Terrorist Marketing – We’ve Been Had…

Turner Broadcasting said the words…a carefully worded apology, read ad infinitum on the nightly news and in oh so many venues.  “Let me start with what is most important — an apology, for the confusion and inconvenience caused in your community on Wednesday by an unconventional marketing tactic.(more)”

The problem is, they obviously aren’t sorry.  In yesterday’s press conference with the two kids that were arrested for placing the led guerilla ads for Aqua Teen Hunger Force featuring the “Err” character giving everyone the finger, they proceeded to use the venue to continue the marketing blitz for their Adult Swim cartoons.

The two kids refused to take anything but “hair’ related questions – and that is a direct reference to another Adult Swim cartoon – “Perfect Hair Forever“.  The truth is that Turner, and their guerilla marketing firm, Interference Inc., (who have gone completely underground at this point to avoid arrest) just don’t get it.

Turner has offered the city $850,000 to compensate for the damages caused by the escapade.  They’d have gladly paid for this level of exposure and it they’d bought a super bowl ad, it would have cost more, and gotten less exposure.  If the state doesn’t come down hard on them, we will see others doing it.  Think of the new thing as “terrorist marketing” or “traffic spam.”  These people need to be slammed hard right now, or we’ll have this stuff happening every couple weeks.

(Note: I hadn’t read the Boston Herald’s coverage of this story when I wrote this in the a.m.  – they’ve definitely got the right story, as opposed to the Boston Globe who have totally missed this angle.)

4 Replies to “Terrorist Marketing – We’ve Been Had…”

  1. Terrorist Marketing… the new trend? Boy oh boy, I really hope that this doesn’t turn into an acceptable form of marketing, because then we’re all in trouble. And just where is the guerilla marketing agency that came up with this whole tactic?!? Cowards. Stand behind your idea; stand behind your business; show yourselves. If they thought it was such a brilliant idea when they hatched it, then why aren’t they taking credit for it now?! Light must’ve dawned on marble head.

    I guess things are indeed clearer in hindsight…

  2. Is spam an acceptable form of marketing? How about Adware? The problem is that in some arenas, the only thing that counts is results. And the numbers seem to denote that TBS got incredible exposure for bottom dollar – and the kids that did it for them have achieved cult celebrity status.

  3. Yes, Turner got tremendous exposure, but most of it is with the wrong demographic, no? I now know about Aqua Teen whatever, but I’m hardly going to go out and watch it. (Although you’re probably correct that the net result from their viewpoint is that it’s now “must see” for the 20 somethings.) I agree that the Interference folks (great name, eh?) are true cowards – and, pretty despicably, advised the lunkhead “artistes” who put the signs up to keep quiet. But I’m guessing that, while they might not get more business from Turner, Interference stands to get a lot of business from those who want to market to the hip, long, edgy set.

  4. I guess you could call it the shotgun approach. And apparently they didn’t just tell the artistes to keep quiet…they asked them to stay on marketing message for their client Cartoon Network.

    This goes way beyond just spray painting logos on the sidewalks like IBM did…

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