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Twitter-Powered Tornado Blasts Weather Channel Interns To Promote #TornadoWeek

04/30/2013 02:02 pm 14:02:50 | Updated Apr 30, 2013

If a new attempt at viral marketing catches on, interns at the Discovery Channel would be wise to quit before Shark Week.

In a bit of marketing-meets-Internet tomfoolery, the Weather Channel has posted its interns at a desk located in a "Twitter-powered tornado." Tweets sent with the hashtag #TornadoWeek incrementally increase the office tornado's wind speed, with a pledge that 1,000,000 Twitter mentions will result in blasting the interns with wind speeds equivalent to an EF-5 tornado (at least 200 mph).

Of course, all of this is streaming live on YouTube, so the Internet can join in on the fun.

Vert, the advertising agency managing the incoming tweets for the promotion, told Mashable the tornado reproduction is based on "effective wind speed, not actual wind speed," meaning the winds the interns have endured theoretically feel like an EF-2 tornado but aren't necessarily that high.

That minor detail has earned some skepticism on Twitter, with at least one user "calling shenanigans" on the stunt.

As for the actual marketing initiative, it sure seems like the stunt is more than just a bunch of hot air. As of this writing, a #TornadoWeek tally on the Weather Channel's website had registered more than 23,000 tweets, corresponding to an effective wind speed of 120 mph.

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