Over the past week, the above YouTube video has found itself with nearly 1 million plays and embedded in a host of places, including venerated online outlets Deadspin, and Buzzfeed and, uh, NBC Sports. The first time I saw it on Deadspin, I watched it at least five times. Sure, there were commenter conversations about the validity of the video, but they were mainly about whether or not the opposing defense allowed this budding young Internet star perform a backflip over them. However, no one expected that the underlying truth behind this gridiron feat would be as sinister as this.

Yes, it was created by BBDO New York Atlanta, and you fell for it, America. You fell for AT&T’s malarkey, yes, MALARKEY. How do you feel, being fooled by a phone service provider? Will you sign up for AT&T out of shame? Better yet, how does it feel, young high school athletes of America? The viral videos of you making amazing plays will be ignored by Bob Stoops and his fellow collegiate head coaches for fear that it’s all a marketing stunt! Too bad!

In any case, BBDO is laughing all the way to the bank. They’ve succeeded where countless other agencies have failed: Make a compelling viral video on the cheap, distribute it to plethora of legitimate publications who have no idea what it actually is, and then connect it back to the brand in a touching TV spot. Even if this doesn’t make football fans drop their cell provider for AT&T, it’s a sure bet that a ton of other brands will be knocking on BBDO’s door for similar executions for the foreseeable future. Credits after the jump.

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