Our Online Confession Booth Campaign Went off the Rails
It was successful, but what we heard was shocking
It was successful, but what we heard was shocking
Have you ever wanted to know someone’s deepest, darkest secret?
For a campaign to sell playing cards, I set-up a digital confession booth on our website. The campaign was a complete sell-out of over 15,000 units on pre-order alone. By leaving a confession, customers were able to access an exclusive pre-order page to buy the product before anyone else. Guaranteeing they’d own it. But it wasn’t long before it started to get dark. The shocking, hilarious, and disturbing confessions that came flooding in started to make us feel uncomfortable. It was cathartic for some, but a breeding ground of sociopathy for others.
65% of confessions were attributed to infidelity.
12% were work-related.
10% were random and dark.
7% were vetted as possible jokes or trolling.
6% were people coming out with their true sexuality or religious stance.
All submissions were anonymous, although for legal reasons we tracked IP’s incase anyone legitimately confessed to a real crime. Those IP’s were deleted after each confession was vetted. In total we had over 4,000 people confess to their sins.
Why Did We Create This?
I’ve always wanted to create a digital confession booth. I have a campaign notepad with loads of ideas in it and this was always one. At the company I’m now VP for, one staff member, Madison, had claimed he’d never sell another deck of playing cards ever again, but we had some designs, with his logo on them, already in the works. To avoid being trapped in a lie, I recommended he own up to it and start the confession booth as a campaign.
How it worked
He lied, but everyone does, by submitting their sins to him, he would forgive them. Through reciprocation, they forgave him too, for initially lying about never selling more cards, and get access to the product page to buy them before general release, like exclusive VIP access. This was the email that went out… Simple, direct and enough to spark the curiosity required to click.
Now I know you’re dying to get into these, so here they are: a small selection of over 4,000 confessions submitted during the campaign.
The Relationship Confessions
I’m gay and my girlfriend doesn’t know.
I have made my girlfriend, that I love, angry at a friend of ours because I thought she loved him.
I’m married and I’ve been catching feelings towards a co-worker. I’m afraid this could lead to cheating, which I will not feel bad about at all if it happens.
I don’t love my girlfriend anymore, but I can’t seem to find a way to break up with her.
I can’t build the courage to ask my girlfriend to marry me, even though I know she’ll say yes.
When I was younger, I was cheated on. Following this, the girl who cheated on me wanted to get back together. I then slept with her then stopped talking to her just so I could hurt her back.
I lead every girl on when really I’m in love with my best friend.
I slept with my wife’s sister and got her pregnant after she told us her husband couldn’t have kids. Her husband believes it’s a miracle from God.
I once cheated on my girlfriend, with her mother, and I don’t regret it.
I have f****d my best friend’s sister.
My dammed girlfriend has cheated me with her ex-boyfriend and I do nothing. I hate her.
My friend’s baby might be mine and not her husband’s!
The Work Confessions
I used to moonlight as a psychic for divorcees for the money. I’m not a psychic.
I put real milk in soy-milk customers’ drinks when working at Starbucks.
I stole money from work.
I am a racist, but my co-workers think I’m cool with everyone.
I work as a cook in a rather upscale restaurant in Dallas, Texas. I plate food items with varying degrees of quality, neatness, and finesse depending on how that server treats me, so I can mess with their tips as revenge for being jerks to me.
I am a functional drug-addict. I am dependent on opiates and heroin yet unable to get the help I need because I will get fired from work if they find out.
My boss turned on me. Now, I’m secretly building a case against him, yet I smile in his presence. Deceit is a powerful weapon.
As a bartender, people would complain that their drinks were not strong enough, so I would just pour a little liquor in the straw.
I’m an EMT who shuffles cards while driving my ambulance.
I once collected money at work for a charity, then used the money myself eight months later.
The Random Confessions
I switched the prices in the supermarket because I did not have enough money.
I let someone get between me, my passion, and my dream.
I have been tested and have been proved a sociopath. I am only 14 years old.
Someone told me a secret and I shared it with another person that I knew would spread the secret.
I am so addicted to porn.
I snitched on my friend with the cops, and he doesn’t know it was me.
In school, we were dissecting rabbits. I put the end of a student’s pen in the a** of the dead rabbit, so he would never chew on it anymore.
I am in debt to some of those close to me and I’ve been spending a good amount of my recent income instead of repaying them.
I saw my friend being beaten, and I didn’t do anything, because I was afraid.
This morning I saw that someone I graduated high school with two years ago is now homeless. When he recognized me and begged for me to help him I replied “Sorry, I can’t help you. You bullied me for all 12 years of grade school,” and it felt great.
I began smoking at age 13. When I was 14 my parents found out and I swore to never smoke again. I am now 16 and never quit smoking. My parents don’t know this.
At church, I actually take money out of the giving basket.
My abusive, in the past, father is dying of cancer. I can’t forgive him.
I am not religious and if my family found out, they would hate me!
I have not felt happy like I used to after I saw a 15y/o die a few months ago.
Those That May Be Joking
One time, I peed in the sink.
I’m learning to hypnotize people to see girl’s boobs.
I cheated in a card game.
I am a Trump supporter.
I use an extremely long Greek name when I order Starbucks. My real name is Sebastian.
I sometimes throw recycling in the trash.
I’ve jacked off to pictures of my best friend naked and she has no clue about it.
I once took a poo in a towel and hid it in the house of someone I didn’t like and it took a long long time to be found. No regrets.
I can’t stop eating pizza but I’m lactose-intolerant.
I am into diapers and like using them.
I once stole a chicken nugget dip sauce for my nuggets.
I tell my wife I illegally download things so she doesn’t know how much I’m spending.
In college, I went to a stranger’s funeral because I was poor and I wanted to get free food.
How Did We End the Campaign?
After a hugely successful campaign and a complete sell-out of the product, we needed to commemorate it. We designed a deck of cards called confessions and picked 52 of our favourites to be printed on the face of each of the 52 cards in a deck. The community that took part in the confession booth campaign could then buy this deck of anonymous confessions to see if their’s was included. Did they make the cut? Only those who owned the deck would find out.
To this day, it’s one of my favourite campaigns that I’ve ever done and didn’t cost a penny to set-up if you exclude the product cost. The only things used were our mailing list reach and the organic traffic from our social media accounts.