Saturday, February 3, 2007

Guerrilla Advertising-1, Boston-0

Well folks, I decided that hiding in a bomb shelter might not be the way to live. Especially since I ran out of supplies (e.g. beer), and had forgotten to take a TV with me.

Thinking back over the last couple of days, it seems that I, like the city of Boston, may have over-reacted just a little bit. But, in my defense, all I spent on my reaction to the "terrorist attack" was a little time on the keyboard, and $6.50 on beer. Boston spent $500,000.00 on closing down the city to "investigate/disarm" some Lite-Brites, and is continuing to spend money in an effort to not look so stupid.

As it turns out, these "devices" had been all but ignored in several major cities including New York City. If any city in the world has a reason to over-react it would be NYC, but police there just took the signs down--end of story. And to top it off, the signs had been up in Boston for two weeks, and seen by many people (notice the post date on this picture) before some idiot decided they were bombs.

The only slightly credible remark I have heard in defense of Boston's reaction falls in the category of "better safe than sorry." The logic behind this argument implies that cities like Boston need to take all threats seriously in order to protect their citizens. The problem with this argument is that the devices had been in the city for two weeks in plain sight. If they had been bombs then authorities definitely dropped the ball.

This is not an example of authorities protecting citizens. It is an example of people embracing paranoia and fear instead of commonsense and rationality, and then, instead of admitting their over-reaction, trying instead to label the events of that day as a hoax perpetrated against them---"We're not stupid. It's their fault."

If the perpetrators of this "hoax" get anything more than a fine for placing ads without a permit, it will be the definition of "scapegoat justice."

The term hoax implies an intention to deceive. If the courts convict these two guys of perpetrating a hoax then they are convicting them of intending to trick people into believing they were under attack by terrorists, which is something that even the judge in the case so far doesn't believe happened. By placing blinking Mooninite signs around the city, the only hoax that could have been perpetrated was one involving an attack by Mooninites.

The only things proved by this incident are:
1)-This country has become way too stupid and paranoid.


2)-There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Ozzy, Marilyn Manson, and many other shock-rock performers have been saying for years that every time some preacher or government official got on television and talked about them their album sales went up. In this case, it's Turner Broadcasting, the guys arrested, and the company handling the ad campaign that will reap the benefits.

All the hype and stupidity surrounding this virtually guarantees more viewers for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and more ticket and DVD sales from the movie based on the cartoon which is slated for release next month.

$500,000.00 to Boston from Turner is a small price to pay for international advertising for such relatively small products.

The two guys arrested are now media stars, and will be riding this wave for some time to come.

And, the company responsible for the campaign will have a backlog of potential customers for years.

Guerrilla advertising definitely works.

So, enough on this subject for now. Back to exposing stupidity in other areas.

No comments: