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David Emery

'Amazing Ball Girl Catch' Video Is a Fake

By June 25, 2008

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HoaxTurns out that amazing YouTube video of a ball girl kung-fu climbing the outfield wall to catch a high-flying foul was staged as a marketing gimmick for Gatorade. Is anyone surprised?

The spot was conceived by Chicago ad agency Element 79 and directed by Baker Smith. "It's certainly an amazing fabrication of an amazing play," writes Bob Garfield of Advertising Age. "The ball girl is a stuntwoman who was lifted by cables as she planted her feet against the wall, a sequence cut into actual game footage and enhanced with a bit of CGI and a perfectly natural-sounding announcer track."

Read more about it:
Amazing Ball Girl Catch - YouTube Video
Element 79's Swan Song for Gatorade - Advertising Age
Fresno Grizzlies Gatorade Ad on YouTube - ABC News


June 30, 2008 at 4:25 pm
(1) Freebird says:

Proves an old saying from my father. “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see”. sw

July 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm
(2) DD says:

DAMN! Had me fooled! Was imagining that ballplayer out there trying that move after the game. LOL

July 16, 2008 at 12:16 pm
(3) peter d says:

Looked real to me, but the announcer did go the replay pretty darn fast, much faster than you would expect for a minor league broadcast.

August 2, 2008 at 1:33 am
(4) Dwain says:

Hoodwinked again. Really disappointed it was not real. I saved it, but glad I didn’t circulate it. Disappointed.

November 15, 2008 at 12:29 am
(5) Passenger A says:

Which is real, supergirl’s play or Dave’s comments?

December 26, 2008 at 9:02 pm
(6) JJ says:

It was such an obvious fake from the beginning, I’m amazed anyone was taken in. The girl would need to have been bitten by a radioactive spider to do that.

August 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm
(7) Gordon Freeman says:

Seriously … how F’ing _stupid_ would you have to be to honestly believe that video was real in the first place ?!!?

September 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm
(8) Dr. D'man says:

Calm down love
p.s get a life x

August 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm
(9) Fran says:

Can you prove that it is not the real thing??? Where are the cables?

August 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm
(10) RS says:

perfectly natural-sounding announcer track? yeah, for AM radio maybe

August 14, 2009 at 12:16 am
(11) RMG says:

Anyone who can’t believe that the footage might have been real is simply not an athlete. An athlete knows that play is possible, and given the perfect circumstances, it definitely could happen, even by a young girl. I’ll end with my favorite quote – Luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity.

May 1, 2011 at 2:09 am
(12) ral says:

agreed – It way more unlikely that it was done with cables

August 14, 2009 at 8:33 am
(13) Lucy Mbofana says:

I knew it was fake from the first time l saw it.That girl does not have the face,confidence or stamina to perform such as act.But who would believe me anyway?

April 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm
(14) Xeno says:

how could you possibly tell her athleticism from her face? how can you judge her “stamina”? Stamina/endurance is not especially involved in this type of feat anyway. What made it believable was that one COULD do that move – but timing it to catch the ball was the un-believable part. A well-trained man or woman could get that high. Oh, and yeah, a stuntwoman, I am sure that you could tell from her FACE, CONFIDENCE and STAMINA she is capable of STUNTS but just not this stunt…. geez, the comments get be riled up.

September 5, 2009 at 1:34 am
(15) amazed says:

Even in an article that quotes the maker of the ad and an ad magazine confirming it as an ad AND describing how they did it…. you STILL have 20% of the posters here insisting/arguing that it was real… I guess that’s why aliens and bigfoot will always exist.

April 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(16) Damon says:

You can tell the ball girl’s coloring in the wide and medium shots is more faint than the outfielder. It’s quite easy to see but executed very well. Great idea for a Gatoraid Aid.

April 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm
(17) Xeno says:

Right on! They did the one of the kid on a BMX bike passing the peloton in the Tour de France – complete with French commentators. Also looked great, but also clearly a modern smoke & mirrors production.

May 1, 2011 at 2:07 am
(18) ral says:

Not real because it’s too hard? Bull! Ever seen Parkour? This wouldn’t even be a hard move for a good freerunner.

May 17, 2011 at 9:16 am
(19) Jay says:

Yeah I was taken in. But I had my suspicions when that girl didn’t show up on every talk show from Letterman to Good morning America.

June 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm
(20) Mark says:

It was the most obvious fake in history. There is zero percent chance that your first instinct would be to bounce off both walls (with your back turned) at precisely the time the ball was coming in when you turned around. Zero percent. Zero. If you for even one second thought this was real, you need to question your perception of reality. What would really happen? She would back-peddle to the wall and make a feeble jump attempt and probably miss the ball completely as it was too high up the wall for a standing vertical leap. That would have been a funny “fail” video, and also been real.

July 14, 2011 at 11:22 am
(21) dd says:

what game was that ?, when was it? anyone..

November 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(22) Justin says:

as a chinese, i think it coule be real, so damn easy for some kung-fu people. look at Jackie Chen, this is a piece of cake for him.

April 9, 2014 at 6:54 am
(23) Mike says:

Anyone that still believes this is real is a fool.

April 16, 2014 at 3:12 am
(24) Blade says:

1). The ball girl would not have been down there in the first place. She had a chair that was far from that location. You see her in it at the end. That is where she would have been when the ball was hit…unless of course she was psychic and or knew the fould was coming (hint hint). 2). The landing. From that height, without assistance, her legs would have to bend more than that to absorb the impact. There is barely any bend at all. 3). Some of the fans are clapping before she makes the catch. You get a little anxious after the 20th rehearsal. 4). For no reason at all the cut away for a close up (to remove the wires before she got too far from source) then pan back out. Why pan out again, everything would have been focused on her close up if this was spontaneous. 5) Camera angle: when panned out the camera is high up, but after the close up, it appears that the camera is on the field, maybe the pitcher had an IPAD and brought it out to practice his off season hobby…videography. Also, on the close up, the cameraman appears to be on the field…at just the right angle. Even the cameramen appeared to be Psychic (cue the eerie music)

April 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm
(25) eric says:

everything you read on the internet is true so………

April 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm
(26) Jackie Chan says:

Kung-Fu climb?

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