Jimmy Kimmel crowdsourced brilliance! The comedian issued a challenge on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! asking parents to play a practical joke on their children. The premise was simple, Kimmel asked parents to “tell your children you ate all of their Halloween candy and record the response.”

The responses were aired on the Thursday November 3rd of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and immediately became a hit sensation on the Web. From Twitter to YouTube people were sharing the video clips and responses.

Reactions from the children are priceless. I’m not sure if I would have cried as child, but I know I would have been in shock. Near the end of the clip one boy calmly exclaims to his mom, “oh good for you, now you’ll probably get a belly ache.”

His younger brother wasn’t quite as laid back or diplomatic. After the mom tells both of her boys that she ate all of the peanut butter cups the youngest is pretty surprised. His response? “You sneaky mom!”

The overall result? An instant classic.

In the world of marketing everyone wants a campaign idea to go viral. Here is a perfect example of ABC, Jimmy Kimmel and staff understanding the formula for making that happen.

First they had a great idea, cruel or not this sets the table for potentially great content. Then leveraging his audience Kimmel asks parents to tell their children you ate all of their Halloween candy and record the response. Not only that, but Kimmel asks parents to upload the clips to YouTube  and title it with “Jimmy Kimmel Live – YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy” which immediately drives additional links, content and coverage to Jimmy Kimmel Live!

From there the staff just needed to find the best spots, combine them into a quick segment and air it on the show. It really is a great example of using a mass media to crowdsource content, deliberately create content and links back to the show and of course have content that people want to share. Check out the clip below and make sure you stick around to see the boy say “you sneaky mom!”