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Sometimes, the stresses of life can make us feel a little violent We’ve all wanted to punch someone out a time or two, but who would’ve thought there’d be an app for it. Rumblr, which advertises “casualty-free casual fighting for free,” offers connections to LinkedIn and Tinder, in essence becoming a real-life Fight Club without abiding by the first or second or 73rd rule of Fight Club.

“Rumblr is an app for recreational fighters to find, meet and fight other brawl enthusiasts nearby,” the app creators said. Many fighting enthusiasts were anticipating its release on November 9. Fighters would have been able to hone their skills while bystanders would have been able to watch these impromptu battles.

The app was revealed as a hoax created by college dropouts who were starting a PR firm, von Hughes. “Rumblr started as a portfolio project to help us launch our creative consulting agency, von Hughes. We’re a team of college dropouts with backgrounds in marketing, design and engineering. Rumblr came about organically as a funny idea amongst a group of friends, but quickly budded into an opportunity to showcase our branding skills,” said the firm.


The unusual marketing strategy paid off, according to Matt, Jack and Andrew, the three men behind the hoax app. “We’ve collectively slept for twenty hours the last three days producing the web application, managing social media marketing efforts and pursuing news coverage. Rumblr became a relevant topic in multiple countries, cultures and languages.”

Publications such as VentureBeat and Huffington Post covered the controversial fake app. While many are quick to take these publications at their word, VentureBeat noted that there was no sign of monetization efforts (which tend to attract investors and funding) and also reported that the app could still be awaiting approval, which were red flags for no one but those who know the intricate and complex process that creating an app takes.

Large, multinational companies tend to pour millions of dollars into their marketing budget every year, and the strategies tend to be formulaic in nature. Unusual marketing strategies, however, have garnered media attention (and thus achieved the goal of brand recognition) while spending far less. The firm used a combination of satirical humor and reverse psychology to attain their goal of brand recognition, and encouraged others to take a stand against violence. “We understand that some of you were genuinely looking forward to using an app like Rumblr, and we’re sorry to disappoint. However, if you still are truly wishing to release some built-up angst, consider fighting more pressing issues such as gang violence, domestic abuse and at-risk youth culture,” they said.

Until an actual Fight Club app comes along (stranger apps exist), prearranged fights (which are actually common amongst diehard soccer fans in Europe and South America) will have to remain clandestine in nature for the time being.

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