I'd like to start this by saying I was dead set that the brunswick affair was legitimate. I mean 100% certain.
Yet, now the I am aware that the Brunswick affair was in fact a “mockumertary”, I have picked out a few good points that have reason to prove that when closely inspecting the video, there is a few ways to spot out the fact from fiction.
#1. Very general references in terms of people involved, locations, dates, etc. This whole thing happened "sometime in the 60s" in a "northeastern city." When you hear a story with these kinds of facts, get very suspicious. Particularly since police were supposedly involved, you should have much more concrete facts. The only real specific fact that the story gives out is that it relates to the Brunswick TV company. I searched the internet quickly--there is a company called Brunswick Radio and Television that manufactured TVs up to 1956. Since the story purportedly happened in the 1960s, this doesn't make too much sense.
#2. Science is described in "star trek" terms. To quote: "magnetic ions emitted into the atmosphere in a certain manner could affect the brain’s hypothalamus." (thanks wikipedia for this quote, I knew you could do no wrong!) No mention of what kinds of ions we're talking about, what that "certain manner" is and how it would have anything to do with persuading someone to buy anything.
#3. Anachronism. Somehow, back in the 60s, these TVs were able to tell when a commercial was playing and when it wasn't! I have just come to find out, the first patent of such a device that could tell a commercial from a non-commercial was less than 10 years ago, and it was used in VCRs so that, when you recorded shows, you wouldn't have to sit through all the commercials. If such a valuable piece of technology had been invented 40 years ago, don't you think someone would have tried to make money off of it? (Another find from wiki, why didn't I use this course all of high school)
#4. Holes in the plot. So the scientists "secretly sold" a bunch of these experimental TVs to a single city. Does this sound scientific in the slightest? How would they get data regarding who had the TVs, what they were watching, and how much of what they were buying?
#5. Lack of stories on Internet. This story is TOO juicy. If I can find thousands of posts on what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast, couldn't I find more info on this? If it were true, it would definitely be on the internet somewhere. Particularly since it's talking about something that happened 40 years ago! I could not find it all, leading me to speculate that this is a very very new urban legend.
In conclusion, props to the Brunswick Affair for sucking me in for as long as they did, even with these few plot holes!
Ps. Still embarrassed that I was one of the only ones in the class to have my heart set on this being real. Gullible is my middle name....