How the Creepy Genius of 'Devil Baby' Went Viral

Behind the terrifying video that might be advertising's future

Devil Baby
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
Devil Baby
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Just two days after hitting the Internet in January, the bizarre prank video "Devil Baby Attacks" amassed 25 million YouTube views. And for good reason: In the clip, we see a crew of guys build a remote-controlled stroller complete with an animatronic demon child and then watch as they set it loose – in all its roaring, projectile-vomiting glory – in the streets of New York.

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The video – which turns out to be an ad for the new horror movie Devil's Due – is the work of Thinkmodo, a two-man studio owned and operated by James Percelay and Michael Krivicka. "Our videos don't look, don't sound, don't feel like ads," says Krivicka. Thinkmodo's previous successes include "Carrie," in which a telekinetic woman terrorizes a New York coffee shop, and "Astor Place Cube," which attempted to trick viewers into believing a man lived in a piece of street sculpture.

Of course, Thinkmodo often runs the risk of creating a campaign that's more compelling than its product. But Krivicka insists sneakiness is part of the strategy. "There's nothing that's deceptive in any way," he says. "It's energy-filled, extremely entertaining content – and, near the end, we say, 'Hey, by the way, check out this movie.'"

From The Archives Issue 1202: February 13, 2014