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February 01, 2007
The face of buzz marketing
"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is a cartoon with a cultish following that airs as part of a block of programs for adults on the Cartoon Network.
This is buzz marketing:
A marketing firm whose motto is "Always interfere" was hired to place blinking electronic signs promoting the cartoon on bridges and other high-profile spots in various U.S. cities.
Here's part of the payoff:
A judge ordered two men held on bond Thursday for allegedly placing the signs around Boston in a publicity stunt that went awry and stirred fears of terrorism, shutting down parts of the city. Authorities vowed to hold (Cartoon Network owner) Turner Broadcasting accountable for what Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said was "corporate greed," that led to at least $750,000 in police costs.
The pranksters probably loved it. But if you already have a show or a product with a cultish following, why try to go mainstream?
The mainstream will never try to understand the cult or its symbols. It'll just frighten the mainstream.
Update: The Cartoon Network agreed to pay $2 million in restitution to Boston because of the tie-ups caused by the marketing promotion, and the head of the network later resigned.
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Frighten the mainstream? You'd better believe it. Check this out:
We get to see the pictures of these two folks --- maybe the folks who told these two folks to do this will be arrested and pictured in the future.
Good point about cult/mainstream interest, I agree with you.
Great analysis. The Boston Mayor reminds me of the Duke "rape" case prosecutor. Somebody's gotta pay for our overreaction.
I suppose the "Law & Order" writers are already clacking away on their keyboards about this story.
"But if you already have a show or a product with a cultish following, why try to go mainstream?"
-Because they're trying to bring the series to a movie theater near you.
I concur with Chelle... hmmm, Urhh, they can't help that they smell their own farts. What kind of species does that?
Besides what most people don't know is that Mooninites are 2 dimensional creatures from the moon - they are harmless.
They are sentenced to what? The master of this should be the one in the picture.