Blogging here has been a little light over the past two weeks as I've been on paternity leave. Barely time to open the iBook let alone check out the news. I've had to do a bit of work too, here and there, but only today did I manage to get some time to catch up on my feeds.
The best PR story I've seen from my break (and perhaps of the last 12 months) has to be this tale of guerilla stunts and hilarious media management. Guerilla marketing firm Interference Inc has pulled off a whopper of a PR stunt in the US that has set the world's media on fire: [link] "So these two guys put some LED monster things around the city of Boston as guerrilla viral advertising for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoon. This being the US they get arrested for being terrorists clearly intent on blowing up the city with their LED monster things. They then have the best post-court press conference ever, in which they insist on talking about the history of hairstyles and nothing else."
This story has been massive, and has dwarfed everything else online even in the run up to the Superbowl: "On BlogPulse's video rankings, the Boston issue takes two of the top five video slots, including the #1 position. As of midnight this evening, it also ranks #1 on Technorati. Quite a few variables are keeping the story alive, from debates over whether the campaign's a success (measured by awareness & reach) to the unrepentent antics of the two guys who ran around Boston putting up the devices."
My interest in this story focuses not only on how and why the stunt became so huge (why exactly did this become reported as a bomb threat when it's reportedly been done without alarm before?) but how the story perpetuated online and how the media was managed.
Blog comments include: " 'I’m sorry, that’s not a hair-related question' really does need to enter the vocabulary of future post-arraignment press-conferences" and "Given the choice of saying “no comment” or making fun of the media for persisting to ask questions that they know can’t be answered, I am damned happy to see someone stand up and indirectly point out the utter and completely inane stupidity of the reporters on the scene."
What a huge stunt that's raised far more awareness for Interference Inc, Turner and ATHF than I'm sure they could ever have hoped for. And what a response to the media at that press conference. Successful result? Seems they're having to stump up $2m in compensation, so not ideal! But was the publicity for the show worth it in the end? Just to put it into perspective, the fine works out at less than a 30-second Superbowl ad.