Occasionally a fad will come along and catch the nation’s attention, providing the perfect fodder for PRs to creatively piggy back onto. And so, like Fifty Shades of Grey or Gangnam Syle before it, American crime drama Breaking Bad is the latest in a line of cultural phenomena to be utilised for PR purposes.
Most assumed that it was a random encounter with a random man, the implication being that Breaking Bad is so goddamn popular even homeless people with no access to television are caught up on it.
However some astute viewers questioned the suspiciously well-kept appearance of the ‘homeless guy’, who in fact turned out to be an actor and voice-over performer named Miles Allen – see his IMBD profile here.
Allen told The Huffington Post that the idea for the video came to him after he performed some Breaking Bad impressions for friends who thought it would be funny to film the sketch and post it online.
He added that they were hoping for 1,000 views, so the unprecedented overnight fame most likely proved something of a shock to Allen, who has had the rare opportunity of exposing his craft to hundreds of thousands of people – and most likely enhanced his career prospects.
Though he was probably hoping to raise his profile on a small scale, the popularity of the stunt was certainly unanticipated, so this is a good case of accidental PR in the form of a viral.