As creative hoaxes go, the following stunt performed last week by members of the New Britain Rock Cats marketing department is not quite as audacious this AdHoc item (or your average Jerry Springer episode, for that matter), but a bogus marriage proposal during a between innings trivia contest was compelling enough to generate 600K+ YouTube views. Your move, Round Rock Express — surely a post-game Bob Schneider human sacrifice is worth a million hits or more. From the New Britain Herald’s Matt Straub :

A man proposed to a woman in front of the Rock Cats’ dugout, a practice which happens all the time at parks and stadiums around the country. This one, however, went a little differently than most. The woman says no, and after a few awkward moments with Rock Cats Executive Vice President Jeff Garner trying to maintain order, runs into the stands. The man, after starting off as though he’s going to follow her, turns and runs into the Rock Cats’ clubhouse.

That’s the first clue that the incident, which was of course a hoax, was just that. After all, while security isn’t as tight at New Britain Stadium as it is at a major league park, not anyone can run into the clubhouse.

“It’s an idea we had tossed around a little bit last year and we thought with all the recent proposals, including the one at a Red Sox game, ‘what would happen if someone said no?’” Garner said.

“As soon as we got that crowd reaction we thought it might be a good experiment online,” Garner said. “It started to ask the question what does people think about public proposals. It split down the middle as to whether or not to propose in public.”

“From a publicity standpoint, it was how do we keep them guessing and keep it fun,” Garner said. “The social media aspect was something that took on a life of its own.”