Marketing or Stupidity?

Last week my sister came over from work and told us about this thing she saw downtown where she lives. Apparently the public health and safety board was putting up notices that there was a siberian tiger roaming around downtown, and that people should be cautious and not go downtown at night. Yes, I know what you're thinking. I didn't believe it myself, and even she wasn't entirely sold. But she lives downtown, you know? There's some concern. But notices were all that was being put up, no announcements or anything. That was the first thing that screamed 'bogus!' to me. I figured it was someone pulling a stupid prank thinking it was funny. Then came Saturday, and in the paper was a section talking about this tiger downtown complete with an alleged picture caught of it that was claimed in the article to be authentic. I still wasn't convinced, something wasn't sounding right about it. Basically if this tiger was ever caught, then I'd believe it. Turns out I didn't have to wait that long.

In the local section of the paper there was an article talking about the tiger and that it was in fact all a hoax, and the other section that was included in this paper was in fact completely fabricated. No I wasn't surprised. Turns out the management of our city football team is trying to increase season ticket holders and attendance in general (since it's been dwindling for YEARS) with what they call viral or 'guerilla' marketing. This whole tiger thing was designed to get people talking, though no one's been able to explain just how this is supposed to be so positive. The spokesperson for the team claim there's been a lot of positive response, but all I've ever heard is from people who are pissed. And rightly so. The presence of a tiger is no laughing matter, that's a dangerous animal. A lot of people took this seriously. There is no public health and safety board (well there is a real one like it, but that's not the name of it) and the website is registered to the team head office. Were this some ordinary moron, the police would have been on that person's case in a flash. I think the same should apply here, because this was completely irresponsible especially for a company. Hiding under the 'this is marketing' excuse just doesn't cut it.

So what do you think? Marketing or stupidity?


Mary McDonald said...

Stupidity. Without a doubt.

Falen said...


Maria Zannini said...

Definitely stupidity.

I live less than a quarter mile from a big cat preserve, and we take lion/tiger sightings seriously.

Fortunately, it's only happened once.

Anonymous said...

Dumb for sure. I know of a business in the UK that had a "Where's Lucky?" (lost dog) poster campaign. It was meant to be an advertising campaign, and was pretty obvious, but the company had to cut it after a week, as their contact number on the ads was being inundated with people who really thought they had seen Lucky.

Palindrome said...

Wow, that's a really stupid idea.


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