Normally when you say a film is a suspected bomb threat, it means its box office prospects are the other side of dismal. However, the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE movie took things to a whole new level yesterday when a Lite-Bright-like viral marketing campaign was mistaken for a terrorist threat:
Turner Broadcasting acknowledged late this afternoon that the suspicious packages that ignited fears of bombs across Boston today were magnetic lights that were part of an outdoor marketing campaign for an adult cartoon.
Turner was promoting Adult Swim’s animated television show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” in Boston and nine other cities, according to a statement e-mailed by Shirley Powell, a company spokeswoman.
“Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards,” the state an e-mail statement said. “We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger.”
“It’s a hoax — and it’s not funny,” said Gov. Deval Patrick, who said he will speak to the state’s attorney general “about what recourse we may have.”
Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc. and parent of Cartoon Network, said the devices were part of a promotion for the TV show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” a surreal series about a talking milkshake, a box of fries and a meatball.
Interestingly, similar campaigns have been in place for several weeks in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Only nervous nellie Bostonites — doubtless anxious about the Red Sox’s starting pitching this year — made the terrorist connection.
And here’s your New Media tie in angle: the campaign was thought to be the work of Graffiti Research Lab but was instead found to be the product of a copy-cat vandal.
You may have heard about the most recent terror attacks in Boston. This is NOT the work of the Graffiti Research Lab. We just downloaded this link from youtube. It’s Just more mindless corporate vandalism from a guerilla marketer who got busted. Interference Inc, welcome to the world of being misunderstood, scapegoated, demonized and wanted by the law. Still want to be a graffiti artist? For more on this most recent terror attack from the axis of evil (corporations, advertisers, marketers) check out this civic-minded citizens post on Flickr.
You can see the actual Graffiti Research Lab in action here.