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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Bombs or Ads?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The City of Boston was seriously disrupted today by ads that looked like bombs. Reuters has the story of blinking devices placed on bridges throughout the city as a marketing ploy for the popular cartoon, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. From the story:
The billboards, encased in dark plastic, consisted of blinking lights wired to an electronic circuit board to project an animated cartoon image in an outdoor promotion for a show on Turner's [ala Turner Networks] Cartoon Network called "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
NPH has been meaning to write something about outdoor advertising for some time now, so here ya go.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 5:15 PM


Listening to the Today show this morning, you would have thought that Ted Turner and these guys worked for Kim Jong Il.

What they mentioned yesterday (but seem to have forgotten already) was that theses devices were placed in more cities than just Boston, but (evidently) Boston was the only city where the police and fire departments couldn't figure out what they were.

I'm not saying that the Boston folks are a little slow on the uptake (actually I am)...I'm just saying that the LAPD, Chicago police, and every other city somehow figured out what these things were before shutting down half the city and getting the 24-hour news networks all in a tissy.

The Today show report this morning had a genuine anger about it...I think the netwroks feel duped, too, that they ran eleven hours of coverage on this "TERRORIST THREAT!!!" without checking with other cities about these little black boxes.

I'm no fan of advertising. And I'll agree that the advertisers need to be more open about stuff...but making them out to be evil terrorist-types is sour grapes, I think. Especially when most cities figured out what they were doing. Don't put all the blame on them just because you made a mistake.

The city screwed up. The 24-hour netwroks screwed up. Move on. In a world of broadcast-first-ask-questions-later, they got caught reporting a non-story...and still have the guts to keep milking it as if it was. Move on.
commented by Blogger Scott, 10:49 AM  

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