Hold on, those clever Maybelline ads weren't real?

Maybelline train advert headlines
(Image credit: Future)

Maybelline had a viral hit on its hands last week with a TikTok video that appeared to show a clever out-of-home advertising campaign involving some glamorous public transport. Scores of national and international media outlets reported that the makeup brand had put eyelashes on London Tube trains and buses and erected giant mascara wands to give said lashes some extra volume at strategic stops. We almost published the news ourselves.

"I can’t believe they did this," people commented in amazement as they shared the stories. Only they didn't do it. The physical campaign didn't exist. The video was created using special effects. While it shows how easy it is to fool even traditional media it also raises a questions. Why are brands suddenly pretending to have carried out fake advertising campaigns? (see our pick of the best print adverts for our favourite real campaigns).


♬ original sound - Maybelline New York

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.