The Shmooze

Israeli Startup Launches Facebook Death Contest

By Michael Kaminer

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Israelis are nothing if not practical. So maybe it’s no surprise that an Israeli startup’s behind a new app that sends private messages to one’s dearly beloved after death — or that the Facebook app’s creators are offering a chance at worldwide fame to the (un)lucky participant who dies first.

According to social media digest Mashable, the IfIDie app’s first user with the good fortune to expire after a buffer period of a few months “will have their message shared with the If I Die app community and media outlets.” The app’s tagline: “What will you leave behind?”

The contest page, at IfIDie1st.com, proclaims that “up until now, you either had to be executed or to be a huge star in order to leave famous last words. Now, with if i die 1st, you have a real chance to leave a message to be heard by the world. Only catch is, you won’t live to enjoy the moment. But at least you’ll know that if you go unexpectedly, it will be in style.”

Since the company is run from the Holy Land, the Shmooze asked — with tongue partially in cheek — will services like Kaddish come next for IfIDie users? “We will continue to expand our services in the digital world, and an annual virtual Kaddish should be one of them,” responded Eran Alfonta, one of its founders.

While Mashable treated the site launch with a straight face, IfIDie’s connection to a pair of Israeli marketing firms — both credited on the site — seems to raise a few questions. The Mizbala Group specializes in “guerrilla and experimental marketing,” and premiered the IfIDie idea at TED, the annual ideas conference, last year. And twentythree is a Tel Aviv advertising agency that creates provocative online campaigns.

Could the whole thing just be a stunt to die for?

Watch the Creepy Contest Promo Video:


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