- Brian Swichkow— a 27-year-old marketing pro— wanted to see if Facebook ads could be targeted to just one person.
- To test the theory, Swichkow started running ads geared towards his roommate that were hyper-specific. His roommate, a sword swallower, soon starting seeing ads that asked "Trouble swallowing pills? Does it seem ironic that swallowing swords is easy and then small pills make you gag?"
- The roommate, whose name is Roderick Russell, starting noticing the super specific ads on Facebook and increasingly became paranoid to the point he no longer wanted to talk on the phone. Swichkow eventually fessed-up to the prank.
Swichkow was looking for ways to drive traffic to his blog, and the whole prank ended up garnering a lot of attention after he shared the hoax with Reddit. What's admirable in the whole ordeal is Swichkow's playful and excited demeanor towards marketing, after all, that kind of fun and experimental nature is where innovation comes from. Maybe next time we experiment with marketing tactics we spare our roommates.