Superhuman contractor stunts spark online debates: Are they spoofs or for real?
FARGO, N.D. – The Web is buzzing about building contractors with superhuman skills. These ninjas of the tool belt can throw a circular saw blade through a 2×4, snatch key rings from across the room with a steel tape measure and tattoo a rapid-fire portrait onto plywood with a nail gun.
More than 4 million online viewers have watched the “Amazing Builder Skills” video series, produced for Integrity Windows and Doors by the Martin/Williams agency of Minneapolis. Meanwhile, thousands of comments have been posted in viewer forums, debating whether or not these super-tool feats are for real.
One of the videos, “Superhuman Tape Measure Skills,” was the ninth most-watched entertainment video on YouTube in January and a daily No. 1 post on Digg.com. The videos have been featured on dozens of Web sites and TV shows around the world, including “Sports Nation” on ESPN2, The Best of YouTube.com and Fuji TV in Japan.
Are they fake or are they real? Watch and decide for yourself here.
At the same site, viewers can fling their own virtual tape measure and try other building games in the Integrity Skills Challenge, as well as register for quarterly prizes and learn about exciting new Integrity products.
The Skills Challenge campaign calls on contractors to show off their building skills through online games and tests of skill for chances to win prizes. While on the Skills Challenge site, trade pros can learn more about Integrity’s new product innovations, such as the All Ultrex Casement & Awning windows, which can be custom sized to fit almost any specification (a feature demonstrated by the amazing tape measuring skills). In addition, site visitors can customize and send video challenges to friends. An online quiz and blog within the Skills Challenge site also keep builders further engaged.
So, what about the “Amazing Builder Skills” videos: real or not?
Viewers have slowed down the videos, done stop-action analysis and dissected them frame by frame.
- “At 15 seconds, the movement of the tape measure in the reflection on the window is partially wrong,” wrote one online detective.
- “How can you not see that this is fake?” wrote another.
Other viewers believe.
- “Wish I had a special talent like that!” one commenter said.
- “I saw him do this trick on the news — this is real,” added another.
As one savvy viewer summed up the debate: “Not sure if it’s real, but even if it isn’t, it’s good editing and fun to watch. Awesome regardless.”
“The Amazing Builder Skills videos are in the spirit of the building industry, which values fun along with doing the best work possible,” said Laurie Reding, director of marketing for Integrity Windows and Doors.
“The videos are designed to inspire online debates regarding their authenticity,” Reding said. “The online conversation quickly revolved around trying to figure out who was behind the amazing videos. Within weeks, discussions were popping up around the globe.
“Builders are always striving to do the best work possible,” Reding said. “This means using the best products they can find and often, tapping into their competitive side. The drive to be the best in an industry where you are what you build is a quality Integrity® Windows and Doors shares with its customers. That’s why these videos have been created and crafted with such care that these incredible feats actually seem plausible. Are they real or not? Only you can decide.”