Thursday, February 01, 2007

dangerous marketing

for a guerilla marketing campaign, adult swim surreptitiously set up illuminated displays in ten cities showing the mooninites (from aqua teen hunger force) giving the finger. these things had been up for two or three weeks, when suddenly people in boston started freaking out.

Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in before authorities declared the devices were harmless.

what is up with boston? people in the other nine cities didn't seem to care, if they noticed. but boston goes into a frenzy. why boston? and why today, if the things have been up for weeks?

city officials must've felt pretty f'n stupid when they realized they'd sent out the bomb squad to blow up a bunch of ads for a stoner cartoon. so they decided to have their revenge:

Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, was arrested on one felony charge of placing a hoax device and one charge of disorderly conduct, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said later Wednesday. He had been hired to place the devices, she said.

"placing a hoax device"? that's utterly ridiculous. they were trying to market a tv show, not create a bomb scare. you're seriously telling me that this looks like a bomb?

Authorities are investigating whether Turner and any other companies should be criminally charged, Coakley said. It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday who might have hired Berdovsky.

"We're not going to let this go without looking at the further roots of how this happened to cause the panic in this city," Coakley said at a news conference.

Those conducting the campaign should have known the devices could cause panic because they were placed in sensitive areas, she said. Turner did not notify officials of the publicity campaign until around 5 p.m., nearly four hours after the first calls came in about the devices, she and others said.

but then why didn't they cause a panic for two weeks? sounds like someone in boston got their feelings hurt overreacting to a silly marketing campaign and decided that someone needed to be punished.

the AP story is also notable for concluding with this unintelligible passage:

The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called "mooninites," named Ignignokt and Err - who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.

first off, if you didn't already know what the mooninites look like, would "1980s-graphic-like" give you any idea? and second, how horrible is that final sentence?


syntax said...

i hope i'm not the only person who finds this incident very highly amusing. i'm sure that real terrorists are laughing their asses off at us right now. a large portion of boston shut down because someone was afraid of a cartoon character.

oh, you can buy one of the boston ignignokt ad-bombs on ebay - current bid as i type this is $5,101.

(i feel your pain re: comment spam, btw - being able to use spam karma 2 is definitely one of the advantages of switching to wordpress. that thing catches about 150-200 comment/trackback spams a day.)

Doug said...

That two people are in jail over this is ridiculous.

"We are not surprised that your puny Earth humor cannot grasp this. Laugh at him, Err. Shoot him the bird while you are laughing.

stAllio! said...

it would all be hilarious except that there are two young men who face criminal charges because boston city officials can't take a joke, and the mayor of boston is completely flipping out, saying he's going to personally sue time-warner and try to get cartoon network's fcc license revoked. (of course, that will never happen.)

fortunately, the two men who've been arrested seem to be taking it in stride.