The Secret to a Viral Ad? Just Make It Really, Really Terrible On Purpose

So very true! There are countless ads I’ve seen over the years that I wish I could forget, but can’t for how brutally bad they are.

TIME

Unless your wifi has been down, chances are high that you’ve already seen a truly awful ad for Missouri’s East Hills Shopping Center — complete with off-pitch singing, singsong chanting about “boots and pants,” fluorescent green wods and clothing so synthetic that it’s one lit match away from bursting into flames.

It’s so bad, it’s good. But… is it too good to be true?

“Please don’t debunk this for me, I need to have faith in something during these trying times,” my friend Jordan wrote on Facebook, voicing the collective prayer of the snark-loving people of the internet as they click the video’s play button over and over and over again. (Actually titled “Terrible Mall Commercial,” the spot has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.5 million times in less than three days.)

While the commercial is, in fact, a real back to school ad for the Missouri mall, the…

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