Security company ad tricks people into thinking their houses were burgled

The Chilean division of security company ADT created an under-door advertisement intended to trick people into thinking that someone had broken into their houses. The ad was a spring-loaded, collapsible box that could be slid under the door, whereupon it popped up, giving the impression that it had been placed there by someone who had slipped the lock. Copyranter reports, "On the box was the ADT logo and the line: 'Breaking into your apartment is easier than you think.'"

ADT shows how easy it is to break into your home by (fake) breaking into your home.


  1. Reminds me of joke I heard a comedian tell,
    “I used to have a job selling security systems door-to-door, I was pretty good at it too, if the person wasn’t home I would just leave the brochure on the kitchen table.”

  2. I generally hate marketing and marketers, and I miss the old days when there was already a product to go with some hip new marketing ploy – whereas today it’s normally the reverse, with a product being designed to fit the ad. Either that, or they’ve basically just given up. At first I thought this one in particular was just plain deceitful and scandalous, but of course people will open the box, see the spring and realize it’s a trick. It’s a cunning and clever way to make people think more seriously about home security. And for that, it’s one of the 0.001% of marketing campaigns that receive a higher grade than “F” from me.

  3. Back in dorm life, one of our pranks used to be to dump out a container of baby powder in front of the door and blow it under the jamb with a fan, coating the room inside with a fine, white, powdery substance. Unfortunately, they immediately thought “cocaine” instead of “anthrax.”

    (BTW, Billy Bob Bodine from Lubbock, TX, that pimp is still looking for you.)

  4. Sueing your company claiming this here dead dog was my pet and died because it swallowed a spring while attacking your cardboard box, is easier than you think.

  5. Sorry, but I don’t want to be “engaged with your brand”. especially not inside my home when I open the door.

  6. ADT security is also a notoriously bad deal. They “give” you a “free” system or “free” installation, putting in an at most $400 system that would be really cheap to install because they use wireless sensors. Then they charge you $30 – $40/mo for monitoring that you can get as low as $8 elsewhere. Net cost is at least $200/year more than it would be from another provider, so your “free” system ends up costing you a fortune after just a few years.

    1. monitoring that you can get as low as $8 elsewhere

      Or free, which is cheaper (and, since it’s DIY, probably more trustworthy and reliable).

  7. So… what about a visit to the local police?
    You have someone who admitted that he broke into your apartment, should be a fairly short investigation…

  8. Those crazy Chileans! What will they think of next? I think it would be more effective if the thing they slip under the door was a spring loaded lifesize cutout of a guy in a ski mask instead of a box, but that’s just me.

  9. Yeah, if that happened in the US heads would roll. That’s not only creepy but it’s dangerously close to actual terrorism. Like what was that marketing meeting like, “see we slip this pop-up box under the door to scare the shit out of a potential customer. Or piss them off enough that they will never buy our product and will probably tell everybody they know not to as well. It’s brilliant.” To which the boss should have said, “that’s not brilliant, that’s crap, you idiots are fired. GTFO.”

  10. Note the weasel-wording — they don’t claim that they broke in (and in fact they didn’t), they just imply that they could have. I think they can dodge that particular bullet. But I agree that in the US someone would find a good way to take them to court over this campaign.

    On the other hand, the pop-up ad box is a clever design, and there may be more appropriate uses for it. It’s a great eye-catcher, if you then proceed to immediately reassure the customer that it wasn’t placed there via an intrusion. Play it as a puzzle to get them to come to your website to see how it works… and while they’re there, they might buy.

  11. I like (appreciate) these comments:
    Anon • #3

    But dculberson is more to the point (though I have something to add):
    This is the part of boing boing, the aspect, the sensibility that rubs me (sorry-to-say) the wrong way (sometimes). Is “cleverness” what attracts the eye, sheer cleverness?

    Is there some way to “hack” this?

  12. I love they way they mentoion increased web site traffic and increasing time with the brand not sale. It’s easy to get increased web site traffic when people are pissed off at you.

  13. They’re not tricking anyone that they broke into their apartment for more than a few minutes, but that’s not the point. The condo-dwellers believe that their condos are safer because they are protected by the outer shell of the condo. This package shows that the person got through the outer shell and right up to their front doors. Most doors on the insides of condos aren’t that well protected. It will be pretty obvious to the dwellers that the person could have broken in the rest of the way.

  14. This is mean and ADT sucks, but whoever came up with this deserves an evil genius prize. Love it!

  15. Someone just needs to splice together footage of the ADT box and the scene from Seven where the character screams “What’s in the box?” and this ad campaign will stop.

  16. suing ADT because the blind tenant slipped and fell by stepping on the unexpected cardboard box is easier than you think

  17. A clever idea, sure, but totally devoid of common sense.

    Those moments between first seeing the box and discovering how it got into the apartment will be what creates a lifelong ADT-hater.

    I picture the door opening with the box in the foreground. Feet enter. Pause. Grocery bag– complete with french bread and carrot stems– crashes to the floor.

    Any ad exec who did not picture that exact same scenario is… hmm, what’s a gentle way of saying ” an idiot”?

  18. I say the cleverness outweighs the creepiness. And I’m typically not one to commend marketers on their work.

  19. I don’t understand how this is clever marketing. Seems utterly stupid to me. Slipping a trick box under the door proves nothing about security. Except that there’s a gap under the door.

    So dumb.

  20. #18. In Chile you are not supposed to have weatherstripping if you have gas heating (or anything not electrical). Very few people have electrical heating, on the other hand.

    When my weatherstripping was removed by the gas company, my wife inserted it again, because “the cold entered in”. Actually it was oxygen supposed to save our lives.

    #9 and #24. I’m a Chilean and I can’t hear anything wrong with the voice over, except for the super Chilean way of pronouncing “Santiago, Chile” (son-TYOG-gaw CHEE-lay), instead of “santee-OG-go chilly”. Any Chilean executive paying for the voice over probably was as pleased as I was before reading your comments.

    1. No one was mocking a Chilean accent or anything. (I’ve dated a Chilean and my brother-in-law is from Bogata – no problem with accents, man) We just thought it had been digitally altered in some odd way. Sounds to me like all the spaces between the words have be edited out. Listen again. And my apologies if that’s what a Chilean English accent sometimes sounds like.

      1. i too must admit i thought it was a digital speech dictation program. i’ve worked with those for testing ADA compliance, and they sounds very similar.

  21. Someone left a flyer on my car. It read “Sabotaging a car’s brakes is easier than you think. Think you need protection? 1-888-BIG-****.”

  22. i wouldn’t have slipped one into each apartment, i would have slipped them all into one apartment, until i couldn’t fit anymore!
    that is even better then the paper cup prank….

  23. I’m torn between marveling at the ingenuity, and not liking them for freaking people out like that, even if it was only momentary.

  24. I find it a little alarming that ADT, a corporation with offices in North America and Europe, would willingly endorse an advertising technique that resembles a direct threat.

    Imagine if State Farm were trying to sell life insurance to office workers in New York using spring-loaded, papercraft World Trade Center Towers with the message, “It could happen again,” written on it.

    I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time ADT rubbed an American the wrong way. Stand-up commedian, Nick DiPaolo, often complains about demographics of the actors portraying the thieves and the call center workers in American ADT commercials.

  25. This could also lead to an increase in the number of people sealing the bottoms of their doors.

  26. There’s a few scenarios making this potentially lethal for the perp sliding these under doors- or others.

    Popup of box sets off a typical DELAYED motion sensor that was set low as the apt in question has no pets. Armed Response arrives to see a shady looking character kneeling at the door of an apt several doors down from the one that had a motion trip. In the moment of confusion **BANG** and Game Over.

    Or the even more mundane- resident was in shower etc so did not hear bell/doorknock. They see something slide under door and pop up. Results in either resident using excessive=lethal force on perp or perhaps resident having heart attack/stroke believing something evil is about to kill them.

    This stunt of a slide under the door box ties with that old joke ending in “It is- wanna buy a toothbrush” for sheer reality FAIL.

Comments are closed.