What might be the most convincing way to get people to look at your Web site? Tell people they could get $10,000. Or, in the case of two Brooklyn artists, produce a series of videos, post them online and tell people the videos hold clues to the location of a buried treasure. It's real, they say, and it's buried somewhere in one of New York City's five boroughs.
The likely soon-to-be viral videos would mean a modern-day treasure hunt that could culminate with a pay-off for whoever finds the chest (they get to keep it) and for the creators of the project, who hope the online exposure will lead to more work for them.
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The search for the alleged treasure began Aug. 1, when the first video of a group of puppet pirates (and one ninja) who lost their gold was posted. Seven more episodes are scheduled to be posted, with the next one available Aug. 8.
Supposedly the two artists behind the scheme buried a chest full of 10,000 dollar coins back in November, according to NYTimes.com. The project was established as a way to attract more attention to the artists' online puppet videos and, just maybe, get someone to pay them for future videos.
The project's creators are also remaining anonymous, mostly for their own personal safety.
So far the first episode, which has garnered just under 7,500 views on YouTube, and brief trailers for the project are in fact entertaining. Whether they're legitimate is yet to be determined.
But a cheeky FAQ page for the project says you should believe the videos:
Is this for real?
Yes, absolutely. This is not a joke or a stunt.
Well, there's the rub. We can't show footage of the chest going into the ground; it might give something away. However...if you stick around, and look hard, we promise that you will see each and every one of the ten thousand dollar coins in our videos. That's the best we can do.