After pushing back the release date of the feature film adaptation of the Cartoon Network's show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," the studio and its marketing company made a BIG splash with their campaign to promote the show.
Nine electronic light boards featuring one of the show's characters (a Mooninite) triggered bomb scares around Boston on Wednesday, spurring authorities to close highways, two bridges and a stretch of the Charles River before bomb squads determined the devices were harmless, according to CNN.
For those of you who don't know, the Mooninites are "outer-space delinquents" who are often depicted giving the middle finger. Apparently, the Mooninite on the light boards greeted authorities in this manner as well.
No... I'm not kidding.
Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc. and parent of Cartoon Network, said the devices were part of an "outdoor marketing campaign." "We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," Turner said in a statement. "The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger." The company also said the devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
Am I the only one disturbed by the "two to three weeks" that elapsed before these things were noticed?
The marketing company responsible for the campaign, Interference Inc., had no immediate comment. That's not surprising, really. They've probably already been taken into custody by the "government man." Interference Inc. is a "guerilla and alternative marketing agency" according to Google. The company's own website is currently down.
I don't know if this will draw more viewers into the theaters, but it's sure drawn some serious attention from authorities. The feature length film "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is slated for release March 23. -- Shannon Nolley
UPDATE: A video of the placement of the light boards is on YouTube now. Go figure.
I also dug up an archived version of the "What is Guerrilla Marketing?" page from Interference, Inc. It's good. It says " For Interference Incorporated, Guerrilla and Alternative marketing are communications that are direct, high impact and non-traditional. They often involve face-to-face interaction at times and places when people are most receptive to hearing about your brand." It also says, "Guerrilla and Alternative marketing also manifests itself in unique ways for consumers to encounter a brand message." Heh. Well, this was certainly a unique way.
Also not surprising - the light boards are making their way to eBay. One was apparently taken down from a Boston location. The latest bid is currently $5000.