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April Fools! No, Costco is not coming to Station Mall in Sault Ste. Marie

Eythan Henson says some people immediately identified his video as an April Fools' Day joke, but some were momentarily taken in by the prank
Screen captures from the viral April Fools' Day prank by Eythan Henson, in which he digitally altered a sign to suggest Station Mall was getting a Costco Warehouse store.

If it's possible to "win" at April Fools' Day pranks, Eythan Henson might take the prize in Sault Ste. Marie this year for his understated social media video promising that a Costco Warehouse store is coming to Station Mall.

Henson said he has been thinking up the prank for a while, but only shot the video on his way to work this morning.

Just a few seconds long, the video cuts between a shot of Henson and a sign outside Station Mall with a fake "Costco Warehouse" sign underneath.

"Is that real? It can't be real," Henson says in the video. "Station Mall, are we... are we getting a Costco?"

Henson works as a junior creative at DIG, a Sault Ste. Marie company that offers digital consulting and agency services. He's accustomed to using professional camera equipment as part of his job, but decided to keep it simple to have the best chance for the joke to land.

"I wanted to do it but I wasn't sure how and make it convincing," Henson told SooToday on Monday. "If it was all flashy and nice then nobody would believe it. So I got my phone, walked down there just this morning and just recorded it and then brought it back and edited it."

He found a sign with an empty space outside of the mall and used software to convincingly overlay the Costco sign overtop.

"Some of them [viewers] assumed that the Station Mall or somebody else put the sign in there and that I was just recording it, that I was falling for a prank," he said. "It was convincing enough that they thought it was actually there and not put in with After Effects [software]."

The video was created by Henson and posted to Facebook through his personal account. The prank was not a part of his job at DIG.

When the video was uploaded to social media, some commenters immediately noted it was an April Fools' joke. But Henson said many appreciated the prank and were taken in by it, even if only for a little while.

"I'm hearing that some people actually drove down to check the sign," said Henson. "It was convincing enough that they thought that was actually there."

The youngest of five children, Henson said he has long been pranking his older siblings.

Editor's note: DIG is a sister company to Village Media, which operates SooToday.

Soo Today

Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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