As you've probably heard by now, a couple of "street marketers" working for Cartoon Network (a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner) managed to shut down Boston on Wednesday by placing crude electronic devices in sensitive areas around the city, which some (understandably) took to be possible bombs.
Happily, these two idiots are facing some serious jail time and their corporate patrons some serious penalties and PR damage. However, even more irritating than the idiocy of this infantile marketing stunt has been some of the reaction I've seen around the comic book message boards.
Comments like "Wow, people in Boston need to lighten up" or "Let me guess, they're going to throw Bugs Bunny into Gitmo over this..." reveal not only a jaw-dropping ignorance of the world we live in, but a childish insularity that can't sympathize with anyone outside of their hermetically-sealed world of irreverence and cynicism.
Yes, most adult fans of comics, animation and related interests are all, to some extent, "kids at heart" (including Yours Truly). However, it seems some don't know when to "turn it off" and see stuff like the Boston debacle for what it is: a profoundly stupid and reckless stunt that shouldn't be defended or rationalized.
Case in point, another quote:
For a city and state that loves to claim how "liberal" they are, they sure trampled all over the 1st Amendment rights of Cartoon Network didn't they?
Get that? Spooking the populace with suspicious devices now falls under the protection of the First Amendment.
If that's the case, how about some more "wacky" guerrilla marketing campaigns Turner Broadcasting could try (courtesy of ScrappleFace):
• Renting a 747 painted with the show’s name and flying it past skyscrapers in major cities
• Hiring young men to show up in malls, on buses and other heavily-trafficked areas who would suddenly whip open their coats to reveal a special vest with blinking lights, and begin shouting the theme song of the show.
• “Abducting” strangers, blindfolding them, forcing them to their knees and then broadcasting their videotaped “confessions” that they love the cartoon.
• Hiring young men to suddenly stand up on buses and airliners and loudly declare that the new cartoon is “da bomb.”
• Planting hundreds of improvised advertising devices (IAD) that would suddenly flash, make a loud noise and scatter thousands of promotional fliers all over the road or sidewalk.
P.S.: I should add that all of the message boards/comment pages I visited also had a good number of level-headed posters who condemned the stunt and didn't engage in any of the knee-jerk snarkery.