf 8 in blade you can just about cut through a 2x4 from 15 feet. Funny thing is that the closer you get, the less deep the blade cuts. I tried stepping back to 20 feet but can't get the aim down to hit the crosscut line.
The framing nailer art trick can almost be done but you have to shoot into Homosote or rigid foam board - no matter what pressure I pump the compressor up to, the nails won't penetrate solid wood unless you're w/in a foot or so.
And please don't tell me the juggling German hammer guy is a hoax - I can do that trick with curved claw hammers but am still reluctant to use straight claw hammers.
I've been a contractor going on 35 yrs, and never once did I think these were real...although wished they were, give us something to aim for so to speak. Of coarse we have over the years tried them all or versions there of, like racing tapes to see who buys the end of the day beers, and then trying to flip the bottle caps and stick them into Sheetrock. or trying to throw blades into a target on plywood walls like battling coits, (Stars) and then there's the nail gun, trying to shoot flies on the garbage pile..I knew they were for entertainment and done extremely well, Although like MikeG with the hammers, I haven't actually tried trowing them at a nail but we have has contests on fewest swings to drive a 16 or 20d. I can however handle and holster a hammer in 3 back flips as well as perhaps Billy the Kid. Providing the handle isn't to long where it hits me in the arm pit and that the claws are not straight. They tend to get away... Now that we know the truth and nothing to aim high for, I guess I have to look for another career. NOT! Great job Marvin/Integrity, you give me hope...
Yeah, I don't want to know about the German hammer guy either. No Santa AND no Fat Max Xtreme tape measure dude is enough of a disappointment! I for one think that any carpenter worth his salt should, at the very minimal, be able to sling and holster a hammer with style, make a hand saw sing and shoot a beer can at 10 paces with a framing nailer.
Mike G., keep up the good work!
I've been a organ accomplishment on 35 yrs, and never erstwhile did I consider these were sincere...although wished they were, create us something to aim for so to talk. Of unsmooth we person over the life proven them all or versions there of, equal racing tapes to see who buys the end of the day beers, and then trying to change the bottleful caps and pose them into Plasterboard. or trying to communicate blades into a mark on laminate walls similar battling coits, (Stars) and then there's the nab gun, trying to race flies on the garbage money..I knew they were for entertainment and through extremely excavation, Though like MikeG with the hammers, I harbor't actually tried trowing them at a prehend but we jazz has contests on fewest swings to cover a 16 or 20d. I can yet hold and holster a hammer in 3 hourlong where it hits me in the arm pit and that the claws are not trabeate. They lean to get away... Now that we cognize the truth and zero to aim mellow for, I estimate I love to sensing for added calling. NOT! Great job Marvin/Integrity, you render me wish...