by Mike Masnick
Fri, Feb 18th 2011 6:54am
In the long list of really bad marketing ideas, I'd have to say that "pretending to take an entire office hostage to celebrate the release of a new product" may be somewhere near the top. However, that's what two Dell marketing employees thought to do -- and since they were the only two who knew about the plan (which involved one of them dressed up as a "biker with a black mask" carrying "mysterious metal objects" and then ordering the entire office to "go to the lobby"), employees, naturally, got upset. Some called the police, who responded to what certainly could appear to be a hostage situation. Thankfully, no one got hurt, but the two guys were arrested, and now face misdemeanor charges. I'm reminded of the story a few years ago in Boston where glowing signs of Adult Swim characters were misinterpreted as bombs, shutting down much of the city of Boston. In that case, however, there was a massive overreaction, where the mayor wanted to ban all "guerrilla marketing." Of course, there was a pretty big difference in that situation: the marketers in that case didn't think they were placing something that looked like "bombs." They were just placing funky LED signs.
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