Home > Uncategorized > The Super Bowl and Mooninites

The Super Bowl and Mooninites

The Superbowl’s tonight. Dan’s at the Trooper Academy, McLocks is working, Ed’s at his ol’ Kentucky (of the Capital District) home, and Ellie’s at her place – so I’m flyin’ solo tonight. Which is just fine, since I’m not terribly excited by the game this year. I don’t hate Peyton Manning as much as others or love him as much as others, but I do dislike Rex Grossman with a passion, so I’ll go with the Colts. Also, I still hate the Super Bowl Shuffle, a video which should curse a team to coming just short of a championship for the rest of our time on this planet.

GAME 1: Colts 28, Bears 7.
GAME 2: Mini Ditkas 645, Colts 12.

Game 2 will occur when Mike Ditka comes onto the field and challenges Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts to a twenty-minute scrimmage. Manning will laugh derisively and take the retired NFL coach’s challenge, only to see Ditka shake his fists and scream to the sky as his chestplate opens up and forty mini-Ditkas come tumbling out thirsty for revenge and blood.


I suppose I should comment on the ATHF viral marketing campaign that caused such a commotion in Boston since everyone else and their cross-eyed Uncle already has.

While I agree that the Boston authorities severely overreacted to the situation and that the two responsible shouldn’t have been charged, that thing did in broad daylight look sketchy as Hell. Which is why the criticism should be specifically aimed at the level of reaction the authorities had to it, rather than the fact that they responded to concerns at all. Also, fans of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” need to stop acting surprised that the vast majority of people don’t recognize a peripheral character from a show that airs on basic cable at 12:00am on Sunday nights.

The level of haughtiness expressed by some over this situation is almost as disgusting as how played-up it became in the media before the true source of the object was discovered. Additionally, while I’m sure a lot of people had a good chuckle over the press conference that aired on Fox News from the two defendants, I personally didn’t find it nearly as amusing. One, because it was chronically unfunny, and two because there’s something about two hipster scumbag losers acting like 12-year-olds rather than making a case for why they think the entire situation is blown out of proportion that makes me want to punch them square in the face. There’s a statement to be made about the level of paranoia we’ve allowed the media to perpetuate in instances such as this, but it’s become lost in all those cliche Fark pics that are being re-posted left and right.

As far as viral marketing campaigns are concerned, I firmly believe that this shows exactly why it doesn’t work nearly as well as so many swear it does. Hear me out before you click “post reply.” The thing is, the coverage of the incident in Boston generated a ton of publicity for the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” movie, but that was completely unintentional and an unforeseen development rather than a brilliant stroke of marketing genius (and anyone who believes otherwise is giving the marketing agency that came up with the idea way too much credit).

The idea of making Lite Brite versions of a minor character from the show to increase awareness of a movie without indicating what the Hell it’s supposed to mean to the average person is quite possibly the dumbest form of advertising you could generate. It works for people who know the show, however those that don’t know what it is may at best ask someone else what it could mean then find out it’s a minor character from a basic cable cartoon show that’s being released as a film and go “oh, okay.” It doesn’t do anything to increase anticipation for the film or give the average person with no knowledge of the franchise any motivation to see the film. The only people the original idea appealed to are people who were already going to see the movie anyway, at which point you have to question the wisdom of paying a marketing agency good money to “promote” a film in such a way.

Long story short, there’s a difference between getting people talking and generating buzz for the movie itself, and those participating in viral marketing strategies should probably learn the difference lest this become another passing fad that eventually fades out and/or becomes overexposed to the point where the term “viral marketing” becomes deluded and turns into major corporations using it as an excuse to graffiti all aspects of our lives with advertisements for Colgate tootbrushes. Trust me, right now it seems like this really great development in the world of marketing that shows the power of the average schmuck on the internet, but sooner rather than later you’re going to see those same people that boast about the internet changing the dynamics of marketing complain that they can’t go anywhere anymore without running smack-dab into some lame attempt to capitalize on what was once a really cool and unique fad.

And that, my friends, will be much more deserving of a lit-up middle finger.

More later…

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  1. February 5, 2007 at 4:01 am

    I adore that icon.

  2. February 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    While I think that Boston completely overreacted to the lite brite, I’m not sure that Cartoon Network didn’t want that to happen.

    Hear me out: The other ten cities kinda just either ignored it, or removed the device and sent Cartoon Network a note indicating that it’s not nice to mimic a bomb, especially in an age where many cities are instructed to keep citizens safe from terrorists that DO plan attacks by leaving bombs on bridges, subways and people inside buses. Boston, as Boston typically does, flips out. I’m certain this is because deep down inside Boston wants to be attacked by Al Queda too. It makes them look as important as NYC. Okay, so maybe that’s not true, but it’s funny if so.

    The only wat viral martketing works is if there’s a big hoopla. Think of the Borat stuff on youtube. Essentially it was leaked out to some internet shmucks and the media made a big deal of it and we all went to youtube to see what the movie was all about. It was about teh funny.

    That’s why Cartoon Network wanted it to be a big deal. They wouldn’t get free press if it wasn’t. Why else but lite brites on bridges? I mean, yeah, it was a lite brite; I saw it and thought “lite brite”. But the world is full of some stupid people and the actions of a few Islamofacists have ruined it for everyone, so I understand why Boston thought it was a Big Deal.

    • February 5, 2007 at 8:11 pm

      Quick note – Adult Swim is treated and operates as an entirely different network, despite literally being on the same channel.

      Turner ended up flipping the bill for the hoopla in Boston, which is a foregone conclusion when a company that large has a marketing campaign that illicits that sort of response (intentional or no). That makes me doubt any of the reaction they received in Boston was intentional.

      That being said, it’s interesting that viral marketing only works if the mainstream media picks up on it. Does that mean viral marketing works, or that it’s just a means to get coverage for something that does work? I personally believe the case to be the latter, but it’s definitely an interesting thought none the less.

      The buzz was out about Borat before the YouTube videos and MySpace profile. It certainly didn’t hurt, but the talk on the movie was big due to the previews alone before they reached that leg of the promotional strategy.

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