Friday, February 02, 2007

For Sharing

Vas has just about said it all in respect to those Lite-Brite non-bombs in Boston.
Link

10 comments:

The Law Fairy said...

Hmm.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as against corporate greed as the next person (actually, probably moreso. In general I hate corporations, especially corporations as large and monolithic as the Kingdom of Ted Turner). But to call this "corporate greedmongering" is a joke. There are about a billion examples of corporate greedmongering occurring every day, and interestingly none of those cause the uproar this did. Why? Because the REAL corporate greedmongering goes on behind the scenes and props up our entire government. Our politicians, our police, our administrative officials, our judges -- 85% corrupt, minimum.

This was a clever viral ad campaign. Frankly, advertising like this is precisely what we should encourage. It is targeted advertising -- it's trying to generate buzz by tapping into its niche demographic. In other words, instead of telling the people what to believe, it tells them almost nothing -- and leaves the interpreting to its audience.

If this is the worst we can expect from corporate greedmongering, then I say bring it on. The notion that this is the "worst" ad campaign anyone could ever do is so laughable it's beyond hyperbole. I see far more troubling stuff on the TV everyday... the difference is *that* stuff isn't subversive. And if we're only troubled by the subversive... how can we pretend this doesn't implicate free speech at all, just because something subversive comes from one of Turner's mini-subsidiaries?

"I'ma name you Jesus Ezekiel Jesus. And that's from the Bible."

Kal said...

Frankly, advertising like this is precisely what we should encourage.

We should encourage putting stuff on public infrastructure without a proper permit?

And, frankly, as a piece of advertising it does nothing for the movie (I mean, had it not become such a cause celebre, which is maybe what Interference was hoping for? Which would really make their actions deplorable). If you've never seen Aqua Teen Hunger Force you're not going to have any idea what the heck those things were. And if you are part of the .5% of the population that does watch the show, you already know about the movie... So I don't really know what they're accomplishing.

Well, other than to be so tragically hip, in contrast to the Mayor and Governor and police officials who just don't get it, daddy-o...

Brian said...

I think this kind of viral marketing campaign targets two groups:

A--The people who recognize the reference, see it, smile, and get to feel "in on the joke". This is powerfully reinforcing, especially among urban hipster types (or more precisely, those that fancy themselves as such). This creates a positive association with the brand, makes them more likely to go see the movie or watch the show. Most importantly, it makes them likely to point it out to their friends, so they get to show off how cool they are for catching it, thus spreading the word.

B--The people who don't recognize it, but might be intrigued enough by the content (I for one, would probably be curious about a Space Invader flipping the bird, if I didn't watch ATHF already) and make an effort to find out. Most likely by talking to someone in group A.

Basically, they know it's a niche market, so any increase in their audience will most likely occur on the margins of their existing audience. From that perspective, it's really pretty smart (setting aside for the moment any legal issues arising in this particular case).

The Law Fairy said...

kal, brian explained my thinking pretty well.

.5%, huh? I guess that makes me pretty darn special ;)

And there's no way that they intended this to scare anyone. There's nothing remotely scary about a Lite Brite with an alien on it. How this was mistaken for a bomb is completely beyond me. I mean, if a terrorist was going to plant a bomb... wouldn't they, you know, try to HIDE it? And, um, not put bright lights all over it to draw attention?

Kal said...

Yes, law fairy, you are special. ;P.

I have a friend who works for the transit agency and he said the troubling thing about this was a) the two fake pipe bombs that were found, and b) one tactic of the bad guys is to either put out a lot of obvious things to test law enforcement response (like a dry run) or put out a lot of stuff to distract law enforcement from other things.

And I don't think anybody thinks these things were meant to scare anyone, it's just that nobody knew for sure. And the there's little downside (other than being mocked by Adult Swim viewers) to erring on the careful side, and a lot of downside to ignoring something that later turns out to be a bad thing.

If you're a bad guy, you're not going to do the same thing twice. It's not going to be backpacks or hijacked airplanes next time. Do you want to take the chance that these things with wires and electrical tape are harmless, when you've got a couple of million of people you're responsible for?

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

And there's no way that they intended this to scare anyone. There's nothing remotely scary about a Lite Brite with an alien on it. How this was mistaken for a bomb is completely beyond me.

Have you spoken to anyone who deals with electronics or explosives in a professional faculty? I have, and from several pictures I've seen and the information I learned, those things could've definitely been confused with explosive devices by HER, let alone an officer who wasn't familiar with them. Also duct taping black boxes to the bottoms of bridges, or infrastructure, in a manner that the image of the Mooninites were obscured, doesn't exactly suggest these things were "harmless toy." Also, Interference did not have permits nor did it inform law-enforcement of the ad campaign.

If you wish for me to find these photos for you, I will be happy to dig them up, before you continue repeating the same ridiculous arguements from people who aren't familiar with explosive devices and the ways to disguise them, are spewing out.

Furthermore, Interference instructed the "artists" who worked on the ad campaign not to divulge any information about it to anyone, while the panic was occuring. And when the artists did do their press conference, they acted like malicious morons which does nothing to project a positive image for their client. If this is your idea of good advertising, I am frankly terrified.

Kal said...

Right on Vanessa!

The Law Fairy said...

Furthermore, Interference instructed the "artists" who worked on the ad campaign not to divulge any information about it to anyone, while the panic was occuring.

Have proof of this? If this is true, I'll grant you have a point here -- the responsible thing would be to come forward the second you realized the sheeple were mistaking your funny bird-flipping Lite Brites for bombs.

But otherwise, seriously, calm down. Running around being terrified never did anyone any good. Sorry if my finding clever irreverence humorous terrifies you, but -- well, this is America. We've got a First Amendment and all that.

Gino said...

Law Fairy:
this is where you and i find common ground. i'm all for irreverence(i think all who know me can attest), and i fully support stickin yer thumb in The Man's eye on a regular basis.

but there comes a point where, as a member of society, you need to act responsibly when interogated about bombs.

i wasnt sure where i came down on this, with the exchange between kal(who works in govt) and brian(who hates govt) both making excellent points on their respective blogs. vas(an irreverent artist who also hates govt) tilted me all the way over. (vas has this same effect on me with most issues.)

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Yes Law Fairy,

I not only have proof, but the proof was reported in the mainstream media:

http://tinyurl.com/35erbc

And the reason I run around terrified is because shit like this can mess with the ability of legitimate demonstrators, performance artists, and adult artists to express themselves.

As for Gino... GOSH! Thanks.