Recently, the prolific author James Patterson has invited a single reader to an explosive experience for a cool 300.000 dollars. Now, when I say explosive, I’m not being fastidious. Literally; Mr. Patterson invites a reader to handle and read a book within 24 hours that will self-destruct. If you don’t believe me, check out the camp-a-rific video right after this intro. Mr. Patterson is no innovator when it comes to gimmicky marketing, however; here are a few more examples (after the video of course).
As if something out an off-beat situation comedy like Arrested Development, Snapple decided to create a 25-foot-tall popsicle. It tipped the scales at 35.000 pounds and was made out of kiwi-strawberry fruit drink. The result of the almost World Record-setting sweet? The roads of Times Square ran red… with kiwi-strawberry Snapple. Intending to unveil their abominable snow treat on the first day of summer, it melted once it was exposed, well due to summer temps. Once the streets around Times Square were thoroughly sticky with kiwi-strawberry, the marketing execs pulled the plug out of fear that the 25-foot-high structure was compromised and would be a public danger. “Death by Popsicle” would definitely make for a great obituary, though.
Fake Identity Fail
LifeLock is a company that protects your identity. To prove that the company could do this, CEO Todd Davis posted his Social Security Number to all ads involving the service. This included billboards, TV commercials and online advertisements. Not only was Davis’ identity stolen 13 times out of the 87 attempts, his company was also fined for deceptive advertisement to the tune of 12 million dollars. By the way, the number is 457-xx-5462; it’s everywhere any way.
Boneheaded, Tasteless and Armed
A year after the horrific attack during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight, a movie theater in Missouri thought that it would add to the customers’ entertainment experience if it was stormed mid-movie by armed soldiers. They were wrong. Not only did the stunt bring police to the tasteless popcorn vendor’s door, it also resulting in a veteran having a PTSD episode. Luckily, no one in the theater was carrying a concealed weapon because the results would have gone from stunt to shoot-out really quick.
Let’s Replay a National Tragedy!
It’s what someone at the Department of Defense said one day. But instead of the thick-headed staffer being pistol-whipped, he was obliged. In April of 2009 the President’s 747 and a couple of F-16s went out for a low-flying stroll around Manhattan for an innocent photo-op. The innocent photo-op resulted in mass hysteria and panic, because of the fear that this was a replay of the 9/11 attacks. The reason? It was for a set of photos of the President’s plane with famous national landmarks as a backdrop.
Dr. Pepper Endorses Grave Robbing
In 2007, Dr. Pepper ran a promotion which would award a lucky person that completed a scavenger hunt. The last part of the hunt would end in a cemetery where the company hid a coin. Now think about it, a large cash prize, a hidden coin and a cemetery: how do you think this is going to end? Oh, and did I mention that this specific cemetery was the eternal resting place of famous American personas such as Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams? Yes, Dr. Pepper set up the requirements for the fathers of the U.S.A. to be exhumed. Luckily, even Mother Nature was appalled by this so she frozen everything over, giving a chance to the grounds-keepers to find the coin. That coin was found covered by a piece of slate that enclosed the entrance to a 200-year-old crypt. After you’ve desecrated a nationally valuable cemetery, grab a Dr. Pepper to quench your thirst!
Is there any other laughably tragic marketing gimmick that I might have let out? Let me know in the comments section below!