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A Downward Spiral for Viral

February 1st, 2007

This little guy has stirred up quite the buzz.

It’s one of two Mooninites – Err and Ignignokt – from the Comedy Network show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” that showed up about three weeks ago in 10 U.S. cities (including here in Philadelphia). These light-briteish glowing signs took on identities much different than the bully aliens they play on TV, causing major roads and bridges to be shut down in and around Boston. That’s right – the Aqua Teens’ nemeses were believed to be a tool of terrorism.

It seems silly now, but the fear and confusion was real. Real enough to cost of the city of Boston hundreds of thousands of dollars in police time handling frantic calls about angry, lighted bombs on subways and bridges.

Luckily, nothing blew up in Boston, but the same can’t be said for the marketing world. Two members of the Aqua Team installation crew have already been arrested. In the next few weeks, we’ll likely see a number of companies re-thinking their viral marketing campaigns because their medium of choice may be perceived as dangerous. So the question for marketers in the next days and weeks will be, how can we fight the negative perception of viral marketing that has been created by the Mooninites? Is it even worth it? I think it is, but I’ll leave that for future blogs.

Posted Under: Viral & Guerilla Marketing
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