HBO runs ad campaign for fake Silicon Valley event Hoolicon; inspires a registration website

Hoolicon

A fake website for a fake tech conference created by fake tech giant Hooli in HBO’s satire comedy Silicon Valley has been taken down, after HBO claimed it was not an official part of the broadcaster's advertising campaign for the show.

The Silicon Valley official social media accounts have recently been posting about the Hoolicon event (like Apple’s Keynote) that features in the show. Naturally, its portrayal of a leading tech industry conference is skewering.

A registry page was erected on EventGrid that seemed to be an authorized extension of the show. Those who accessed it could sign up for three day passes to the proceedings in San Francisco during October. However, an HBO representative told The Wrap that they had nothing to do with the site - which is now password protected.

It does not appear that users were phished by a fraudster as the site didn't seem to ask for payment from users. The Wrap tried to buy the tickets when the Hoolicon web page was live, they racked up a basket worth $1,500 - although that was packaged with a limited edition Hoolicon golf jacket.

On the show, Hoolicon was actually created splicing footage of real world event Dreamforce which caused the chief executive of the event to tweet accordingly.

Adding to the noise, Silicon Valley appears to be running billboards for the event too.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.