The $100,000 Question

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Fallon, Minneapolis and's Derek Cianfrance have broken out a hidden camera stunt to anchor a thought-provoking direct mail campaign for recruiting site The Ladders.

Aimed at getting the client's foot in the door with recruiters at Fortune 1,000 companies, the agency sent out cases with $100,000 in fake money along with this video.

"Rather than do a typical direct mail mailer, we came on this idea to do it as a social experiment," says Al Kelly, ECD at Fallon.

The site, which connects employers and high-salary talent, took a hundred grand in $10,000 wraps and set it up under plexiglass in Columbus Park in Brooklyn and sat back to look through 10 hidden cameras and see how people responded.

Surprisingly, there aren't many serious attempts to break the money's container, which Kelly says was made of reinforced plexiglass and was watched over by undercover bodyguards.

"We did see a good amount of violence and vandalism," says Kelly, adding there were "tons of insurance on the money" and that both the client and the production company were "worried about the lengths that people might go to to get their hands on the money."

Also, "We were a little concerned on the second day that we'd be ambushed," Kelly adds. "There's a bit of mob psychology I think. People alone were much less likely to smash the glass, or try to tip it over. but a group of strangers together would go places they wouldn't go alone.

"We did make an attempt to make the pedestal look a little bit vulnerable. It's not a completely sealed box. There were some screws in some places that made it look like you could get to the money, and that was intentional. At one point six guys got together tipped it over and it smashed, and the security guards jumped into action."

The video's conclusion--"$100,000 will attract a lot of people" and helps you attract the right people--is followed by a few frames worth of explanation of the site's purpose.

"Really the challenge is just to get in the door with these people; they're approached all day long by recruitment sites," Kelly says.
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