"In a post-9/11 world" is how most of the comments on Cartoon Network's buzz marekting campaign turned fiasco begin. And that is really the point.
The more I learn about the campaign, the more I can see how, maybe, somebody who have was not thinking in post-9/11 terms might not have anticipated that the signboards would have created a sort of War of the Worlds hysteria, though in a world where cable news covers everything like a blanket, it is still hard to fathom.
A couple of the guerrilla marketers were being arraigned in Boston on some kind of charges, and one reported said he was "freaked out," by the response, which suggests the age and mindset.
College kids are increasingly employed to do viral marketing, talking up product or stunting in a post-Jackass world.
Maybe when the dust and the fulmination clear, it will have been a good thing after all, reminding marketers to be a little more careful.
Could they have informed authorities they were going to hang these up, or would they have been denied permission. If it was illegal, why were they doing it. You can say the police overreacted, but how are they to know when bombs are strapped to babies, and what if it is a diversion.
All questions that will be asked, I'm sure.
By John Eggerton