Guerrilla marketing is nothing new, nor is the potential for certain types of promotional materials to be mistaken for something more sinister.
Remember how Cartoon Network’s lit-up devices placed around Boston in 2007
resulted in a big bomb scare? Video game publisher Ubisoft, whose new game “Watch Dogs” is all about hacking and surveillance, created a similar scare at an Australian news publication this week.
In a Wednesday write-up, ninemsn’s Lachlan Williams explains
how the video game company sent one of ninemsn’s reporters a black safe similar to the ones guests often see in hotel rooms, marked only with a note reading, “Check your voicemail.”
Unfortunately, that reporter doesn’t use voicemail. When staffers started trying to investigate the safe, it began beeping. They called the police, four police cars and a rescue unit showed up, and the floor was evacuated. The police took the safe to the basement, opened it, and found a copy of the video game inside.
The report states the safe was “apparently part of an ill-conceived public relations effort by a video game company or their agency.”
Ninemsn Publisher Hal Crawford added, ““There was a bunch of reasons this ended up looking weird. The PR company no doubt got carried away with their creativity and ended up sending us something the bomb squad had to open up.”
Worse yet: ninemsn doesn’t even cover video games.