This Prankster Placed Lifelike AirPod Stickers on Objects All Over the City

Pablo Rochat is an art director and a prankster who thought it would be funny to trick people into thinking there were lost AirPods all over his city.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Nov. 19 2019, Updated 10:55 a.m. ET

Apple probably knew exactly what it was doing when it created the AirPod. An expensive earbud with no cord to connect it to the other one? Is that an innovation? A radical new design? No. It's a way for Apple to guarantee people lose them and come crawling back to buy more. I don't own AirPods because I know that if I did, I would lose at least one of them almost instantly.

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It's truly tragic when you see a lost AirPod out in the wild. A lost AirPod in the street indicates that someone's day has been ruined. This woman went viral for putting an insane amount of effort in to rescue her AirPod, which had fallen onto the subway tracks. But now, if you live in Pablo Rochat's city, the lost AirPod you see on the ground might not be real.

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Artistic director Pablo Rochat recently went viral for admitting that he made life-size AirPod stickers and stuck them on objects all over his city. From some snooping on his Twitter profile, I think I can conclude that that city is San Francisco, a huge tech hub — aka a city with a lot of AirPods, probably. 

I want to know just how many people have reached up to their ear in a panic when they've seen one of Pablo's stickers on the ground to make sure the "lost AirPod" isn't theirs. They look so very real! Pablo is an evil genius and that's all there is to it. 

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Pablo's tweet has gained over 14,000 retweets and 77,000 likes. And as far as I can tell, no one has mentioned whether or not a prank like this is considered illegal. Isn't it technically vandalism? Super annoying vandalism? As one Twitter user responded, Pablo's prank does sort of just sound "like littering with extra steps." 

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But it seems Pablo isn't too worried about all the attention his little AirPod trick is getting. In addition to providing several pictures of objects and sidewalks where he stuck those little buggers, he posted a video of himself in action, brazenly sticking an AirPod sticker to what looks like a traffic light post. 

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He's a maverick! A rogue agent of first-world panic! And he's also an enabler. That's right. Pablo rounded out his thread by providing a link where one can download the AirPod sticker template for free. Get yourself some sticker paper and you too can be a menace to society. And don't worry; he has a template for regular AirPods as well as AirPod Pros. 

It seems that this AirPod prank is a marketing ploy to promote Pablo's art. And it seems to be totally working. Pablo has a bunch of other fun freebies up on his website that you can download, from desktop backgrounds that look like the inside of a dirty microwave to phone wallpaper that shows a kitten giving you the finger. It's good stuff. 

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But it's the poor people of San Francisco we have to worry about now. Of course, Pablo isn't the first to pull a prank like this, and I'm sure he won't be the last. But the AirPod is such a good choice for this because it's so believable that someone would have lost it and not noticed. 

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As one Twitter user pointed out, the AirPod stickers are "almost as good (bad?) as the fake electrical outlet stickers at the airport." Honestly, whoever puts those up straight-up belongs in jail. That is evil. The AirPod stickers are annoying. The outlet stickers are evil. 

Not everybody is the type of person to try and pick up a gross errant AirPod off the street, but if you are, and you're in San Francisco, maybe take a beat, try to kick it around, and make sure it isn't a sticker before you bend down to pick it up. But also, what do people who pick up random AirPods off the street do with them? That's a whole other story.

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