Hmm... Where have we heard this before...
Well, that's one way to get people talking about your new product!
Trying to create a buzz for their new video game, game publisher Ubisoft settled upon the worst PR stunt in the history of ever.
Watch Dogs, their new action-adventure game, was shipped to reviewers and media outlets inside of a small, unmarked safe with a keypad on it. Accompanying the package was a "suspicious" letter that advised the recipient to check his or her voicemail.
Wait, what!? That sounds like protocol for sending out ransom notes, not video games!!! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
Lo-and-behold, an employee at Australia Square received the package and didn't know precisely how to react. He wasn't able to access any voicemail message, so he tried to open it via keypad! That only made the package start to BEEP!
The bomb squad came, the building was evacuated, and when law enforcement finally determined there wasn't an explosive device inside, they opened up the packaged. What was in it? A copy of Watch Dogs, a baseball cap, a beanie, and a note saying saying all news stories should be embargoed until 5 p.m.
Wow. That is NOT the best way to ensure a good review.
Australia Square employee Hal Crawford admitted:
"This is definitely the other side of the line in terms of what it’s safe for a PR company to send anonymously to a newsroom. The thing was black, heavy and slightly creepy."
Black, heavy, and slightly creepy? Are we sure the box didn't contain Kanye West's leather jogging pants? LOLz!!!
Either way, we're this ill-advised PR stunt didn't wind up getting anyone hurt.
[Image via Mumbrella & Warner Bros..]