16/01/2013 06:01 GMT | Updated 17/03/2013 05:12 GMT

Did a French Kitchen Brand Make the Ultimate Flash Viral?

Branded viral videos have been racking up the views and shares on the Internet for some time now with publicity stunts and flashmobs being a favourite of some of the video production agencies involved. We've seen dramatic events taking place in the street for TV channels, huge sing-alongs in stations for phone companies and now thanks to French kitchen brand Cuisinella we have sniper assassinations.

Not real ones of course, killing members of the public for real in the aid of advertising won't happen until TV talent shows eventually evolve into 'The Running Man'...which they will, eventually.

The setup for the ad revolves around three members of the public being shot in the street from a paintball gun-wielding sniper hiding in a nearby building. After the initial moments of panic and screaming from the surrounding public, an Ambulance arrives with the crew bundling the victim into the back and proceed to use a defibrillator on the very much alive and screaming prankees. They are then semi-zipped up in a body-bag, dumped in a coffin and left in a Cuisinella showroom.

Upon escaping their faux-grave the victims quickly realise they have been part of a ruse to flog kitchen goods, and appear to take it in good spirit, that might be the relief of not being buried alive though.

Is there any merit to this kind of shock viral advertising? This rather disturbingly titled viral - 'ça sent le sapin' (Smells Like Pine) was removed by Cuisinella themselves who branded it as 'Sick' - not before racking up a few hundred-thousand views and gaining the attention of viral ad fans everywhere though.

Advertising has come a long way from provocative bra adverts on billboards to people actually getting shot in public. It's probably Quentin Tarantino's fault. Thanks Internet.