That viral vid of LAPD officers brutally shutting down The Weeknd's music video shoot Thursday night in downtown LA is nothing more than a wicked game ... of promotion.
The LAPD tells TMZ ... the video going around on social media is 100% staged.
The clip shows several cops ripping through The Weeknd's set with nightsticks, demanding permits, and shutting down all video recording.
We also know the guy who posted the clip is actually Weeknd's creative director -- and since his new album drops today ... it's a little too perfect.
The beauty behind the madness here -- pure guerrilla marketing.