Thursday, February 01, 2007

Guerilla Marketing Goes Amok

I couldn’t help myself and was drawn back in to blog about Boston’s trouble yesterday with guerilla marketing for the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF) movie. Don’t get me wrong. I won’t be attending this movie, but I do know one member of my household who will. I’ve even watched a few episodes of the Cartoon Network show with him although I’m nearly always puzzled by it and can barely understand Meatwad.

Apparently the bomb squad folks in Boston don’t watch the show or else they might have realized the “devices” looked strangely like ATHF’s Mooninites. It’s too involved to explain who the Mooninites are. Watch the show if you really care to know.

I’m reminded of the mass hysteria that followed the 1938 Mercury Theatre radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds with its Martian invasion by Orson Welles. Despite disclaimers at the beginning and at the end, many who tuned in midway through the broadcast were convinced we were under attack.

How easily we are whipped into a frenzy and how quickly we respond to possible dangers these days without seeing if the danger is real.


Anonymous said...

#1 son says: ATHF is #1 in the hood, G. Too bad Boston's po-po's aren't down with the miz-eat-wiz-ad or they'd know the difference between one badd-ass lite brite set and a bomb. I could tell the Mooninites were doing it as hard as they possibly could. What was Scott's take on this? Too funny, and appropriately surreal.

Sheila said...

Dear Clever Son #1,
Scott and I couldn't believe the story. How come the populations of the several other cities subjected to the marketing gimic didn't become so hysterical? Was Boston tramatized by the Boston Tea Party or something? To blame the perps and haul them into court shows that Boston must be the safest city in America with no drug deals, murders, burglaries, or other criminal acts to keep law enforcement busy. It will come down to intent as the judge so correctly brought up yesterday.

I love the Lite Brite comparison. And I loved the "news" conference the two guerilla marketers threw where they only talked about their hair. I directly attribute this story to the "Borat Effect."

Marion said...

My father in law, before he died, loved to tell the story about the War of the Worlds, and how it frightened so many people.

Seems people are still the same!

JollyRoger said...

I do wonder, though..... you don't suppose this has anything to do with 6 years of constant fearmongering from Chimpy and his handmaidens of the MSM, by any chance?

Sheila said...

Could be, but as Marion mentioned she recalls her father's story about the War of the Worlds scare. Maybe we just like to let ourselves get all beside ourselves. And just maybe the information age isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I do hate to watch television these days because I'm exposing myself to anxiety and fear about heart attacks, cancer, restless legs syndrome, Bird Flu, global warming, identity theft, and a host of other worries in addition to the common fears most of us have.

I would say that because of the hood winking over the WMD, I don't believe much coming from our government.

Dirty Butter said...

Poor Boston! I must say though, that I would feel better if the other cities had taken it a little more seriously. Of course, maybe they did. There's no way they are going to get press coverage about that, with Boston to poke fun at.

natalie said...

My coworker reports that she and her husband (who is an ATHF fan) saw one of the devices in Chicago on an L tracks and thought it was hysterical. That was way before the controversy in Boston came about. I think maybe people here either understood the joke or are just used to seeing bizarre stuff posted around the city. I have to say when I was riding the L that there was very little that surprised me on my daily commute, no matter how outrageous.
Also, maybe it's too cold here for most people to look out from under their hats and scarves to notice. But, I think Boston overreacted and managed to give Cartoon Network more publicity for their new movie than they ever could have purchased.

Sheila said...

Thanks for visiting Natalie. I agree with you that Cartoon Network has gotten so much mileage out of this--at least two and half days of major nightly news top story placement before the tornado in Florida bumped the incident back. Just looking at the "devices" I would not think they were anything to be afraid of.