Boston’s on-going marketing freak out: Bomb squad called on ad swag

Newton Police and the State Police bomb squad were called to Newton North High School — Mrs. Collateral Damage’s alma mater — and used a robot to remove four black bags stuffed with newspaper and emblazoned with the emblem of the Web site The bags were filled with shredded newspaper.

“On the surface, it appears to be a marketing strategy,” said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

BTW, b4class is a social networking site created by a 17-year-old high school student in Quincy. Someone offer  Sofia Loginova a marketing job quick!


Aqua Teen Hunger Farce

Turner is coughing up $2M to pay for all the silliness.

Allow me to give a little post-mortem on the events.

  • Was it worth it? For Aqua Teen Hunger Force, yes. For TBS, no. This little niche show will get a big boost. Turner takes a momentary hit but comes out looking better for $2M.
  • Was it intentional? No. If it had Turner would have been a lot better prepared to respond.
  • Did the Boston cops do anything wrong? Not really. As laughable as it may seem to others, the police got a report from a reliable source of an unidentified electronic object on the side of a bridge. It was 9 AM and the thing wasn’t lit up so they had to treat it as a bomb. Or did you want to be the person who had to go take it down without knowing what it was? That first report was followed by reports of other unknown items, which made it look worse not better.
  • Was it funny? As things turned out, yes. Up until Mrs. Collateral Damage sent me an email identifying the Mooninite, though, it wasn’t. She works two blocks from where one of first devices was found, so I was a little nervous until she clued me in.
  • Was it stupid placement? OH YES. I am no fan of false alarms and this was the biggest one this city has ever seen. The city was truly at risk when all those emergency workers had to be diverted to what some are calling a hoax. It wasn’t a hoax. That involved knowingly trying to decieve. They didn’t do that.
  • Are the hair guys insensitive idiots? I don’t know about that. Their arrest was a case of the officials wanting a scalp. It was an absurd moment and I understand their reacting to it as such. Was that exactly the wrong thing to do from a PR standpoint? OH YES. From a comedy POV it was pretty good, though. Kudos to whichever reporter thought to phrase a question in a form of a ’70s Hair Styles issue.
  • What was the dumbest quote? The Globe had some civilian saying that he/she saw it, thought it could be a bomb but didn’t report it to anyone. Thanks for caring.
  • Will we remember it three weeks from now? No.
  • Did I enjoy my three-minutes on the edge of the media whirl-wind? Yep. I was guilty of not laughing nearly enough when I answered questions, though.
    Here’s me on CNN:

A moment of silence for one of the greats … Molly Ivins

It is somehow fitting that she died on the day that Aqua Teen Hunger Force terrorized the city of Boston. Her stories about the Texas legislature alone guaranteed her a place in the comedy and journalism halls of fame. The only thing that rivals them for both humor and reportage is Mencken at the tent revival during the Scopes monkey trial.

  • “It’s hard to argue against cynics – they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.”
  • “As they say around the [Texas] Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.”
  • “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.”
  • “I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.”

Cartoon Network is early nominee for worst marketing idea of 2007 awards

BOSTON – At least nine electronic devices, planted at bridges and other parts of Boston as part of a marketing campaign for a late-night cartoon, threw a scare into the city Wednesday.

I believe we will name these awards The Judies, in honor of Judith Regan.

UPDATE: The ever-watchful authorities have nabbed a perp in this one. Generally I would include the word alleged but the gentleman’s website does a really good job of documenting the placement of weapons of mass distraction. (PS: my actual news coverage of the “event” can be read here.)