People in London were running for their lives Tuesday.
A polar bear on the loose. OK — an animatronic polar bear, but it's pretty realistic! (Video via ODN)
The UK's Sky Atlantic created the bear as a promotional tool for its new TV show "Fortitude," which is centered around a death in the Arctic Circle.
RT reports a team of special effects experts took about eight weeks to create the polar bear, which stands 8 feet tall.
And it looks like once people realized the bear wasn't really ferocious, they didn't mind getting a little closer to it. Some whipped out their phones to snap a quick selfie, while others couldn't resist petting it.
Viral marketing, especially for Hollywood, has become popular in recent years. Social media sharing makes marketing stunts even more effective.
To promote its 2013 "Carrie" remake, Sony teamed up with Thinkmodo to create a viral video showing a woman using telekinesis after a man spilled her coffee. It scared real-life customers and garnered millions of views. (Video via Sony Pictures Releasing / "Carrie")
And while social media has brought back the concept, it's not entirely new. To publicize the 1996 film "Independence Day," the filmmakers created a fake breaking-news alert that contained footage from the movie.
"Here we have what appears to be alien ships ... Oh, my God! Oh! Oh, dang!"
OK, so now it looks kinda cheesy, but WhatCulture reports some viewers were so terrified they called 911 after seeing the alert.
And one of the first-ever promotional stunts was all the way back in 1938, when an adaption of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" was read on CBS Radio. (Video via PBS)
The Los Angeles Times reports some of the 6 million listeners really "believed aliens from the red planet had actually landed and overrun the small town of Grover's Mill, N.J., and were on the move through the rest of the country."