By now, everyone and their mom has seen the HUVr viral video. The video depicts Tony Hawk and other celebs using a “Back to the Future”-style hoverboard. The video is widely considered to be a hoax, but we still don’t know who is behind the videos.
One theory is that the video is promoting a new “Back to the Future” movie. But another, more compelling theory posited by Ian Schafer on Twitter is that HUVr is meant to generate interest in Tony Hawk’s upcoming mobile game.
UPDATE: Well, it was a compelling theory, but the truth is out. The video was just a Funny or Die prank.
1. Tony Hawk Has a New Mobile-Only Game Coming Out Soon
— Ian Schafer (@ischafer) March 4, 2014
Ian Schafer’s tweet above wonders about a link between the HUVr video and Tony Hawk’s upcoming mobile game. Just a few days ago, Engadget wrote about Hawk’s upcoming game.
The details are hush-hush for now, but we do know that Tony Hawk’s next game will be for mobile devices only. It could be that HUVr is simply a stunt that will generate interest in Hawk’s new game when it launches. PC Mag notes that the mobile-only game is likely to be part of the “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” game franchise.
Schafer’s Twitter profile states that he is the “Founder/CEO, @DeepFocus. Co-Founder @HungryFanApp.” Deep Focus is “a digital agency for the social age,” which means that Schafer is uniquely qualified to speculate about the possible PR/viral implications of the HUVr video.
The Verge‘s Chris Welch also wonders if the HUVr video might be used to boost Tony Hawk’s upcoming game. However, Welch adds “This seems like a very elaborate production if the end goal is boosting App Store sales. Perhaps an Oculus Rift-style virtual reality title (HUVr) could be on the way.”
2. Tony Hawk His a History of Pioneering YouTube Videos
In the Bloomberg video above, Tony Hawk talks about his YouTube Channel, RIDE.
While the HUVr video was not uploaded onto Tony Hawk’s RIDE channel, it’s worth noting that Tony Hawk is no stranger to eye-popping YouTube videos. Given the fact that Hawk already has experience with using YouTube to grow his personal brand, it’s possible that the people behind the HUVrTech YouTube account could work for Tony Hawk.
3. HUVr Could Be Promoting a Real App
The HUVr video above talks about an iPhone and Android app for HUVr. Since hoverboards aren’t a real thing, a HUVr app would have to be something else besides a hoverboard controller. Could these repeated mentions of an app on the video and the HUVr website be a reference to a real mobile app/game coming out in December?
This is how the HUVr site describes their nonexistent app:
“The HUVr App is the control center for your HUVr Board. Activate your board via Bluetooth before each use and track route information such as path, distance, speed, and travel time. You can also rate and share locations with the HUVr community or via social media to Twitter and Facebook.”
4. If Tony Hawk’s New Game Comes Out In December, He’s HUVr Man
On the HUVr website, there’s a DeLorean-style clock at the top of the page that’s “counting down” to a “destination time” of DEC 2014. That seems to indicate the truth behind HUVr will be revealed then. In the meantime, if sources can prove that Tony Hawk’s new, untitled mobile game is also getting a December release date…well, that might just be a big hint that Hawk is the man behind HUVr.
5. Tony Promoted a Lot of HUVr Stuff
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) March 4, 2014
In addition to appearing in the HUVr video and talking about the HUVr “product,” Tony Hawk was also actively talking up HUVr on Twitter today. It could be that he’s just in on the joke, or it could be that he wants his Twitter fans to know about HUVr because it’s a cover for his upcoming project.
It’s too soon to tell whether HUVr really is a guerrilla marketing scheme for the next Tony Hawk game. However, there are some compelling reasons to think that HUVr may just be a viral hoax with a marketing agenda.