Viral marketing campaigns are designed to cause an uproar, to get people talking and interested about the marketing itself. Sometimes, they work too well.
Turner's Cartoon Network apparently took it too far when a series outdoor installations consisting of circuit boards to promote its Aqua Teen Hunger Force caused major bridge and subway closings, according to MarketWatch. The bomb squad even detonated one installation that was near a subway stop.
The campaign is currently running in 10 cities and is aimed at promoting the show, which is part of its late-night block of programming targeting men 18-34, reports All Headline News.
The guerilla marketing campaign was orchestrated by Interference Inc. to promote the program - part of Adult Swim - according to the MarketingProfs Daily Fix, which adds that Boson artist Peter Berdovsky, hired by Interference, was arrested for having hidden 38 circuit boards featuring "Mooninites" - little LED-lit guys (with their middle fingers pointing up).
Meanwhile, the answers that the authorities were seeking all day had been online for more than two weeks: "Boston officials could have avoided the emergency response drill if they only read bloggers or trolled Flickr," according to the Daily Fix.
Apparently, interactive Designer Todd Vanderlin found one of the little guys on a Boston bridge two weeks ago - and grabbed it to sell on eBay. He uploaded photos to Flickr on January 15.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said whoever planted the objects could face "two to five" years in prison for each device.